Red pine wood is a very popular material because of its low cost. To preserve a new red pine floor, oil is an excellent option. But if your floor has already been protected by varnish and if you want to oil it, you must first go through a few steps. No matter the case, thanks to this article, you will be able to avoid common mistakes linked to sanding and applying oil on red pine wood.
1ST MISTAKE TO AVOID: FAILING TO ADEQUATELY SAND A FLOOR ALREADY VARNISHED
Before applying oil, you must get rid of any already existing protection. If your red pine floor has already been varnished, you must sand the surface since the varnish would prevent the oil from getting into the pores of the wood. If you have not adequately sanded the floor, that is if some spots of varnish remain, the oil cannot evenly penetrate the wood.
A red wood floor creates an even greater challenge. Since red pine is a porous wood, the varnish may have built up in the pores of the wood. For optimal protection, we recommend that you progressively sand the planks up to grain 150. A very common mistake is to begin sanding with a fine grit, which leaves traces of varnish on the planks.
2ND MISTAKE TO AVOID: APPLYING TOO MUCH OIL
The second mistake is to apply too much oil on the planks. If you are used to applying varnish, you will probably fall into the trap. Oil covers better than varnish. Only a small amount of oil is needed to cover a whole floor. In order to know the right amount to use, consult our calculator. If you want to restore an old pine floor, you can expect to have to apply more oil. In fact, old planks may absorb almost twice as much oil as new ones would. But you should also be aware that a lesser amount of oil is needed for the second and the third coats.
When applying oil, your goal is to saturate the pores of the wood. Although this may sound inadvisable, you must remove any excess of oil. We suggest that beginners use a cotton mesh. This insures a better control of the amount of oil than a paintbrush, for example. Using a paintbrush may cause you to lose part of the product for using too much of it. However you can still get good results using a paintbrush by getting familiar with this tool and with the oil application techniques.
3RD MISTAKE TO AVOID: APPLYING A SINGLE COAT OF OIL ON A RED PINE FLOOR
A lot of people apply a single coat of oil to protect their wood floor. It is obviously not sufficient a protection as the first coat penetrates the pores by about 70%. The second and third coats will do the entire job, thus protecting the floor against humidity, stains and other types of damage. Since red pine is very absorbent, you will need more oil to protect it. This is why a single coat does not protect adequately.
No finishing product is really a single coat one although some companies use this pitch to sell. Anyway, the directions provided with these single coat products indicate that a second coat would produce better results. Remember that, when using a saturation product, you must always apply several coats to protect the wood surface adequately.
Bonus tip: If you have chosen red pine for its low cost, but would like to tone down its colour, it is possible to do.To soften the red colour, use oil containing a green or white pigment. Find out more of our tips on pine by reading our article on this topic.
Using our tips will enable you to transform your red pine floor in no time. It will never have been that easy to go from a varnished floor to an oiled one! Would you like to master the oil application techniques on both indoor and oudoor surfaces? Join the Livos training sessions offered in your area!