I have been asked a lot recently how we restored our floorboards, so I thought I would put together this blog post to give some information on what we did and show some photos of the steps we took to restore them. Everyone’s floorboards are different so the process may vary slightly from case to case.
The first step was to prep the floor. We had to make sure every carpet nail was out of the floor, that every original floorboard nail was nail punched below the surface of the board and that all of the boards were securely in place. Harbor loved helping his Daddy with this step. It is so important to check and check again that all nails are removed or in place as this will tear the sanding sheets, ultimately costing you more. We were very fortunate that our boards were not thick with varish so for us we used a 40 grit paper to start (be careful as this is very aggressive) and 80 grit to finish. The machine took a bit of getting used to but you will soon pick up the best way of doing your boards. we went along the boards to start and then diagonally across the room to cover any bits we may have missed. We hired the machine from HSS hire and it came in at £65 for the whole weekend.
Once the whole room was complete we had a very thorough hoover and mop of the whole room to ensure that there was no dust anywhere that could get into the varnish.
On a side note we had painted and decorated the whole room including spending hours restoring the original skirting boards and glossing them to near perfection. This was totally ruined by the sanding so my advice would be to do the floors first and then decorate afterwards, being careful not to get paint on the floor. There was dust all over the freshly painted walls and I still find the odd dust patch now! Renovation really is trial and error and you ALWAYS learn the hard way!
Next was the varnish. We toyed with going for a darker varnish but knowing that clear still altered the colour slightly we decided that we didn’t want to take the gamble and end up hating it and needing to start the whole process again. You cant go wrong with a natural wood colour right? We chose Ronseal Diamond Hard varnish in Satin clear. We didn’t want the floor to have a glossy lacquered look so opted for a Satin finish. The varnish was easy to do and so rewarding! It totally transforms the room. It was so easy to do… so easy that I varnished the whole floor myself and naturally (to the utmost frustration of my husband) took full credit for the entire floor restoration afterwards!
We are really pleased with how it turned out and will be doing this across as many rooms as we can in the house. I am a total sucker for original features and even my carpet loving husband admits it was well worth restoring these beauties. ALSO DID YOU KNOW: Natural wood floorboards are hypoallergenic! they don’t harbour any parasites or odours, they are easy to clean and maintain and they stay cool in summer and warm in winter! If money is no object there are companies who provide the service for you but this is considerably more expensive than doing it yourself. There were most definitely times in this process we felt out of our depth and there were certainly moments my husband considered divorcing me for offering up too many pieces of (what I would consider) sound advice! But on the whole we LOVE IT and are looking forward to doing more soon.
As always please feel free to comment or email with any questions or advice.