Met with two “expert” floor people not involved with this project for second opinions today and I think I came up with a winner.
So, as it turns out, my brilliant idea of hand painting the feature strips on my floor will invalidate any warranty the floor company could give me because the durability and adherence of the finishing products would be a complete unknown.
Dam! Didn’t think of that. 🙁
Oh, well. Second best: I instructed the Project Manager to buy me every commercial stain available to have a go at mixing the correct value because, after all, I know colour and pigments better than anyone I know.
This is what I did:
Got fresh flowers and put them on my workbench in the garage. (Girl’s got to have standards)
Lined up all 13 commercially available stains plus several prepared floorboards, plastic cups, plastic spoons, cloths, paper towels, gloves…pen…water…mineral spirits…sure I’m forgetting to list something.
Did myself a guide of all the pure stains and studied them all for a long time, then started out slowly mixing 1-1 of a couple, then added 1-1-1, then went 2-1-1 etc in different cups, using dedicated spoons so as not to contaminate the pigments.
Kept working, kept mixing and keeping notes of everything right on the edges of the floorboards themselves, kept checking the values against an old piece of floor till I exhausted almost every possibility.
Right away it became apparent that the three red pigments were completely out of the question, as were two black and dark brown pigments. But then I came up with a wining formula involving 2X Jacobean brown to 1x golden oak and a smidgen of nutmeg. And I learned something. The wood will only take so much pigment and no more. It doesn’t matter if it’s 3x or 4x Jacobean brown to golden oak, the wood will only accept so much and no more. Interesting. And then I gave everything a quick coat of varnish just to see.
So as soon as I figured out the formula I wanted, I called the Project Manager who said “hallelujah”, (and probably a lot more under his breath which he was very careful not to let me hear), and then I just had to stain and varnish cedar, oak and absolutely everything stainable and varnishable in the garage and gave myself a welting headache from the fumes.
But it was so worth it. 🙂