Monday, October 24, 2011

More Progress: The Floors

The floors are done! Here's a close up of just how bad they were.

That yellowish stuff that has worn away is shellac. Yes, the floors were finished with shellac. It stopped being used in the 20s and 30s, so there is a chance that these floors have never been refinished, although there are definite signs of patching throughout the years. In some places new yellow pine was used. In others, bondo was used to fill holes. Bondo. Yes, the stuff that used to be used to fill dents on automobiles. Unfortunately, bondo doesn't take stain very well.

Yellow pine patch. The fridge will go here so it won't be seen.

Bondo patch. I'm sure a nice area rug would look perfect here--tie the room together.

When I bought the house, the back addition was stained a dark brown color that was at odds with the caramel-molasses color of the antique red pine. I asked the restorers to try to match the color. The wood was yellow pine so it couldn't be matched exactly, but it's a LOT closer. Here is the transition from the old to the new part of the house.

Transition from the antique red pine (original house) to yellow pine (addition)
Here's a photo from the listing. It's kind of hard to see, but you can kind of make out how dark the stain was. The floors were scratched all to hell. A neighbor says the wood was antique and reclaimed from an old church and re-milled. He says the previous owner paid a ton for it. It may be true, but if so it was antique yellow pine, not red like the rest of the floors. You'd think that if she-of-questionable-taste was going to shell out money for antique pine, she would have gotten something that matched. Oh well.
Here are the rest of the before and after photos.

Living room before.
Living room after.
Living into dining before.
Living into dining after.
Bedroom 1 before.
Bedroom 1 after sanding.
Bedroom 1 after.
Master after sanding. This is the yellow pine that was stained really dark.
Master after.
You can still see nail holes and places where filler was added between the cracks. The kitchen was in pretty bad shape and the wood had turned almost blackish. The floors there look a little darker than the rest of the house. But overall, in the words of A of (Is it a house yet?), I Ann and Nancy Wilson them. The imperfections give them character. I am a big fan of character.   


  1. These floors look great! we just bought a house with yellow pine floors that need to be refinished. can you tell me the process that was used to restore them we are getting conflicting methods from professionals.
    thank you!

    1. Thanks! I actually hired someone to do the floors, so I'm not exactly sure. As far as I know they were sanded, then a wood filler of some kind was spread all over the floor into the cracks and holes. I imagine it was resanded at that point. Then a clear polyurethane topcoat (probably several coats) was applied to the red pine. Some red color was added to the polyurethane topcoat that went over the yellow pine to try to match the color of the red pine.
      The company I hired was They weren't the cheapest, but they did an excellent job and they did it on time. Joe and Stephanie, the owners, are super nice! They gave me a lot of different options as far as repair (new boards, different kinds of fillers, etc.) so that I could try to stay on budget. I bet they would answer any questions you have. Good luck!