Refinishing Wide Pine Floors

   / Refinishing Wide Pine Floors #1  

Ductape

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I'm in the process of refinishing the pine floors in our 130+ yr old house, and i need some help.

There are some good gaps between some of the planks. There is some type of filler between the planks...... which appears to be plaster. The same plaster in the walls, which, on the walls is mixed with horsehair. There are alot of areas where the plaster (or whatever it is) has chipped and fallenout of the cracks. Last year i did a small room with hand sanders, working on my hands and knees. No more of that ! Now i'm about to do the diningroom, and have purchased a used orbital floor sander from a rental place. I need to match the plaster that is in the floor before i urethane it. In the room i did last year, i used plain ole joint compound. It doesn't look bad, as there were only a few spots that needed to be filled. However... there is much more to fill in the diningroom, and i think the joint compound trick will look too "white" for that much patching.

I'm hoping someone here has gone through this..... or maybe has been a professional floor refinisher ! I'm thinking about trying wood putty. I know that could be stained with a tiny brush to darken it up a bit if needed. I'm using a clear urethane, and not staining the floors at all, so they will have a natural golden brown color.

Can anyone offer me good advice ?
 
   / Refinishing Wide Pine Floors #2  
MarkV is a pro floorsman - check out these couple threads on cbn where he helped me out big time.

prefinished flooring 101 & plan B

For the filler, how about actual plaster of paris vs. joint compound? There is some kind of quickset stuff you can use too, dries real hard, I forget the name.
 
   / Refinishing Wide Pine Floors
  • Thread Starter
#3  
Oh..... i almost forgot. I meant to post a couple pictures of the floor, if it'll help .
 

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   / Refinishing Wide Pine Floors #4  
my farm house was built in 1740 - it has WIDE flooring (smallest board is 22").. commonly referred to as pumpkin pine. the flooring project was the first phase in restoration (this is my 3rd flooring job, but the first with pine - all others were either maple or oak).

i used the large belt sanders in combination with the small orbital for corners. in my situation, the floors were NEVER sanded, but they had been painted. most (but not all) of the cracks were filled with plaster. during my restoration i used the plaster (i found it matched the existing sections perfectly once i applied urethane). i found it easy to blend up my plaster.. making it a thicker consistency than you would use for walls. once i had it a thick consistency, i used a rolling pin (and my hands) to create 2+ feet tubular sections that i wedged into the cracks. use a putty knife and moist sponge to get the desired, final look.

if you're trying to match existing 'chinking', or create the look of what you had before, i suggest using plaster. i don't know how joint compound will shrink/expand once you apply the urethane. and putty will be expensive..

the mere thought of your project invokes serious back pain..

good luck..
pf
 
   / Refinishing Wide Pine Floors
  • Thread Starter
#5  
Hmmmm....... Pseudo, i see you are close enough to take a spin by and help me ! Ha !!

I think you have hit the nail on the head with my problem. I am looking to have it match the plaster that is there already. My floors have never been sanded either. We are terribly lucky that our house was unbelievably "untouched" when we bought it..... to where it still had the original "two holer" in the corner of the barn. Imagine how close husbands and wives must have been back then ! Some of the floors have been painted, and some were covered with a linoleum type of flooring that is (thankfully) not glued down, but lays over what looks to be some type of a tarpaper (???). I will end up doing all the floors over time, which is why i decided to buy a floor sander instead of renting one each time i do a room (i can always sell it when i'm done). The plaster mix you used...... is it something i will find at the Depot? Or some sort of specialty store? Would i be correct to assume it comes in a bag, and i add water to it?
 
   / Refinishing Wide Pine Floors #6  
Ductape said:
Hmmmm....... Pseudo, i see you are close enough to take a spin by and help me ! Ha !!

The plaster mix you used...... is it something i will find at the Depot? Or some sort of specialty store? Would i be correct to assume it comes in a bag, and i add water to it?

if i wasn't busy with my 2nd cutting, i'd be more than willing to pull up a chair and offer free advice (boy, do i remember the pain of doing 1800 sq ft in 3 days!)..

i used standard plaster mix (in a bag) from home depot (may have purchased @ the local hardware store). just added water - less water than you would normally use on the walls. you'll have to practice to get the appropriate consistency.. you want it to be thick enough to roll it into small sections.

if memory serves correctly, i mixed small batches at first because it seemed harden quickly. take a small bucket, add 2 cups of plaster, and a little bit of water @ at time (read that: probably less than 1/8 cup). once you have it mixed up (you want it to resemble dough), use your hands. take a handfull and roll it between your hands until it's shaped like a pencil. then use your fingers to press it into the cracks. use a putty knife and sponge to make it flush with your floor.

it will go fast (much easier than the sanding work!).. enjoy it, it's probably the best part of your project.

good luck!
pf
 
   / Refinishing Wide Pine Floors #7  
I think There was a product for floors called Durhams water putty, or something similar. If I remember correctly it was off-white and I think it was real hard when dry.
 
   / Refinishing Wide Pine Floors #8  
You say the original plaster has horse hair in it. Can you see this horse hair in the surface of the plaster? In the chinking that is? I know horse hair has been used for a lot of things through the years but I haven't heard of this application.

Mike
 
   / Refinishing Wide Pine Floors #9  
Horsehair in plaster was pretty common. Also used when cementing over really old brick chimneys. I even remember my father having some and using it for patching.
 
   / Refinishing Wide Pine Floors #10  
Ductape said:
I'm in the process of refinishing the pine floors in our 130+ yr old house, and i need some help.

There are some good gaps between some of the planks. There is some type of filler between the planks...... which appears to be plaster. The same plaster in the walls, which, on the walls is mixed with horsehair. There are alot of areas where the plaster (or whatever it is) has chipped and fallenout of the cracks. Last year i did a small room with hand sanders, working on my hands and knees. No more of that ! Now i'm about to do the diningroom, and have purchased a used orbital floor sander from a rental place. I need to match the plaster that is in the floor before i urethane it. In the room i did last year, i used plain ole joint compound. It doesn't look bad, as there were only a few spots that needed to be filled. However... there is much more to fill in the diningroom, and i think the joint compound trick will look too "white" for that much patching.

I'm hoping someone here has gone through this..... or maybe has been a professional floor refinisher ! I'm thinking about trying wood putty. I know that could be stained with a tiny brush to darken it up a bit if needed. I'm using a clear urethane, and not staining the floors at all, so they will have a natural golden brown color.

Can anyone offer me good advice ?

Mornin Ductape,
I think you got some good advice from the guys ! I did some of my maple floors last winter with the orbital sander also. All I wanted to add was that with the pine floors you might not want to start with too coarse of a paper because it may scratch the pine badly and be tough to get out. Just a thought. On the joints I cant offer much help other than I would think you could tint that compound to your liking!
 
 
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