Stain, Stain, Stain

So our floors were looking as good as we had hoped for. A little rough sound the edges but as we’d done it ourselves it was fully expected. The tar situation if you remember from my last post (here) meant that our edges had dark patches, thankfully it was always my vision to go that shade darker than just clear varnish. I love the contrast between a pure fresh, crisp like cotton, white wall and dark rich flowing raw wooden floors. I imagined there would be maybe about 5 colour choices but no, no there is not. There is a whole secret world of treatments for your wood if you choose to go against the grain (pardon the pun). You can steer clear (again what a pun?!) of clear varnish and delve into the magic of colouring wood. 

So, if like me, you fancy something a tad different to your basic clear varnish well you can have the following:

  •  Starting with, a tinted varnish to give a slightly glossy hardwearing finish that can only be touched up when you sand off the whole topcoat and start again. However hard this may seem it is so hard-wearing and is perfect for heavy footfall areas. You can also now get varnishes in a satin finish too which is great if you don’t want super glossy floors. 
  • Another option is oil which again can offer great protection if you buy the right one and also means you can touch up when necessary, again if clear brings out the beauty of the grain. It provides a more matt finish.
  • You could go for a wax which would need an undercoat so doubles the job but would give you a more satin finish, unlike the varnish which can look high shine.

For me, I wanted something really matt. I wanted it to look dark in stain but almost untreated or maybe more like it had been treated decades ago. I was advised by a couple of people to consider going clear as it would be darker than I thought but I knew it wouldn’t have the right tone or feel and I HAD to get this exactly how I wanted. All that time and effort couldn’t be for a job I wasn’t happy with. It was one of those where doubt it cast into your mind. As I am a novice and I want t take peoples advice but I just knew deep down it wasn’t right for me. So always stick with your gut. The worst thing that can happen is it isn’t right and you can let people say “I told you so”, but who cares really!

After hours and hours looking at images of stains, Pinterest searching to see real pictures of peoples experiences and finished results, I finally settled on ordering two samples A Treatex Hardwax Oil in slate grey and Osmo Polyx-oil in Terra. I know it basically says it in the name but the slate felt a little too grey, an almost muddy dark colour with pops of amber from the sanding, which although beautiful isn’t what I was after here is a snap. The Osmo Terra was however perfection! Warm but not too reddy rich brown like dark chocolate blending any remnants of tar into the cracks and bringing the contrast of the grain to all its glory. 

The choice of Osmo wasn’t just because it seems to be top of all the google searches but because the colour was divine and it just seemed right. It fell within our budget and the Osmo range also include applicators so for novices like us it was great! We snapped up 2.5l to do all three rooms and also the hand applicator and a selection of the sponges.

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