Custom Colors & Burnished Finishes

Custom Colors:  

When working with customers to determine the hardwood species which will work best for them, we follow the belief that you should be looking at woods that produce the color you are trying to achieve in your home naturally. This means, if you want to have a floor with the color produced in Brazilian Cherry, don’t install Red Oak and change it to a Brazilian Cherry color. We try to help our customers choose wood that will produce colors naturally, as well as fit within their budget.

However, sometimes it is necessary and desirable to change the color of hardwood:

  1. You are forced to work with existing colors within the house that cannot be changed. (i.e.: cabinets, granite tops, etc…)
  2. The color you want is not produced within hardwood naturally.
  3. You already have hardwood in your home that you don’t intend to tear-out and replace. However, you are installing all new kitchen cabinets and want a change!
  4. You want to try something fun…like change the living room floor to a darker tone or bring out the wine tones in your furniture. 

At Barnum Floors, we will create a custom color specific to your project.  This will be done by:

  • Dyes/Acid-etching:  This process is often used with our hand-crafted floors.   When a floor is acid-etched, we use actual straight dye suspended in water to produce pigment colors. When this dye is applied to the hardwood, it causes the wood to come to life. The result is color which looks like it is coming from within the wood grain rather than being applied to the top.
  • Stains:  Staining is more frequently used on existing hardwood floors and on our custom on-site finished projects.  Staining hardwood is a separate step in the finishing process and is done by hand-wiping the color onto the wood.  Depending on the depth of color desired by the customer, we often “pop” the hardwood grains open with water & denatured alcohol to allow more color to penetrate the wood.

Burnished Finishes: 

Burnishing wood is a polishing process that heats the surface of the wood. When the wood is heated, it loses water within the pores of the grain causing them to begin to close. The high alkyd solid oil is then forced into the layers of the wood with a buffer rather than being applied to the top of the wood. This method of finishing hardwood replicates processes used years ago when coating floors, only with the technology of modern finishes. This also allows wider width hardwood to continue to “breathe” through the burnished oil as opposed to being sealed under polyurethane. 

There are several benefits to burnished finishes:
  1. Wood looks natural with virtually no sheen.
  2. Hardwood can be burnished in high traffic areas as needed without moving out furniture to coat the whole floor.
  3. No “coat” of polyurethane to worry about surface scratches.  Extremely easy to make repairs or buff up traffic areas.
  4. Great for active families and homes with large, rambunctious pets.
  5. Can be used with hand-crafted woods, hardwood floors sanded on-site & refinishing projects.