This was a satisfying project. The select maple wood floor was originally installed and finished when the home was built in the late 90’s. At that time, a lot of maple floors were finished with some type of oil-based polyurethane, as was the case here. These looked great at first but over time would yellow/amber to the point of orange.
Surface Preparation and Finish Choice
After removing all of the old finish, the floor was prepared further by sanding with medium then fine grits. In order to keep the floors light and bright, we decided to go with 3 coats of Loba 2K InvisibleProtect AT. This is a matte finish that adds almost no color to the wood after it’s dry. Since it’s a two-component finish, it’s fast curing and extremely durable. An added bonus: The manufacturer gives you the option to mix in a UV protection additive. This was added to all three coats to help slow down the yellowing that naturally occurs with maple wood + sunlight.
Adding the Loba Whitener
The finish system also allows for adding a whitener. This is where a little creativity came into play. We didn’t want the floor to be too white, so the white pigment load ended up being about 50% of a full strength treatment for one coat. The pigment was portioned into multiple coats, so for each finish coat there’s a fraction of that 50%, which I think made for a more consistent application.
A Real Wood Floor with a Scandinavian Aesthetic
It’s a bit of an overwhelmingly impressive experience for me when I use a finish like InvisibleProtect. I’ve worked with floor finishes since the early nineties and so many times people would ask me: “Can you make the finish keep the natural color of the wood?”, or even “We want a more neutral color tone, is that possible?”. In the past we’d need to stain the floor with a white stain then find a compatible sealer that sort of kept the floor light. This was labor intensive and often ended up with mixed results. InvisibleProtect does such an amazing job at keeping the floor light, is very durable, and is a pleasure to work with.