general house ideas
Go over to the dark side To get a dark finish that also shows off the grain of the timber, your first step is to stain your floorboards. This is not a straightforward process and requires patch testing various stains on sanded boards to see which one works to create your desired final colour (so find a discreet spot destined to be under a piece of furniture). You will also need to experiment with diluting your chosen stain to get the correct strength of colour and may even need to mix several tones together. The final stain must be allowed to dry completely overnight before finishing with at least three coats of clear varnish. Don’t be tempted to skip the staining and go straight in with a dark-toned varnish, or every scratch will reveal the original pale timber underneath.
1. Soap floorboards Scandi style For a subtle whitewashed, pale finish on pine or oak floors, take a tip from the Scandinavians and soap your boards. Typically, wood lye is used on sanded boards to lighten them and remove warm tones. After further sanding, a white-tinted wood soap is applied, which has an oily finish and acts as a protective sealant