Wednesday, March 2, 2011

DIY polished floorboards - part 1.

After Mr CH finally replaced the hardwood patch-up boards with pine planks cut to size (replacing tongue and groove floorboards in one piece is almost impossible),I then had to stain them to blend the new with the old.

Quite often in these old homes the floorcoverings ( lino or carpet mats) were reserved for the "public" rooms such as the hall and sitting/living/dining rooms and the floors in the bedrooms were left bare. After years of grime were sanded off, the floorboards still had an aged look.The aim is to make the new look aged 100+ years.
So armed with our handy collection of wood-stains I started blending stains in shades of "golden oak,antique walnut,jarrah and a bit of baltic"to achieve a close match. I like to wet the boards either side with water while I'm staining to see the colour of the boards I'm trying to match to.

Add a few dozen distress marks with a chisel,hammer,screwdriver and nail-punch, rubbing a little "antique walnut" as you go.
Nearly there, I think.

The floor-polish we like to use is a tung oil based estapol applied with a lamb's wool mop. We prefer a satin look for our old floors.
This stuff is so easy to use, you just mop it on, going along the length of the boards. The advantage of this varnish is that you can re-coat years down the track without having to sand the floor back.

Only included to show girls can do it too!
I know, so glamorous!

1st coat done and I used 2 litres of a 4lt can of estapol for the first coat only because the floor was a bit on the dry side. Each coat after uses less estapol as it soaks in less.

1st coat will look dry because it seals the floor for the following coats.
Large gaps and holes were filled with "colour flex"by parfix which is an acrylic gap filler and sealant. We used black.

I chose to hand sand the whole floor for a few reasons, one being I wanted to leave some marks on the floor as we both like things a little "rustic". Marks made from moving old iron beds around are part of the history of this old house.
I also chose to leave the nail holes unfilled. Mr CH had to help with nail punching as I'm not very good at gritting my teeth and hoping I won't hammer my fingers. The"double" holes are mine!

The bedroom floor after sanding the first coat and applying a second.

The only drama- I knocked over a tin of stain right in the doorway and it soaked into some borer holes and wouldn't sand out completely. Oh well I can live with that.
It's - rustic!

So far so good (for me). Next step coat 3, see what that looks like and fitting skirting boards. Until then take care.



  1. That looks amazing. You've done such a great job. I love oiled floor boards. If our floors weren't already polished high gloss, this is how I would've like them. And you can't even tell the different floor board from the photos. Just fabulous! xx

  2. Really? I'm over camping out,bed making has been non-existent to say the least!

  3. Hiya, your floorboards are looking lovely! I particularity love the little marks that you left on the floor, it makes it feel old and well loved. Enjoy your Sunday afternoon, Tam x

  4. I'm so happy I found your blog! Love the floor I paid good money for recycled timber floors, and had to tell the guys that laid it to pick out the boards with the most character and lay them in prominent spots. They started to fill in the holes and I freaked! They think I'm nuts.

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