So the end has finally come. Above is our empty living room and also a close up of the tone and opacity of wash we achieved with Porters Paints Wood Wash. I am absolutely thrilled! Click here and here and here and here to see the progress, or just search within my blog for floor sanding. If you are thinking about doing this yourself here are my top 5 tips for white washing your floors yourself.
Im sure you will be seeing more of these floors in up coming posts!
Make sure you have appropriate time allocated in your calendar to do this. It is no weekender job. Things always ‘pop up’, work, social etc which will extend your allocated time line. If you are doing your entire house pack things up as though you are moving house and prepare for ultimate discomfort. Pack a suitcase for your work clothes, so it is easy to get dressed and go to work like a normal person. I would also have a couple of frozen meals in the freezer too. No one will feel like cooking.
Good Sanding Preparation is vital; I hired a professional floor sander and edger, and I also used an orbital sander and a mouse to get into the tricky little corners. Also, don’t be tight on the sanding belts and pads, buy up big in grits of 60, 80 and 120′s, you can always return them if you don’t use them. Nothing worse than running out on a Saturday afternoon when you have hired a piece of machinery and the hardware store is closed….. (yes, that did happen to me)
Humidity plays a large part in the opacity of the wood wash. Obviously Queensland is very humid and I had to adjust my coats accordingly. If you think the paint is a little thick, then just add water, if you add too much water, add a bit more paint. I found I had to work fast with this product as my wood was very thirsty.
The application itself is more like french polishing, not so much as the instructions infer ‘wiping off excess’. I found I would wipe off excess, though at the same time be rubbing the product into the grain and blending the brush strokes out with muslin. Always use muslin and go plank by plank.
As I mentioned in one of my previous posts I was concerned about lines that had become apparent in my application. My application (two to three coats in places) also appeared a ‘little dust like’ sounds weird though that is the only way to describe it. All of these concerns disappeared as soon as the first coat of Porter’s Clearcote was applied. The Clearcote seems to settle the wood wash and enhance the visibility of the grain. We applied three coats of this.
Finally! It is ‘Moving Back In Day’!….. not that we actually ever moved out mind you (i think we should of)…. more along the lines of everything we own being packed up, shoved, stacked and quickly thrown in the excited anticipation of having white washed floors.
Between you and I, this has taken longer than expected. I think I should of prepared a bit more, packed a little neater, perhaps even made some meals in advance, as life here has been completely thrown into absolute chaos since I started the floors a whole month ago!
Apologies to friends for cancelling get togethers last minute, apologies to people at Timothy O’s work place who I’m sure have been puzzled by some of the outfit choices he has pulled together lately and apologies to our neighbours, who probably have no idea what we are doing as usual, though perhaps think we have gone all ‘hillbilly’ and prefer to have our furniture outside.
I am so close to finishing I can hardly believe it! Above is the living room, complete with my support team Esther and Rocco, the finches. I am three bedrooms down and only have the living room and hallway left. Just a few more days and life should be back to normal. No more shanty town living!
What do you think? I am super thrilled. Once textiles and furniture are added this will help soften the ‘starkness’ of the first bedroom.
This time yesterday I wasn’t particularly thrilled. I was suffering from what I call ‘Floor Fever’. This is what happens to people who agonise over each and every detail of the floor application and convince themselves that this was big mistake. Mixed with exhaustion = Floor Fever!
My advice would be to take a step back and get some perspective. As I was told by a friend yesterday you will never be on your hands and knees inspecting the floors like this ever again, so take a step back and see it for what it is in relationship to the whole room scape.
Application. I have been using a brush to apply the wood wash and muslin to wipe off the excess. This technique works great, however the time that is recommended to wait before you wipe the excess off was accelerated for me as it was a rather hot day in Brisbane yesterday. This happened both to the first coat and the second. Saying this I found that I had to water down my wash in the dispenser a touch as it became quite thick.
Mistakes: When I applied the first coat I followed the instruction religiously. What happened repeatedly was that the wash was drying really fast as I mentioned above, which I thought was ok at the time. I think that this may have contributed to my first coat’s ‘patchiness’ and some of the wood wash getting stuck in the grooves of the floorboards (enter Floor Fever). The first coat is really important to get right, this is mine here, which I was nervous about at the time, as it sets the tone for the later applications. I actually ended up giving my boards three coats to try and minimise the patchiness.
With all this new advice and technique under my wing, I start the next bedroom today!
After a weekend of sanding, edging, puttying, sanding and edging, I have some results for you!
We decided to go with Porter’s Paints Wood Wash in the standard colour (no tint), which I applied today with a brush and muslin. I decided to start in the bedroom, as my sensibility tells me that the bed will hide any of my application mistakes.
I’ll be doing the second coat tomorrow, which I hope will even out some of the lines of the application.
I think I’m happy so far, I have wanted these floors for years, and I think it’s a good way to share the journey on my blog, especially if you too are thinking about white washing your floors.
This is not for the faint hearted. Our entire house is upside down, cooking is a bit tricky, my muscles are aching in spots I have never felt before, there is dust everywhere (you just can’t help it) and life is basically cluttered and cramped. Saying this, I actually really wanted to give this a go myself and not hire a professional. Was I mad?
Floors are such an important element to any room. You don’t realise until you attempt to do something major to them. They form such a strong foundation in terms of creating texture and tonal colour that dictates the room.
Such a big week – seeing Sibella on Thursday and Travelling Wares will be at the Powerhouse Market this Saturday too!