Staining and Polishing and Treatment for Floors in a Bad Condition
Most houses have timber floors, the flooring ranging from hard-woods, such as oak, teak, or birch, to the more commonly used and less costly white pine which is softwood.
No matter whether the floor is laid in hardwood or softwood it can be improved in appearance and will last longer if properly taken care of and correctly treated. Carpets being an expensive item nowadays it is seldom that a room has a carpet from wall-to-wall the usual method being to stain and varnish or wax polish the whole floor and lay down rugs, or have a wood surround ; Stained and varnished or polished, with a square of carpet in the centre.
Before commencing to treat any floor it is always better to give it a good rub down with sandpaper, and another important point to remember is that if a water stain is preferred to a spirit stain the floor should be given a coat of size as this helps to fill the grain of the wood and prevents the stain being absorbed to much.
To stain and treat a floor or surround of white pine where the flooring is in good condition with no open joints or worn patches in the floor-boards. The floor should be washed and scrubbed and be allowed to dry out.
Then before applying the stain go over the floor with a dry duster to remove all dust. One coat of spirit stain - not a mixture of stain and varnish to the colour desired is then applied with a soft brush and after this coat is thoroughly dry a second coat of stain is brushed over the flooring and allowed to dry.
The floor is next given two coats of clear hard copal varnish and left until the varnish is thoroughly hard and dry. as an alternative to the stain, which is usually some shade of brown, the surround could be given two coats of paint in a colour to suit the decorative treatment of the room and finish off with two coats of hard drying varnish.
Floor in Bad Condition
Where it is desired to treat a floor which is not in good condition it will be necessary to fill up all open joints and cracks, fix down any loose boards and punch in any protruding nail heads.
Should the joints between the floorboards be fairly wide, wedge-shaped laths, glued on both sides, should be driven into the joints and planed down to the level of the adjoining boards.
A surform tool is ideal for planing wood floors. If, however, the joints are only slightly open, putty or wood filler can be used to fill the openings.
The treatment of a floor or surround of oak, teak, parquet or other hardwood is simple. Remove all dust and give two coats of raw linseed oil, allowing the first coat to dry thoroughly before applying the second coat. After the second coat is dry the floor is ready for polishing. A suitable polish is a mixture of beeswax and white spirit well rubbed into the wood with a soft rag and polished with a circular motion until a good gloss is obtained.
The wax polish is prepared by shredding a sufficient quantity of beeswax into a earthenware jar and covering the wax with white spirit, the jar being placed in a warm place and the mixture stirred until the wax is the consistency of a thick cream.
If making up this mixture is too much trouble, ready-made wax polish can be obtained from any good hardware or painters establishment. To keep a floor treat in this way in good condition, it should be given a rub over occasionally with the wax polish and gone over daily with a mop or floor polisher. A nice surround to a white pine floor can be obtained by the use of plywood, oak or birch faced. The plywood can be glued or panel-pinned to the existing flooring and wax polished.