Wood Floor Coloring with Solvents Part 3: WOCA Antique Lye on Domestic and Exotics

In this video, Joe applies WOCA Antique Lye pretreatment to several different wood species to show us the different effects you can achieve with the same product based on the species of the wood. Although WOCA mainly recommends using the product on white oak, we wanted to give it a test run on some other species.

Joe applies the Antique Lye solution to three different domestic species: hickory, American walnut, character grade American cherry, and select grade American cherry. He also applies the solvents to two different exotic species: tigerwood and Brazilian cherry.

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This was Joe’s first time sampling Antique Lye on hickory and American walnut!

Since this is a reactive product, it interacts with the tannins of the wood to produce the end result, which Joe demonstrates by using the same solvent on several different species. 

WOCA Antique Lye brings out the natural beauty of American cherry

When using Antique Lye on American cherry, you’ll achieve the results that you would otherwise achieve several years down the line with an oil-based polyurethane finish alone together with natural exposure to the sun.

WOCA Antique Lye on American Cherry

When he shows us the American cherry plank with WOCA Antique Lye applied to it, we can see that it looks like the wood has instantly aged over 50 years. It has already started to take on the appearance of older American cherry with a beautiful sunset-orange or reddish color.

Another benefit to using WOCA Antique Lye with American cherry in particular is that American cherry is usually very blotchy when stained with a traditional stain. Using Antique Lye, however, you can achieve a very even color in the wood.

You can essentially use the Antique Lye solvent to “speed up” the aging process which naturally occurs in American cherry when photosensitive resins in the wood react to UV rays in the sunlight.

Using WOCA Antique Lye on other wood species

When Joe applies the solvent to the American walnut plank, you can see that almost immediately the wood has a reaction which produces a beautiful antique golden color.

Applying WOCA Antique Lye to an exotic wood species

Joe’s first test on the hickory plank reveals that there is not enough sapwood in that specific plank to form a reaction with the solvent, so he finds a different plank with more sapwood and tests it out on there, which shows an almost immediate reaction.

The tigerwood and Brazilian cherry also show drastic effects almost immediately, helping Joe achieve a beautiful, even color in each of these planks.

The benefits of WOCA Antique Lye

There are a number of unique benefits to using WOCA Antique Lye on hardwood floors.

#1: It’s reactive, so the end effect depends on the extractives and tannins present in the wood.

#2: It’s a flexible product and you can adjust the effect as needed. If, for example, you notice that the color change is too intense when you are sampling the stain, you can dilute the solution with water to achieve a more muted effect.

#3: Finish it with an oil product for practically unlimited effects, particularly a WOCA oil finish.

In part 4 of the wood floor coloring series, Joe will apply hydrogen peroxide and sodium hydroxide. Stay tuned!

Click here to read and watch part 1 of our wood floor coloring series: Iron Acetate and Rubio Fumed 

Click here to read and watch part 2 of our wood floor coloring series: Rubio Smoke 


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