Grey is a unique colour in more than one way. It is a mix of the two opposite colours in the palette - black and white. It’s also not easy to find in nature and the results, when applied to your wooden floor, vary greatly depending on the wood species, the intensity of the stain and the hue used.
On Colour Matching
Different wood species absorb the stains in their own unique way. This means that if we apply a stain on a floor made from red oak and another from a white one, the results won’t be consistent. In order to stain properly, to get the exactly desired tint, you’ll need some experience. In fact, colour matching is arguably the hardest skill to learn in the flooring business. There are people hired specifically for this task from flooring companies because their own crews lack the skill.
Getting that perfect variation of grey is harder to achieve on hardwood rather than softwood because the cellular structure of hardwood is denser and the drying process – slower. This difficulty will be reflected in the price if you hire an expert for the task ahead. Professionals, however, guarantee exactly the result you want right there and right now. Unfortunately, many DIY projects often end up badly, so be mindful of the risk involved.
How to Stain Wood in General?
- Remove any traces of dirt, dust or leftovers finishing products like wax or polish.
- Sand your floor and progressively move from coarser to finer sanding grits. The smoother the surface the lighter the shade of the stain.
- Use a damp cloth to leave a perfectly clean surface.
- Stir the stain and follow meticulously the manufacturer’s instructions when applying with brush or cloth.
- Try to follow the grain when staining and spread the substance evenly.
- When done, leave the stain some time to dry according to the instructions. In most cases, the more time you leave it to dry, the darker it will be.
Grey Colour? How?
The grey stain effect is a combination of ebony and white wash. We mix and test the two products on the floor until we find which shade of grey you like the most and proceed with its application. As already mentioned, different wood species will produce different results. Pre-finished birch or maple will easily turn dark brown stains into grey. On an oak, though, a brown stain will remain, well… brown. When trying to stain a pine floor with its red and yellow tones it’s probably best to apply a deep shade of grey to counter the innate wood colour. There are many subtle differences and the best way to make sure you have the result you desire is to call a professional to get the job done.
What Kind of Finishing Product to Use?
The most popular type of finish today is made from polyurethane. The main types of polyurethane are based on oil (solvent) or water. Oil based polyurethane will provide slightly better protection but slowly turns yellow with time. Water based poly, on the other hand, is clear substance and will not affect your floor’s colour. If you want to preserve your grey stain, a water based polyurethane is your best option.