I am building a new weekend home in the Texas Hill Country. We are using a lot of pine and are trying to achieve a rustic, country look. If I use a #2 yellow pine flooring and stain with a Sherwin Williams oil stain (Winter White), can I use a wax finish on this floor ? I do not want a high gloss finish - it would not match the character of the house. What would you recommend if I am trying to achieve a washed look for the floor?
Oh boy, that southern yellow pine is one of my favorite wood floors, I've resanded a whole lot of them when I lived and worked in New Orleans. Your treatment of it is going to be unique, here's what I suggest. The stain you are about to use needs to have some sort of finish on top of it to protect the wood from water spills and humidity changes. Wax is not a film finish per se, it is merely a top dressing or polish for a proper film type finish. Unfortunatly oil based poyurethane varnishes will yellow a lot when they age so I would not use it over that white stain.
The best non-yellowing finishes are the water based variety, and for your purpose I recommend Impact by Basic Coatings, call them at 800-247-5471 they should be able to find you a local dealer. Be sure to inform them that this is a new pine floor to make sure this is a suitable finish. You will have to use 2 coats of their sealer to prevent paneling of the new boards (an adhesion of the board edges that will disasterously seperate later). This finish comes in a low luster variety and if you wanted you wax the finish after it cured, why not ? Ask the people at Basic Coatings to send you their "Finishing White Floors with Basic Coating" technical bulletin. You may find that the oil stain you want to use may not be compatable with these new finishes, and may require a different stain like the Dura Seal pastel stains. Dura Seal also makes Aqua Tech water based finish and you can reach them at 800-601-9055
Do a little more research before you start you"ll be glad you did.
As always your Most humble servant, Joseph, the Wood Floor Doctor.