7.04.2017

DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors [Part 2- Finishing]

Welcome back to our DIY install of 12" wide plank pine floors. When I left off on the last post, we had just finished the installation and were moving on to the finishing. In this second post I'm going to do my best to explain how we sanded, stained, and finished it. 




For reference, you can find Part 1, the installation, here DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors [Part 1].  And when we left off, this is what the floor looked like.


DIY 12" Wide Plank Pine Floor Unfinished

So getting down to business here!  Our kitchen floors, which are these same exact floors installed the same way, are 30 years old.  I love the way they look, but they always feel dirty because they have wide gaps between each board.  Crud gets stuck in there and I have to vacuum and scrape them out constantly.  I was determined this new floor would not have this problem.  


12" wide plank pine floor, oil based polyurethane finish

Affiliate links are used in this post, meaning if you make a purchase through one of the links I will receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. 


Why We Chose Water Based vs Oil Based Polyurethane Floor Finish

After doing a lot of research on whether we wanted to use traditional oil based polyurethane (what is on our kitchen floor) or something else, we decided to go with a waterbourne finish system by Bona.  (BTW this post is not sponsored by a company.  After we did our research we bought what we thought was the best product.) The system was very well rated by consumers for durability and ease of application.  We also liked that it was lower VOC than polyurethane and is actually certified green for indoor air quality.  It was also a much faster application, with less drying time between coats (two hours) and overall less curing time. I finished all of the staining and finishing steps in one day, plus one more coat the next morning.  Most oil based poly requires five hours between drying time.  Oil based poly also requires sanding between coats, whereas the water based does not. The only drawback is the water based system is more expensive. 

All things considered, we are extremely happy with the decision we made. The floor is now six months old and we see no trouble spots.  We fully expect that eventually there will be the natural wear that comes with a more rustic wide plank pine floor and we are ok with that.

So here are all of the steps involved:


Step 1: Filling the Gaps and Knots

This was what most of the spaces between the boards looked like because we tried very hard to keep everything very tight.


DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Filling Gaps With Wood Filler

But it was unavoidable that there were a little bit larger gaps between some boards. 

DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Filling Gaps With Wood Filler

In these areas we used the Bona Pacific Filler to fill any larger gaps between the boards. We got it from a local flooring store, but there are online retailers who sell it.  


DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Filling Gaps With Wood Filler | Bona Pacific Filler

I used a putty knife to spread the wood filler in and scrape it back.  Then I used a damp paper towel to wipe it back more.  I didn't want to lose the line completely, just wanted to reduce its depth so crud doesn't have a place to settle.  Wiping it back gave the groove itself a little definition and also reduced the sanding later.  


DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Filling Gaps With Wood Filler

DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Filling Gaps With Wood Filler

DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Filling Gaps With Wood Filler

DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Filling Gaps With Wood Filler

DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Filling Gaps With Wood Filler

I used two colors of wood filler, Ash/Maple/Pine for most areas and Walnut for the knots and darker areas.


DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Filling Gaps and Knots With Wood Filler

DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Filling Gaps and Knots With Wood Filler

Here's a shot of what a large section of the floor looked like once I was done filling everything.


DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Filling Gaps and Knots With Wood Filler


Step 2: Sanding

I removed the ink stamps on the boards and sanded the spots I had filled with a hand sander.  I did it by hand because I wanted finer control of the sanding than a floor sander would have given me.  In hindsight, I probably could have skipped this step and used the large floor sander, but I just wasn't sure at the time.

My Tip: Do not wear shoes during any of this process.  I learned the hard way that every footstep in a shoe leaves a scuff.  Socks only from here out.


DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Sanding


We rented a large square buff orbital floor sander from Home Depot (not a drum sander because that would remove too much material) and sanded the entire floor down with 100 grit sandpaper.  The goal was to just even out the finish of the boards after my spot sanding.  As a final pass, we used the red buffing pad the sandpaper attaches to burnish the wood smooth. We changed this pad at least once during the process.

DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Sanding

Here it is all sanded.  After the sanding was done I vacuumed it thoroughly.  Then I wiped it and wiped it and wiped it with microfiber cloths to remove all of the dust (I put them on a Swiffer mop head I already had).

DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Sanding

DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Sanding


Step 3: Staining

So now we were ready for staining!  I used a scrap to test the stain color I had picked out and decided I needed only one coat.  The logs of our walls, the doors, and trim are all slightly different colors so we wanted the floor to be in the same color range as the walls but lighter.

I picked the Bona DriFast Stain in Nutmeg.  Now I see I should have taken a photo before I used it, but you get the idea.


DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Staining | Bona DriFast Stain

The left side of the sample is one coat and the right side is one coat of stain with one coat of the Amberseal in the next step.


DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Staining

I used a rag to apply the stain.  When I tried using a floor finish pad in testing, it did cover more area faster, but it put it on too thickly.  I started in the hallway closet to perfect my technique before starting in the main area.  The first boards I did sent me into an absolute panic!  The color looked nothing like my test boards.  It was way too brown.


DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Staining

This worried me and perplexed me for a while because it was so different!  Different types of grain in the boards took the stain differently.  Finally when I took my test piece into the closet to compare and they looked the same, I realized it must be the lighting in the closet.  Later my husband told me it was a cool white LED bulb in the closet, totally different color than what is in the main living area.  That explained the difference!  It was a combination of the type of grain in the wood and the lighting.


DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Staining

So I worked my way through the rest of the floor, staining with the grain, trying to do entire boards and leaving a wet edge until I finished a board.  The dry time on this stain was only two hours.  


DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Staining

My tip:  If you want the grooves, knots, imperfections, and nail heads to be more of a feature, making it more rustic looking, go back right away while the stain is still wet and apply extra stain on these areas.  Wipe them back immediately so it doesn't darken the stain of the wood itself any.  Check the nail heads from all directions to make sure stain penetrates the entire circle.

DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Staining

DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Staining

DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Staining

DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Staining

DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Staining

DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Staining

Step 4: Sealing

Then it was ready for the next coat, Bona AmberSeal.  This is called a sanding sealer.  It is used to seal the wood, so the next coats of finish don't soak in, making the coats of finish thicker and more level.  It added a little more of an amber color to the stain, mimicking the amber glow of an oil based finish. There are other clear options if an amber color isn't desired.  I was told by the salesman at the flooring store that if we stained the wood, this step was optional, but he recommended it.  We figured it was so important to get this floor right, we weren't cutting any corners.  


Here it is partially applied over the stain so you can see the difference.  Keep in mind my photos are taken at different times of the day so the lighting is slightly different in them.


DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Sealing Bona AmberSeal

I watched a lot of tutorial videos online on how to apply these finishes.  Many people recommended a wide  floor coater, with sleeve refills however they also said there was a big learning curve to using it well and prevent ripples when turning it.  

This Padco 10" floor finish pad was recommended for cutting in the edges. Many people recommended using this for the entire floor because of how easy it made the application.


DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Floor Finish Pad

I really liked how this tool put the coat on.  It laid down very evenly and was easy for me to control.  So I ended up using the pad for the entire application.  I chose to not use a stick handle with it but just held it by hand.  Again, I liked being up close and in more control.  I followed the directions on the bottle, pouring a line of the sealer and then spreading it in the direction of the grain with the pad, keeping a wet edge. If the pad is washed out thoroughly right away with water and wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, it should be able to be used for multiple coats. I didn't want to chance anything this important, so I bought pad refills for each coat.

My tip:  Hold the finish pad at a bit of an angle and don't push too hard, otherwise you will make bubbles.

After two hours it was dry.  Of course humidity and temperature will affect dry time.  We kept the bathroom exhaust fan running to pull air through the room without blowing air directly on the floor.

