How to Refinish Heart Pine Floors

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Heart pine is beautiful wood that is also known as Antique heart pine. If you have heart pine in your house, be aware that that wood came from 300-year-old trees. Houses in the late 1800’s and 1900’s used lumber from the long leaf pine trees. Generally, the best way to attain this lumber is by tearing down an old building. You may also be able to find boards online. When refinishing heart pine wood floors do so with extreme care. They are virtually irreplaceable.

Things You'll Need

  • Floor sander
  • #80, 220-grit sandpaper
  • Shop vac
  • Tack cloth
  • Pre-stain wood conditioner
  • Cotton rags
  • Stain
  • Polyurethane
  • Check for damaged areas on your floor. Some repairs you can accomplish without having to find replacement boards. If there are holes in your floor, use a dowel to plug them. Find one that is the same size as the hole and put it in. Cut the dowel off so it is level with the floor. If you need to replace entire boards, you may find some on the Internet or at architectural salvage yards.

  • Remove the damaged boards by prying them up gently. If you can remove them in one piece, this will give you a pattern for cutting the replacement boards. Nail the new boards into place.

  • Hammer in any nail heads you find sticking out of the wood. Fix any squeaky areas by nailing or screwing the floorboard into the joist below.

  • Sand the floor using a floor sander. Start by using a course grit sandpaper, such as #80-grit. Always keep the sander moving so you do not gouge the wood.

  • Vacuum the floor thoroughly with a floor vac. Do not forget to remove the dust that has settled in the cracks between the boards. Sand the floor again, using fine-grit sandpaper such as #220. Vacuum the floor and then wipe the floor down with a piece of tack cloth.

  • Apply a clear pre-stain wood conditioner with a brush or clean rags. This will keep the stain from becoming blotchy in appearance or streaked. Leave this to dry for 15 minutes. Wipe away any excess with clean dry rags. Now the floor is ready for staining.

  • Stain the wood with a specialty stain made for antique floors. Working in sections, brush on the stain, leaving it to penetrate the wood for up to 15 minutes. Check the wood periodically. The longer you leave the stain on, the darker the wood will become. Wipe the wood with clean dry rags.You can put on two applications of stain if you want a dark finish.

  • Seal the floor by brushing on a thin coat of a polyurethane. Allow this to dry for two hours and then sand over the top using #220- grit sandpaper. Vacuum the dust and then use a tack cloth to remove what the vacuum missed.

  • Brush a second layer of topcoat on the floor.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you cannot find replacements board for the heart pine, you can use new pine boards. Intersperse them with the old heart pine boards.
  • If you buy on the Internet, read all the information about the condition of the boards and ask questions. The wood you purchase may have defects, stains, nail or worm holes. You may be able to use the wood in the closets, and then replace those with newer wood.
  • When applying stain, always brush in the direction of the wood grain.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images
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