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Tag Archives: flooring finishes

  • How to Clean Hardwood Floors

    Posted on April 23, 2013 by Jennifer

    Hardwood floors can add instant style to any room--as long as they’re not covered in boot prints, dog tracks, and dust bunnies. The good news is that hardwood floors are much easier to clean than carpets and rugs. Here are a few basic guidelines on keeping your hardwood floors clean, fresh, and sparkling with style. Continue Reading

    This post was posted in Douglas Fir Flooring, Care & Maintenance and was tagged with Douglas-fir, Douglas fir flooring, douglas fir floors, flooring stains, flooring finishes, maintaining wood floors, maintaining fir floors, pet stains, removing pet stains, hardwood pet stains, hardwood flooring

  • Finish that Douglas Fir II

    Posted on July 14, 2011 by Nicole

    As we mentioned in our last post about finishing Douglas fir, the finish itself can take much of the credit for protecting wood from the elements. And, in this post, when we say elements we mean those found indoors: shoes, toys, pets, spilled drinks, and other pesky household mini-storms. What are the things you should consider before finishing your Douglas fir? Read on, friends.

    Indoor Finishing Projects
    Interior projects, though sheltered from the forces of nature, still need to be protected from life’s hustle and bustle. Unprotected Douglas fir flooring can't compete with feet, furniture, and falling objects. Unfinished paneling in a bathroom would warp from all that hot shower steam. But, also know that you too play a part in prolonging your indoor wood – we’ll talk about some preventative measures to follow after finishing.

    finish wood floor

    Ahh, the gleam of a finished wood floor.

    Choose a finish with interior on the label. You’ll find both water-based and oil-based products. And really, either will do the job – it comes down to your personal preference and what you want your Douglas fir to look like. Water-based finishes dry faster, are less odorous and leave your fir with a more natural-looking finish. Oil-based products give you more time to get a smoother finish because they take longer to dry, but they’re smellier and leave your wood with an amber-like tone. When it comes to cost, water-based finishes tend to be more expensive.

    Should you go with a penetrating finish or surface finish? Again, this comes down to preference. Keep in mind that a penetrating finish soaks into the wood and helps bring out the wood’s natural beauty because they’re oil-based. A surface or topcoat finish forms a layer around the wood so nothing can get in. There are two schools of thought on the merits of each: 1) Wood needs to breathe and benefits from a penetrating finish; or, 2) Wood needs to be shielded which is what a surface finish does best.

    If you see polyurethane on the label know that the product is essentially made from plastic. Hence its shiny appearance. Polyurethanes do a darn good job at protecting against wear and tear, but come with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which affect indoor air quality. Polyurethanes work best on harder-wearing surfaces like flooring.

    Moist conditions + preventative measures
    Keep wood away from water. If little hands drop a juice cup, be quick to wipe it up and air it dry. And, keep your wood clean, especially your floors. Sweep, vacuum, and dust regularly because dirt and grit is wood’s number one enemy.

    Dry conditions + preventative measures
    We also suggest keeping wood away from direct heat and sunlight. Excessive exposure to either will break down the finish and yellow the wood. And if you're seriously dedicated, during very dry conditions, use a home humidifier to keep moisture in the air to keep wood from losing its own natural moisture.

    No matter what your wood, or where it is located, a wood finish will help it last. Keep in mind the tips above, and talk to the expert at your local DIY store before you embark on finishing your Douglas fir.

    - Nicole Morales

    This post was posted in Douglas Fir Flooring, Douglas Fir Trim, Care & Maintenance and was tagged with Douglas-fir, Douglas fir flooring, douglas fir floors, fir flooring, flooring finishes, finishes, maintaining wood floors, maintaining fir floors, douglas fir trim, wood trim, finished doug fir flooring, douglas fir paneling

  • Finish that Douglas Fir

    Posted on May 19, 2011 by Nicole

    Never mind the aesthetics, a wood’s finish protects it from premature, well, everything. We’re talking aging, shading, cracking, warping, and everything else life throws its way. We’ve said it before and we’re happy to say it again: the finish is essential to the lifetime of your wood, like how putting on pants in the morning is essential to keeping your job. But, any pair won’t do – you’ve got to know before you go. You wouldn’t wear Wranglers to the boss’ black-tie event or tailored-trousers to Saturday’s team-building in the backwoods. The same goes for how you finish your Douglas fir.

    We’d like to point out that Douglas fir is a fine timber product. CVG Doug fir is the strongest ‘softwood’ around because of its tight-grain properties, making it more resistant to the elements and more durable for both interior and exterior projects. You’ll get the best of both beauty and brawn with Douglas fir. The weather’s nice, so we’re inclined to start with outdoor applications as you think about firing up that grill.

    Outdoor Projects
    Exterior projects include siding, decking, porch soffits, board & batt, and even patio furniture. Any outside wood needs to be made into a force-to-be-reckoned-with because it’ll be up against Mother Nature and she too, has her bad days. So, when you’re shopping for a finish, look for exterior on the label. Once you find that, consider your climate type.

    outdoor wood finish

    Whatever your wood finishing project, it cannot be as difficult as this one.

    Moist climates + Finishes
    Opt for a label that has a water-repellent preservative or WRP. Your wood will thank you by avoiding mildew growth, a nasty combination with wood. It’s also less likely to swell, split, and warp from water exposure. Choose a penetrating finish for wood that will be hard hit with H2O – these finishes stop water absorption.

    And, after the rainy season, be sure to “test” your wood. If water beads and runs off, the finish is still good. If water soaks in, it’s time to reapply the finish – generally every 12 to 24 months.

    Dry climates + Finishes
    The sun and dry climates go hand in hand as does wood that cracks, spots, and yellows when left untreated in dry places. So, choose an exterior finish that contains UV blockers. Some water-repellent preservatives (WRPs) protect against UV radiation, but double check, especially if you’re living la vida loca in Arizona, which has 300 days of pure sunshine per year.

    Keep in mind that in drier climates, wood loses moisture. Hence, the cracking and shrinking. You may see both WRP and WR – water-repellent – on labels. What’s the difference? WRPs contain mildewcides and fungicides stopping spores that thrive in moist climates. However, we recommend using a WRP with a pigment commonly referred to as semi-transparent stain for wood in sunny places. The pigment adds another layer of protection from the sun, prolonging its life.

    • Always pre-treat bare wood with a finish or preservative before painting.
    • If using pre-existing wood, be sure to check for timber rot (dry or wet) before refinishing. Rot decays wood.
    • Take care applying that first finish to new wood. If done poorly, your wood will tell you so later down the line (and there’s really little that can be done to remedy future problems).
    • Always stick with the same type of finish – penetrating or surface – when it’s time to reapply.
    • Test different types of finishes using small blocks from your wood project to help you decide the best finishing product for your Douglas fir and your needs.

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