Antique Wood Floors: Adding Finish Brings Warmth

The craftsmanship and beauty of old homes can not be argued. The work that was put into everything from the fireplace mantels to the hardwood floors echoes warmth and love. While newer homes seem to be manufactured in droves and lack that special unique quality of former eras there are ways to accomplish an old-world look in a newer home. Creating an antique look on the hardwood floors can be one of the most dramatic changes to a home, but it is a large project and can be quiet the undertaking, but it can be done.

In order to get antique wood floors in your home the first thing you need to do is sand down the existing floors. Remove all the furniture from the area you are going to be working on and run out and rent a sander. Home depot and Lowes will have them for rent and it is so worth it. Sand down the existing wood to remove the wax and finish that is currently on it. This is a necessary step as you can not add a new finish to a preexisting one, it just will not stick. Once everything has been sanded it’s time for clean up. Suck up the majority of the dust with a vacuum and then go over the area with a mop to make sure you’ve got everything cleaned up. You don’t want saw dust stuck into your new wood finish.

Now that you’ve roughed everything up with sanding you have two ways to go. You can use an antique glaze or varnish on the newly sanded floors to create the beauty of old wood, or you can use paint to create a more down home and shabby antique look.

To go with a varnish or glaze hit the home improvement store and check out the finishes are available. A darker color works better for antique hardwood floors in my opinion but you can go with whatever you like. Lay down the finish in an even coat. You can go back over it again if you feel you want a darker look once it has dried but for now stay with a light even coat. Once you’ve achieved the color you want go back over it with sandpaper in a few spots. If you have kids who happen to have baseball or soccer cleats let them run over it a few times to create divots and dings into the floor, a bike chain will work as well. You can finish it with polyurethane finish to create a nice protective shine.

If you think you like a shabby antique look go out and buy two paint colors. Lay down a base color, perhaps a brown or beige. Let the base color dry completely than put the second color on the floor. Antique whites or off white work well for this look but you can do any color you think is antique. Personally I’d stay away from anything to bright or flashy.

Once you have both colors on the floor let them dry. Once it has dried go over and scuff up certain areas with a light sanding so that the base color shows through in certain spots. Again you can use those kids and let them scuff up the area with a bike chain or cleats. Be safe and make sure the kids are supervised and wearing protective goggles or gear.

You can finish this look the same way as the above, put down a polyurethane finish coat and call it a day. What you will be left with in both methods is a floor that looks worn and aged that brings back the warmth of antique hardwood floors.

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