The instructions said if you apply the next coat before 48 hours have passed you don't need to sand between coats.  This was another reason we chose the waterborne system.  Oil based finishes require sanding between coats.  I did use a 220 grit piece of sandpaper to knock down any bubbles I had made before I figured out how to not make bubbles.  Also, even with as careful as I had been, there were a few pieces of random tiny debris embedded in the finish.  I just used my fingernail to pop them out carefully without disturbing the area around them.  After the next coats, they weren't noticeable at all.


Step 5:  Finish Top Coats

Now I was ready to apply the first coat of finish.  I used the Bona Mega floor finish in Satin.  The Bona line has other options and different sheens.


DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Finish Top Coats | Bona Mega

You'll see the pantyhose sticking out.  Somewhere in an online video I had seen to reduce bubbles you can do this, cut a small piece of pantyhose and wrap it around the filter that comes with the finish.  You can see I tied the ends to the handle to keep it in place.


DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Finish Top Coats | Bona Mega

Again, I used the floor finish pad, using a new pad refill.  Following the directions, I poured a stream of finish on the floor against the wall and spread it out evenly, going with the grain and always keeping a wet edge.  I worked my way into the room and backing toward the door.  It took a little planning to not trap myself in the kitchen area.


DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Finish Top Coats | Bona Mega

DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Finish Top Coats | Bona Mega

I was concerned about stroke marks in the finish, but they all laid down very smoothly as it dried.  There are no stroke marks in the final results.

After another two hrs this coat was dry.  I let this one wait overnight because I was ready to be done for the night. I could have finished that night though. The next morning I checked it over again carefully for any more debris or bubbles.  Then I repeated the process with another coat.

The manufacturer's instructions say the floor can be walked on in 24 hours, furniture can be moved in after 3 days, and complete curing takes 7 days.


DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Finish Top Coats | Bona Mega

How to DIY finish 12" wide plank pine floors using water based Bona system, Bona Amberseal, Bona Mega. Why we chose waterbased floor finish


DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Finish Top Coats | Bona Mega

DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Finish Top Coats | Bona Mega

DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Finish Top Coats | Bona Mega

DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Finish Top Coats | Bona Mega

I really love how the grain and character of the wood was brought out by the stain and finish.

DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Finish Top Coats | Bona Mega

DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Finish Top Coats | Bona Mega

DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Finish Top Coats | Bona Mega


DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Finish Top Coats | Bona Mega


DIY Wide Plank Pine Floors Finishing | Finish Top Coats | Bona Mega

We are incredibly pleased with how well this project turned out.  Like I said in the beginning, the floor is now six months old.  We plan on refinishing our kitchen floor like this and installing this floor in our living room as well.  

I hope this project description is helpful!  If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments below or email me.

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5 comments:

  1. It looks incredible!! This is such a great tutorial. So helpful. I would love to try it someday!

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  2. It looks amazing! I love it 😍

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  3. Beautiful job Dara! It sparkles and shines. ����

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  4. I've looked at this post and studied it at least 4 different times over the last 2 months and I am in love with this floor! So, before I jump in and do ours, do you still love how you went about doing it, and is the gap filler working? (Trying not to do tongue and groove) Thanks for your help!
    Megan B

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    Replies
    1. Hi Megan! We are doing another floor now with tongue and groove and it still has gaps that I will fill. But the t&g boards are much straighter than the regular planks and need only a little jacking into place here and there. We got an amazing deal at a local lumber yard and they were cheaper than the boards of this project, which is why we got them. So that's my two cents on T&G. So about the gaps, I think if I had it to do over, I would leave the fill flush with the boards. Because as tiny of a groove I gave it, crumbs still get stuck in them in the kitchen. Just something to think about if you're putting this floor in a kitchen. I have also thought about using the walnut stain in the grooves to make them stand out a little more. I'd say practice in a place it won't show and see what you like personally! Send me some pics if you do it, Id love to see!! Hope this helps!

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