Whitewashed Pine Floor Renovation

About 15 years ago we extended our 1912 farmhouse, adding two bedrooms to accommodate our four kids. Back then, we used a lot of old-growth 2” x 6” pine lumber we cut off our own land, both for the framing (i.e. this house will never fall down) and for flooring in the bedrooms. The floors are 2” x 6” boards, and were installed by our carpenters. The plan was to let them “cure” and then put some finish on them in a few months…

Fast forward, as I said, 15 years or so and the floors still hadn’t been sanded or the cracks filled. An archeologist could tell all kinds of things about my children’s activities based on the detritus that’s fallen into the cracks, despite my efforts to vacuum them out periodically.

And, since we always thought we were going to “do the floors” next, the girls were careless about dripping paint the two times we have repainted the room.

But, as we always say, we were raising kids, not worrying about having House Beautiful floors.

Now that the nest is empty, the large room that for years was the haven of our three girls was up for grabs! We have always needed a dedicated music room. Well, they have wanted one. So we got rid of a ton of excess stuff and cleared it out and whitewashed the floors! Next will be repainting the trim, and then the walls- as soon as Babygirl gets over her “black is my aesthetic” stage.

We rented a belt sander to take the top layer of wood off. After cleaning up, and touching up corners with a palm sander, we used a 1:3 mix of white paint and water and rolled it on. Then we hand wiped it off to expose some more grain.

Floors sanded, beginning whitewash.

We were happy with the look, but it really needed a finish I could at least damp mop- we have two four-footed kids dragging in the outside now-a-days- and I didn’t want polyurethane. I was after some water proofing, without a ton of shine, like I did on my wood counters in the kitchen.

Before and after whitewash.

But that much cutting board conditioner was a LOT! Instead I got some good old fashioned paste wax that is really subtle, but adds just the finish I was after. Of course, it took a week for my knees to recover- yes, all the wiping and buffing was done by hand!

It’s been worth it to have a nice room to play music in and store the sinful number of guitars and other stringed instruments. Since we kept the furnishings to a minimum, the acoustics are great, according to the musicians.

It’s really gonna be great when I can paint the walls a nice light gray!

Wink, wink!

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