I have resurfaced my 2nd oak floor and removed all dust but a sample stays far too dark compared to the 1st oak floor.

It seems nothing will retain the pastel white oak shade on the 2nd floor as much as the 1st floor using a gloss water-based Varathane finish.

What I noticed after ripping out carpets and removing some damaged 1x5” parquet oak sections on the 1sr floor was the replacement was solid oak while the 1st floor was veneer over hardwood, same dimensions.


  1. The 2nd floor was like a teak colour gloss under carpet before stripping while the 1st was a typical yellow on white oak done at least 10 yrs ago.
  2. Half of the 1st floor had to be redone completely because of a difference in clear colour shade. (Each level is done in 2 sections to allow furniture move)
  3. 1st attempt used hybrid oil-water based clear gloss with a 6mm roller 3 coats with sanding
  4. It was a noticeably darker tan than the 2nd section which was push broom applied nano Varathane clear gloss (with Si O2)
  5. So the 1st section was re-drum-sanded and redone to match the 2nd section on 1st floor but after replace a few damaged Parquet pieces of 1x5” oak, I noticed the replacement pc. was solid oak but after I glued and coated it matched pretty well.
  6. The 2nd floor is also parquet but solid and obvious a different solid oak vs. as it turned dark
  7. The process used now is drum sand with grits : 29, 60 , 120 then random orbital sand 120 grit extra smooth, then vacuum and moist mop cleaned.

So my dilemma is what must be done to keep the clear coat gloss look more like the dry oak ( just slightly more) and match down stairs floor.

The main floor completed

enter image description here

The 2nd floor below was initially a darker orange than 1st floor (yellow) before drum sanding but after sanding is the same shade.

I suspected later it was due to solid vs veneer oak on 1st.

2nd floor below after carpet stripped and some edges sanded enter image description here

enter image description here

It’s difficult to show accurate colour with different lighting but assume the differences are greater than what it may appear.( Above)

  • 1
    Welcome to the world of woodworking, where rule number, er, something is wood varies. This may be insurmountable. You're trying to keep the wood light, while finishing it as you are which inherently keeps the wood as light as any finish type allows. If you were going darker and it wasn't dark enough it would be (relatively) easily tackled, but this is the complete opposite so I'm not sure there's a good solution. Other than bleaching, which isn't practical at this scale (and would require experimentation I don't think you can do given this is a floor), I can't think of anything. .
    – Graphus
    Commented Apr 3, 2021 at 18:37
  • TY. In the interest of not delaying this project further, (supervising wife anxious) I also sanded the white(ish) ceramic kitchen tile and added the white vacuum machine power to oak dust from drum sander and mixed with a few ounces of Varathane then blended , shaked out bubbles mixed with 1/4 gallon then applied with 6mm roller very thin. It still came out darker than the veneer oak on 1st floor acceptable. I was thinking of adding White acrylic gloss Melamine paint to make pastel clear coat on 1st layer, but chickened out. Commented Apr 4, 2021 at 1:17
  • Then coated kitchen ceramic tile with stone sealer after drum 39 grit then random orbital 120 grit Then coated floor with stone sealer with 5mm roller 1st coat. When I tested sample solid oak pc with both floor sealer and Varathane , stone sealer which is more alcohol water based was lighter but then when dry and wetted was darker. I think a pastel finish needs paint added ...oh well maybe 2nd coat yet I still want grain to show, so it will be difficult with 3 not 4 coats Commented Apr 4, 2021 at 1:24
  • 2nd coat was applied with a push broom cloth and used like in curling game to squeeze into cracks and black nail holes. This time I mixed a tray full of Gloss Varathane with a stir sticks worth of gloss white acrylic melamine and it looked slightly lighter and also extra around the edges to act as glue for some loose pc’s 1x5”l(too lazy to bring out the gorilla glue) midnight.... Commented Apr 4, 2021 at 4:00
  • Before 2nd coat and after [1]: i.sstatic.net/erO9a.jpg [2]: i.sstatic.net/sOanq.jpg then will sand do final in clear. Commented Apr 4, 2021 at 4:07


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