How to Add an Antique Finish to Hardwood Floors

Adding an antique finish to a hardwood floor can really add character and interest to a room. If you are planning on refinishing your hardwood floor, an interesting and modern choice can be an antiqued finish. To begin with you will need to strip your existing hardwood floors of their finish and prep them to accept a new finish. While this article is not about removing the finish off your existing floors the process can be summed up in a few simple steps. First you will need to prep your floor by removing any staples or lose nails. Bang down any nails which are sticking up. Rent an orbital sander, and sanding with varying degrees of sandpaper grit you will begin to remove the old finish. Always sand with the grain to try to keep scratches to a minim. When you have finished sanding, than you will want to clean the floor of all dust and dirt. At that stage you are now ready to begin to apply your new antique finish.

Before you begin to apply the finish you will want to keep in mind that you are trying to create a look where you can kind of see the remains of an older finish on the floor, yet the floor overall shows signs of wear and in some spots the old finish has been worn off. How you will create this look is detailed below.
Since this is a skill that gets better with practice – I recommend that you set up some scrap hard wood flooring to practice your technique on before actually doing this to your permanent floor.

Begin by painting the floor with a white pickling stain. You can purchase pickling stain at any good paint store or home improvement store such as Lowes or Home Depot.

After the stain has dried you will want to get a block of wood, wrap some sandpaper around the block (about 200 grit) and then begin to selectively sand away the stain in areas where wear would normally occur. If you sand too much away – you can always go back and apply more pickling stain again.

After you have finished sanding and are satisfied with the result you will then need to paint the whole floor over with a wood finishing stain. The color you pick is up to you but a light to mid brown seems to work out well. As you stain the floor you will want to wipe the stain with a rag to remove some and to create a natural muddled look. Uniformity in this step is a bad thing. You want it to appear naturally varied.

After the stain has had a chance to dry, you will want to go over the floor and finish it with two coats of polyurethane finishing stain. Remember when applying the polyurethane finish that several lighter coats are better than one thick coat. When all of your coats of polyurethane have finished drying you will want to protect the floor from heavy traffic for about a month to allow the polyurethane to harden and set up for everyday wear.

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