Black Japan stain or Limewash…when and why

Staining timber floors dark or using lime wash paint on wooden floors will never cease to be an exciting experience for both – the homeowners and the floor finisher. At the end of the hard work, a beautiful outcome is rewarding and worth all the noise, dust, and smell. The flooring Industry offers a range of options and techniques on improving appearance, mood, or how to modernize colors of the floorboards, but in this article, let’s see why and when the staining of wooden floors make a sense.


 Bad appearance

  1. Owners, bored with the old floor presentation, expect the stain to hide the problems and solve esthetic issues. Using a darker tint, such as Feast Watson Black Japan, will transform the floor into a much better appearance. However, applying only a lightly pigmented stain usually results in insufficient coverage, and the paint will not conceal the imperfections. If this sounds like your concern, remember the darker color, the better result. Rather than re-sanding and re-staining the floor again, do it once and choose a darker stain. The excellent idea is to get your floor sander person to prepare your boards for staining and ask him to apply a small range of color options directly onto your floor. Then wet a rug and add a little bit of moisture to your stained board. Instantly you will see the color intensity very close to the one you will reach after the final coat. Then discuss with the tradesmen the possible outcome again.


    The most common requirement for a whitewashed floor or black japan floor is an existing floor’s lousy appearance. The floor shows many defects, damages caused by everyday usage, or natural marks such as gum veins, large knots, and distinct grain.

  2. Under a similar category falls the situation where the majority of the floorboards have been well preserved. Still, some unskilled repairs have diminished the quality of the floor in the past. Various materials, including plywood, wrong board sizes, or species, were used to replace usually termites affected planks. If the budget is tight and will not replace all wrong species, then sanding and staining and creating beautiful dark floorboards could be a cheaper way of repairing.


Wrong species

In another scenario, homeowners decided to remove an existing carpet or vinyl in one section of the house, and the exposed wooden floor exhibited another timber specie. Keeping the old floorboards appeared to be a great idea, but the wood grain or color was completely different from the adjacent room floor. After sanding and finishing with a clear varnish, the visual effect of two mismatched floors would have been just not acceptable. Instead of replacing part of the floorboards covering in the house, re-sanding, using the limewash paint or dark staining, and finishing with a couple of protective coats of the entire area was much cheaper.


Too close to match the stain


 The floor finishers face significant challenges from their customers, asking them to match the color of two relatively close wood species or the same species of different ages. Timbers like Blackbutt and Tallowood, Cypress pine, and Kauri pine or Jarrah and Sydney blue gum have a very similar look. Sometimes the colors are so close that mixing a comparable stain takes a lot of effort and tries. After the job completion, the pigment’s intensity may transform during the daylight, change under ceiling light illumination, and let’s don’t forget (people often do) every timber darkens under the sunlight. Your perfect color match today will not be the same in 18 months due to UV light exposure. Unless your tradesman has years of experience, this would probably be the most challenging task to produce a satisfactory result in all of the floor staining scenarios.


Rare or unavailable timber

  In old buildings and heritage houses, we often come across a situation where one or several boards have been termites affected need to be replaced or have been replaced already using various – not matching timber lot. Some species are very hard to obtain these days, such as King William Pine, hoop pine, or other past imported species. Occasionally we can source the wood but not the same size or profile for the floor repair. Using the correct floor stain and close relative timber with a similar grain is the best alternative.



Staining new floors ?

  In the last ten years or so, we have seen people in Sydney fall in love with the dark floors. Australian native species do not have the luxury of dark brown tones, and the import of exotic timbers like walnut or wenge are sparse, infrequent, and expensive. More and more, we see our clients get brand new Blackbutt or Spotted gum floors installed and stained in a chocolate color. Some people may object. It is like purchasing a brand new BMW car and taking it for re-spraying. But the results are stunning…. Well, there’s no accounting for taste. Some of the available hardwoods are coping with the stain better than others. Amongst the most popular timber species in Sydney are Blackbutt, Spotted gum, American oak, Tasmanian oak. They accept stain easily and the result in stunning dark timber flooring.


Cypress pine and Radiata pine, on the other hand, belong to more problematic species handling the stain or lime wash due to the high content of resin or extreme absorbency. However, every popular paint manufacturer has a solution on how to create beautiful white floorboards or dark wood floors. Amongst the most popular products in the Sydney area belong the range of limewash from Bunnings, or Porter’s Limewash and Feast Watson’s Black japan or Prooftint.

What are the techniques in creating stunning floors using black japan stain or lime wash paint read here.