Correcting a Pink Tone on a White-Washed Oak Floor

      Pros advise on a tricky staining problem. March 26, 2007

I do woodworking as a part-time job and am fairly new to the industry. I installed a rift/quartered white oak floor for a client. She wanted a lighter, white-washed Scandinavian looking finish. I applied a white stain (1 part white to 3 parts clear) and one coat of oil-based finish and the whole floor came out with a definite pink tinge. Do I have to resand and start over (if so, any recommendations to achieve the look she wants?) or can I use a green toner over the current stain and then finish with water-based finish? The kitchen cabinets are walnut and she wants to stay away from any bright yellow or pink/red tones in the floor.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor D:
Don't do anything on the job itself until you work the color and finish system first on sample wood. Obviously, for future reference, this is the way to avoid your problem in the first place.

I'd say the pink hue is coming primarily from the oak, if it were red oak, but if in fact it is white oak as you say, then maybe the stain is a pinkish white. It is probably worth a try to recreate the pink-white on a sample and see what you can do with a light scuff and glaze over with another color and then topcoat.

At the same time, work with some new bare wood samples from scratch and see what results you can make if it turns out you need to start over.

I don't know what materials you have on hand to work with, and it's pretty hard to recommend anything specific anyway, so I might suggest you take your samples and find a paint retailer who services commercial clientele and see if they can help you work this out. Leave the main job alone till you have assured satisfaction with a sample. Don't risk digging the hole deeper.

From contributor B:
It could be that the floor is picking up the colors reflected off the cabinets and other possible wall colors and type of lighting. A sample should always be made and then inspected for appearance in the circumstance of installation.

From contributor C:
I'm not sure you even have white oak at all. White oak is a very uniform tannish brown with no pink at all. I think you have a lighter variety of red oak. A light brown pigment stain with a white wash after drying and sealer will get you close to where you want to be.

From contributor M:
I have had post oak (that is sold as white oak) with a pink or red tint seen as it was sawed. Could be mineral stain from growing site.

From contributor A:
Standard practice for a white wash oak floor, fairly common back in the 80's, is to first bleach with a two part wood bleach. Next, apply white aniline dye in a water or alcohol base, steel wool, then topcoat. Seeing as you've already put on the topcoat, I don't know... Could be that all you need to do is sand through the topcoat and use several applications of bleach. Caution: pretty easy to mess up here.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Finishing

  • KnowledgeBase: Finishing: General Wood Finishing

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2016 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article