NEW! Faster Search Option

Loading

Waterlox over stain

cwalvoord's picture

I have decided, based on all the positive comments here, to put a Waterlox original finish over the rift sawn white oak floor I put in our entryway but I am wondering about the stain underneath.  I plan to use the Minwax oil based stain that was used on the rest of the floors in the house but Waterlox's web site says to wait 72 hours after the stain is applied for the first coat of varnish.  Minwax says their stain dries in as little as 6 hours.  What are others' experience with putting stain under the Waterlox varnish?  Do I really have to wait 3 days?


Thanks, Chris

BG's picture

(post #110662, reply #1 of 11)

cwalvood,
I applied the Waterlox too soon after staining and about half the stain was removed by the Waterlox...nice color but impossible to duplicate. The second time I used Waterlox I waited 24 hours after the stain and everything was fine. The more I learning, or should I say experiencing, the more I'm thinking I need a good moisture meter...it ain't just for rough stock ...

dgreen's picture

(post #110662, reply #2 of 11)

Interesting idea, I had not thought of using a moisture meter to check for stain drying. A concern I would have with oil based stains is that the pin type meters use the conductivity of water as a basis for their reading. Water and oil have differing conductivity. I wonder how the ultrasonic type would do. I have a pin type and can check the difference between oil and water based stains, anybody out there with an ultrasonic that can do the same? I'll post my results as soon as I get a chance.


Since the house is on fire let us warm ourselves. ~Italian Proverb


Edited 8/26/2006 6:22 am by dgreen

 

 

................................................

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.
~ Denis Diderot

SteveSchoene's picture

(post #110662, reply #3 of 11)

I think the more reliable test to see if the stain is cured is the sniff test.  If you can still smell it you should wait a little longer. 


I don't know how to calibrate the moisture meter for solvent, but even if I did, the real issue is the chemical reaction cure after the solvent has evaporated. That's what determines if the binder in the stain is still susceptible to the solvent in the finish.  Cure time varies dramatically with environmental conditions of temperature (warmer is faster) and humidity (dryer is faster--usually). Below about 75° F. cure times are likely to take longer than the label says.   

Test your finish on scrap, FIRST, or risk having to scrap your finish.

dgreen's picture

(post #110662, reply #4 of 11)

What type of reaction is it? Finish chemistry for wood is not something I have much knowledge of. I used to be pretty up on the chemistry of aircraft finishes but even that was 20 years ago. I had always thought that stains were just pigments suspended in a solvent and when the solvent evaporated that was the end of it. Are there dryers in oil based stain and cross linking or polymerization going on? Have I been correct in assuming that when the water evaporated from an aniline dye the process was complete? Sorry for the rapid fire questions, so much to learn.

Since the house is on fire let us warm ourselves. ~Italian Proverb

 

 

................................................

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.
~ Denis Diderot

SteveSchoene's picture

(post #110662, reply #5 of 11)

Pigmented stain is more than pigment in a solvent.  They must have a binder--typically some varnish or a mix of varnish and drying oil that cures to hold the pigment onto the wood.  This is a cross link, polymerization reaction as oxygen reacts with the varnish--usually aided by added driers.    


When the solvent evaporated the pigment--which is in discrete particles--could just be blown off the surface, kind of like wiping flour off a pastry board if there weren't the binder in the stain. 


Dye on the other hand has coloring that is in solution with the solvent--water, or alcohol for example.  These molecular level colors penetrate into the wood and don't just brush off when dry unless large amounts of excess have been left to dry on the surface.  The solvent used in the dye can have an impact on dye after it has dried--it's a good idea to seal a waterbased analine dye with shellac before brushing on a water borne finish.  (Sprayed topcoats have less likelihood of raising the dye--but it is still a good idea for the first coat to be relatively dry to avoid problems.) 

Test your finish on scrap, FIRST, or risk having to scrap your finish.

dgreen's picture

(post #110662, reply #6 of 11)

Thanks for the info, makes sense. I haven't had to do much finishing, the work I do goes straight to a finisher but I hope to do some on my own projects and this is very useful to me. I have been lucky so far that time has conspired with me and things have been dry by the time I got around to the various finishing stages.


Thanks again


Don


Since the house is on fire let us warm ourselves. ~Italian Proverb

 

 

................................................

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.
~ Denis Diderot

jdubbs's picture

(post #110662, reply #7 of 11)

Why stain at all? I have QS red oak floors and I finished with waterlox only. The floors are stunning. Just my .02 worth!

cwalvoord's picture

(post #110662, reply #8 of 11)

Thanks everyone for your responses.  I am satining the floor to match those in the rest of the house.  I have the leftovers from the original installation and was able to match some leftover stain. 


It sounds like I should probably wait at least 24 hours to be safe.  It is warm here in Chicago but also humid.

BG's picture

(post #110662, reply #9 of 11)

cwalvoord,
Given what Steve said, perhaps a couple of additional sample pieces would be in order in addition to the floor. You can use the samples as a test by just applying wome Waterlox after its dried...you'll se if the stainis being removed with the Waterlox. Remember, you should use a respirator with Waterlox....

HowardAcheson's picture

(post #110662, reply #10 of 11)

If Waterlox recommends three days, why not wait the three days. Waterlox contains a thinner that is more agrassive than just mineral spirits. It's this more agressive solvent that dissolves then uncured resin binder in the stain. You MUST let the resin binder in the stain fully cure before it will resist the thinner in Waterlox.

If you don't want to wait, or can't, use another floor finish that only contains a mineral spirit thinner.

Howie.........
Howie.........
fishman's picture

(post #110662, reply #11 of 11)

When I did my flame birch floors I u7sed waterlox origanal finish.I contacted waterlox beause I wanted to pop the grain before applying the waterlox .They sugessted that I mix the stain (minwax golden oak with the waterlox for my first coat) ratio was 1 quart of stain to 1 gallon finish.Let dry overnight and go on with however many additional coats of unmixed finish I wanted. turned out great ,no problem with stain smear or pickup.   Art