Bleaching/waxing previously installed cherry floors

kled2008August 4, 2012

Hello! My husband and I are renovating a home with cherry wood floors. My favorite wood is antique, French oak, but we can not justify pulling up perfectly good cherry just because it's not my very first wood choice. My question is, can cheery be stripped and bleached, then waxed, to get a gray tone? Does anyone know this process or have photos of bleached/waxed cherry?

Many thanks for your thoughts and photos!

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If you are looking for a grey tone start with pastels. Its like a heavy stain that will give you the desired look.

If you go wax you are going to hate it within a year! The upkeep and durability just sucks.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 6:01PM
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There is no one single prescription for getting the cherry to look like you want. After getting the color you desire, I echo gregmills caveat about wax. You can achieve a soft waxed-look with the right waterborne polyurethane.

Search for a craftsperson in your area who has done the type of work you want done. If you know any professional decorators, they could possibly put you in touch with that certain someone.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 1:31PM
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Thank you so much for your suggestions! When you refer to "pastels", what exactly do you mean? Is it a poly stain? Something like transparent stains for outside?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 2:38PM
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Pastels are something ive only done a few times so im not a "expert" but the way i describe it it is between a stain and paint. Stains give you color but allows you to see everything in the wood. Paint gives you color but virtually covers all grain work in the wood. Pastels give you both worlds gives you a solid heavy color but allows some of the grainwork to show through.

A customer had a really beat up old birch floor but didnt want to spend the money replacing boards to remove heavily stained areas. We decided to go with a pastel color of a blueish grey.

With a pastel application i did one coat of pastel which i applied like a stain. (mop it on and then wipe dry) followed by two coats of a water-bourne urethane.

Like i said im not an "expert" in pastels so maybe someone else has a better method of applying pastels but thats what i did and it still looks good 7 months later.

It turned out really nice. The pigment of the pastel was heavy enough to cover the stain and show the grainwork but not so heavy where it looked like we painted the floor.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 7:33PM
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