Wood Finishing Suggestions

Because Chris spent most of the time that he was working on this project cursing this old house of ours, I wasn’t really able to get in and get pictures of him working on it, but I did manage to sneak in and instagram the step-by-step progress. Nonetheless, protection will be less effective and less durable, since the wax will slowly wear off, and oil will slowly leak out of the wood with every wash. But even if a building is not subjected to flooding or wet floors, if the wood floor was installed without adequate clearance around its perimeter buckling can occur when moisture increases in the building. As a member of the grass family, not a tree, it grows at a much quicker rate than any other wood.

By milling in my own shop I am certain I’ll end up with perfectly-flat boards and in many cases they’ll be thicker than 3/4″. Apply several different stains onto another piece of the same type of wood and compare them. You experience the inadequacy of finishes (and paints) to fully encase the moisture in exterior wood doors that swell and stick in the summer and shrink and allow air through in the winter, even though the wood is finished (or painted) on all sides. For woodworkers and carpenters, the EMC is more helpful than RH. The simplified chart below shows the EMC values of wood when stored at the humidity and temperatures indicated.

Wood movement: Most species of flat grain material will change size 1% for every 4% change in MC.” Applying this formula to a situation where the seasonal EMC ranges from 6% to 10%, a 12-in. Maintaining this moisture content is critical to the success of your finished floor. Unmodified oils such as tung, linseed, and walnut can also be used as sealers if they are thinned to penetrate the wood. Leave hinges, handles, knobs or pulls on a piece you are staining or finishing.

Turn the board upside down and lay the treated surface over wood or plastic supports on the 4 sides, and repeat the previous step for the back of the board. Humidity in unheated areas fluctuates about 10%, and while in service wood movement is low, dry material (6% MC to 8% MC) installed in unheated areas swells significantly. If the alcohol-covered board is nearly identical to the finished boards, a coating or two of oil-based polyurethane will match. Stains are deep enough into the wood that almost no amount of sanding will remove them.

Woodworking projects can be intimidating, but this project is actually easier than you may think, requiring basic shop materials and dense, hardwood boards to create a chef-worthy cutting board any foodie will love. Pine can be particularly prone to rough, grainy areas as well as being packed full of knots, so sanding skirting boards is a particularly important step in your preparation. Rubbing some stain into the damaged zone gives it an antique, burnished appearance as the area gathers stain and gets slightly darker than the surrounding wood. Consider leaving pine wood unstained or only lightly stained before coating it with a clear coat of polyurethane or oil.

Once decay fungi are established, the minimum moisture content for decay to propagate is 22 to 24 percent, so building experts recommend 19 percent as the maximum safe moisture content for untreated wood in service. Apply a bead of glue along one side of center piece of wood (Image 1). Quickly spread glue with a fingertip then lay it flat and butt against right-side piece (Image 2). Apply glue to right side of left piece, spread with fingertip and butt against left side of center piece (Image 3). Make sure edges are lined up. For Danish Oil, wait 15 minutes (same as tung oil finishing), and let dry for at least 8 hours.

However, frequent cleaning with water, soap and sanitizing products will make the wood dry out very quickly and the color will eventually fade or tarnish. Understand that the longer a stain stays on the wood before being wiped off, the deeper into the wood pores it will be absorbed and the darker the finish color will be. For example, a stain left on for one minute will not be as dark as a stain left on for three minutes. All general products meant for the interior painting of wooden surfaces are suitable for painting the boards.


Perhaps the most appealing characteristics of wood flooring are its attractive appearance and natural warmth. Apply one or two layers of undercoat depending on what the instructions say and how porous the wood is. Some undercoats are very dark, handy if your topcoat will also be a deep colour. Before installation, the boards are aired for 5-7 days, as close as possible to their final conditions of use. I finished my daughters Planked Kitchen ceiling (and dinning room) and it turned out awesome.

If wood movement becomes an issue, it’s important that you document delivered MC so that site acclimation compromise the readings. For applications with a high risk of staying wet, designers specify durable materials such as naturally decay-resistant species or wood that has been treated with preservatives. To make this 1970’s strip oak wood floor look perfect, sanding and re-finishing may be necessary. Your other option is to glue a thin piece of wood to the tenon to make it bigger and then trim the newly sized tenon to fit the mortise.

Significant temperature variations and plenty of water will damage the wood, and may break boards made from several parts glued together. It has antibacterial properties, and will clean and nourish wood surfaces without being as aggressive on the wood as the aforementioned solutions (bleach and vinegar), which are very popular but can damage the wood over time.

Be sure to saturate the ends of the boards with the coating until they will not absorb any more. I’ve attempted a few organic” ideas to get my cutting board stained…none worked. Available in different lengths, these products are used for a wide number of wood projects and construction. Use a finish that sits on top of the wood rather than absorbing into it. Varnish and shellac are two examples. Choosing the right kind and style of wood flooring is not hard if you are familiar with several industry terms.

This is just a fancy way of saying that I angled the cut on the face of the boards so that when putting them together, they overlap, which hides seams better than butting the two boards together. Various combinations of pressure and vacuum are used to force adequate levels of chemical into the wood. Since it is a soft wood, thin Alder works great for Laser Cutting and Engraving.

If the floor is badly buckled such that the clip-together grooves and tongues on the individual boards are damaged, it’s probably not repairable. Installing wood flooring before it has had an opportunity to acclimate to the indoor moisture level of its new home often means that too-moist flooring was nailed in place, later shrinking as building heat further dries the wood. I have followed your wonderful directions (about a week ago) and there is still an oil residue on the cutting board. Proper replacement requires maintaining the staggering of the boards and therefore requires you to remove the boards entirely.

Chart taken from Woodhandbook: Wood has an Engineering Material, (Agriculture Handbook 72), Fores products laboratory, U.S. Department of Agriculture. These will generally be suitable for bed wood applications that will rarely see severe weather extremes or direct sun exposure. Always prepare the wood with a light sanding and an application of Minwax® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner (see Wood Preparation for other tips). Moisture plays a large part in how wood behaves, both during the machining process and after installation.

Both these boards were built into individual wooden sleeves installed as part of the cabinetry 56 years ago when the house was built. As the seasonal MC of the T&G material rises and falls, the boards expand and contract, and the door will cup inward or outward depending on the direction of the movement. On roughsawn boards like this one, the flattened area becomes visible as it exits the planer. Do not use ammonia, vinegar, Windex type cleaners or oil soaps on a wood floor, as they will dull the finish and performance of your floor.

It is measured by the load required to embed a 0.444 – inch steel ball to one-half its diameter in the wood. The EMC helps us understand the response wood will have to relative humidity, whether it will shrink or expand. Also, the wood dust created by sanding some species tends to cause an allergic reaction in some people. The hardwood floors of this period were typically white oak, chestnut, maple, or black walnut milled into 2″- to 3″-wide boards.