Let’s go back to the before before shots of the kitchen as it was when I first viewed the place..
The floors in the kitchen were not original to the rest of the house, they are the narrow planked pine as in the picture above. Don’t worry I will never touch the original wide plank oak floors throughout the rest of the cottage. That said I have been wanting to take them to a lighter color as the years of varnish on them has made them very yellow. This is not the kinda project to half undertake so you just have to go for it, which i of course underestimated and half undertook.
The process of sanding is not necessarily fun and definitely a commitment. I probably should have gone with the belt sander but I didn’t want to take too much off the top layer wood down. The orbital sander works just fine but takes the layers off a little slower and given the time frame i should have just stripped more off the top. What i found really useful was a water soluble paint stripper. Applying this and letting it do its thing for a longer time would have again probably have been even better. Then sanding over it really made it more successful (make no mistake it’s a process). It’s a messy time commitment. As I was renting for 24hrs the clock was ticking….
After the sanding and stripping I mopped with neat bleach and left it to settle. Next time I would have re-sanded to really get the embedded yellow out but as I was applying a stain over it this was good enough. The bleaching is great and if this wasn’t a weekend job I would have spent a few more days doing it. But as with everything I’m doing I’m trying to get something accomplished in 2 days.
So the “pickling” process is a stain. It’s a simple process of painting on and wiping off, just make sure to work in sections with a clear break as when you go over it you can see a join. I used the line of the floor boards as the break and worked in sections, painting edge to edge. Painting on and wiping off after 10 mins or so. It’s important to not let any stain sit on the surface. It seems counterintuitive to wipe it all off but have faith. The second coat really made a difference. What’s great is you can really play with how much wood you want to show. I want a very white surface hence the 2 coats, but even then you see the grain. Which is the point or I could’ve just painted them white.
The miniwax pickling solution is meant for smaller surface, I guess due to the wiping my off application but I found it worked great (we put it to the dance party test before varnishing and stood up just fine 🙂
Now for a coat of clear water based varnish (not oil as I don’t want the yellowing that oil brings) and we are good to go. That will be another weekend as I want to really let the 2 coats of stain dry.
So my take always :
-Use a varnish/paint stripper for ease and let it sit longer
-belt sander vs orbital. I used orbital but would probably try the belt next time
– give yourself more than 2 days as it would be good to let the bleach sit longer
-clear the room out completely, I have heavy furniture and it’s a pain to keep miv big back and forth whilst working
-ideally you would have 4 solid days to get the sanding/bleaching/staining done and then revisit for varnish….