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How do I go about painting my hardwood floor from the 50's?

My home/ cortage was built in 1956 I have hardwood floors in living room that are in bad shape I want to paint white or maybe white wash for a fresh cottage look.. how do I go about this? What paint do I use? Thanks for any help you can give me!

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Posted 2011-10-22T14:18:21+0000  by isabellascloset isabellascloset

First thing you'll want to do is sand the entire floor of the room you're going to do. You can rent a floor sander to accomplish this. Make sure you speak to the rental agent about the proper use of the sander and that you understand everything involved in its use before you start. The last thing you want to do is leave a running sander in one spot. You may also decide that you want to hire someone to just do the sanding for you. You're going to want to step through your grits, starting with a 60-80 grit. After sanding, clean up the mess. Then move onto a 120 grit, clean up the mess. Final sanding should be about 150-180 grit and again, clean up the mess.


Now that the labor intensive part is done, the hardest part is ahead. The most important thing to keep in mind is consistency. You'll want to mix your pickling stain consistently, you'll want to apply it consistently, you'll want to wipe it away consistently... At the risk of sounding redundant, be consistent in everything you're doing so you don't end up with a patchwork look.


To make your pickling stain, mix a primer and water together. Kilz 2 works great for this. Usually a 2:1 mixture works well, but you'll have to experiment in a closet since you probably don't have any scrap pieces of the flooring. Two parts primer to one part water. Example, a quart of primer to 2 cups of water (32oz primer : 16oz water). Make sure to measure your quantities so you can recreate the same look.


Now that you have your pickling stain ready, your going to brush it on thick. Make sure you work in a manageable area and keep that area consistent, so you'll know how much stain to apply each time. You want to be able to apply the stain and then wipe it off before it dries. Once you have the stain applied, you're going to wipe it down with a damp cloth. The harder you wipe, the more you take off. You can wipe most of it off, leave some, leave a lot. Your choice, just be consistent. Typically, you'll want to wipe with the grain. It helps soften any brush marks and works the stain into the wood's grain. You can always go back over the area if you decide you want it whiter.


Now let it dry. Give it at least 12 hours, if not a full day. With the stain being so thin, it should dry rather quickly, but there's no need to rush the whole process to save a few hours.


Next you're going to apply a very light coat of non-yellowing, floor polyurethane. This is typically considered a water-based product, as oil-based products will yellow without exposure to sunlight. This is also the time to decide if you want to accent the grain pattern of the wood with a darker stain. You will do this with a gel stain. The light coat of poly will allow you to manipulate the gel stain without it muddying up with the pickling stain.


You'll wipe the gel stain on and immediately wipe it off, both times in the direction of the grain. After you wipe it off, it should feel almost dry. You want just enough to highlight the grain pattern. Like the pickling stain, you can always go back over it to darken the color if you apply lightly to start with. You can also do more than one color, just wait about 6 hours between applications of gel stain. Gel stains are semi-transparent, so utilizing more than one color can create subtle nuisances. This is also a good one to try in the closet to figure out how much stain and which colors you want. If you find that you can't manipulate the gel stain enough or it's drying to quickly, add a small amount of Penetrol. The Penetrol will thin without diluting and will lengthen the drying time. Again, be consistent.


After you've applied the first coat of non-yellowing, floor poly and any gel stain (and its dry), you'll apply one to two more coats of the poly. Just follow the directions on the product of your choice regarding drying time and sanding between coats. In hallways, entry ways and other high traffic areas, you may want to apply even more coats of the poly.


Now sit back and enjoy your new look. Take some pictures and share your experience. I'm sure others will chime in with their process and techniques, but for the most part, the sequence of steps is the same.


Best Answer

Posted 2011-10-22T19:02:16+0000  by Paul

Paul, Thanks so very much for all your help! Can't wait to get started.. Mary:smileyhappy:

Posted 2011-11-02T11:47:29+0000  by isabellascloset
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