Restoring Old Floorboards – Part II

Right, so the floor is sanded and the gaps are filled (if not, you need to read part one). Now it’s time to sand any rough bits around the edges and where you added filler, until they match the rest of the floor, which should be as smooth as a baby’s bottom.

Then it’s time to sweep, vacuum and wipe the floor until it’s as clean as can be. This is really important, or you might end up with dirt and fluff permanently adhered to your new floor. We also taped over anywhere we didn’t want stain- the hearth and radiator pipes in this case.

Once it’s sparkling, it’s time to break out the stain! We used Fiddes Hard Wax Oil in ‘Antique’ after a lot of research and on the advice of a trusted friend, but I’ve also heard that Osmo Polyx Oil is very good and I nearly went for this after seeing how great the floor looked in this post on Simply the Nest (beautiful blog about the restoration of a Victorian house in Manchester).

Make sure to wear old clothes and rubber gloves as it’s called ‘stain’ for a reason! Oh and open the window as it’s potent stuff (don’t do what we did though and leave the radio blaring on the windowsill, cos you won’t be able to switch it off once the floor’s wet…)

We applied our oil using a paint pad with an extension pole to save our backs and give an even finish. Start in the opposite corner of the room to the door and apply very thinly, being sure to go over any areas where excess builds up.

Once the floor is covered, leave to dry completely (we left ours overnight), before buffing to a light sheen with a dry cloth.

If there’s any chance the floor might have gotten any debris on it since the first coat, be sure to clean again. Then it’s time for the second and final coat, which is applied in the same way as the first. Once dry, buff again and then stand back and admire your handiwork, then compare before and after with a nod of smug satisfaction:

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