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Stripping the floor vs Farrow & Ball floor paint

(22 Posts)
NineUnlikelyTales Sun 08-Jul-07 14:50:31

Which would you recommend?

We have a small dining room with the original (Victorian) floorboards in reasonable repair, but they still have old varnish around the edges of the room. This summer we are going to completely renovate this room and we want a bare floor as it is easier to clean up after DS!

Our choices are to hire a sander, strip the floor and stain and varnish it. Or to apply some floor paint such as farrow & ball which does look nice in the brochure but I haven't ever seen any in situ.

I'd be grateful if you could let me know whether you have done either of these, and what you would recommend. I'm guessing that the floor paint is a lot easier to do, but what does it look like when finished?


Heathcliffscathy Sun 08-Jul-07 15:01:52

we have both, stripped and varnished floors downstairs and floorpaint upstairs.

F&B floorpaint is very hard wearing. How dirty it will look depends on colour but I would say that it shows dirt more than a varnished floor.

Both good options, but you have to sand in order to floorpaint properly, so it's not the easy option unless you're going to botch it in which case it will not wear as well.

with floorpaint you have to have a sanded base, then use their special primer, then at least two coats of paint.

I did the floorpainting so I know!

jaynehater Sun 08-Jul-07 15:30:51

If the varnish is original victorian 'round the edges, oilcloth in the centre stuff - you can't just sand it out. It's shellac, and the heat generated by sanding, in our experience, made it like sanding toffee. We Nitromorsed it, then bought a heat-stripper (burn away, with sturdy wall paper stripper at the ready) THEN sand. We tried sanding first, but every sheet was gunged up to little effect (may just have been the varnish they used up our way, tho - try a dry run with a borrowed hand sander) Sophable's right, though, you have to do the prep either way, and the prep is definitely 90% of the job, and hugely affects the finish. the floors - our new place has a mixture of concrete and pine. Blee.

NineUnlikelyTales Sun 08-Jul-07 19:33:46

Thanks for your replies.

jaynehater - I own a hand sander so I will give that a go on the varnish. Is Nitromorse a paint/varnish stripper and is it readily available?

sophable - when you say you still need to sand for floor paint, do you mean to the bare boards or just to provide a smooth surface for the primer etc? Also, what colour floorpaint have you used? I am a bit nervous of choosing a colour.

I think if I use floorpaint I will be looking for a woody colour anyway. Maybe I just need to bite the bullet and do the sanding/staining/varnishing

jaynehater Sun 08-Jul-07 19:40:02

You can get nitromorse from any major diy place xxx

Heathcliffscathy Sun 08-Jul-07 19:55:54

cannot for the life of me remember, was a stoney really well.... is light very very hard wearing....oh bless, dh is just going downstairs to cellar to find it for you...hang on.

yes you absolutely need to sand the floor to prep for floor paint....i love floorpaint though, especially neutrally taupey colours....looks great.

jaynehater Sun 08-Jul-07 19:56:57

Sophable, isnt everything by F&B (bar the green blue we used in the hall) stoney coloured?

nomdeplume Sun 08-Jul-07 19:58:12

nitromors is vicious stuff though, be careful and fgs wear good gloves !

nomdeplume Sun 08-Jul-07 19:59:36


Heathcliffscathy Sun 08-Jul-07 20:01:02

ooooo apple green, skylight, lovely colours....

Heathcliffscathy Sun 08-Jul-07 20:01:19

but i do know what you mean...they give great taupe!

doddle Sun 08-Jul-07 20:03:27

My study floor is Farrow and Ball skylight. I love it. Apart from the part where my desk chair rolls around it looks great. I did it two years ago.

jaynehater Sun 08-Jul-07 20:08:05

We painted our ceiling pale hound. Purely because the name made me LOL. I've had worse decorative inspirations.

jaynehater Sun 08-Jul-07 20:09:05

(The great rag-rolling disaster of 1996 springs effortlessly to mind .... three colours, new SIL helping, one hallway.... you do the maths.)

NineUnlikelyTales Sun 08-Jul-07 22:18:02

Thanks for the link nomdeplume. I hope it is better stuff than my husband used to strip the kitchen window, which took about 2 weeks to remove the paint (admittedly there were many thousands of layers of ancient paint).

Bless your DH Sophable! I have the F&B paint charts here so I will be able to see exactly what your floors look like..

I've broken the news about the extra work to my DH and I think it's fair to say he's about to have a nervous breakdown.

NineUnlikelyTales Sun 08-Jul-07 22:18:30

PMSL ragrolling Just why did we do it?!

hermykne Sun 08-Jul-07 22:23:48

nine unlikely tales
hte to be an interior snob here but if you say "I think if I use floorpaint I will be looking for a woody colour anyway" you aint an F & B candidate, worlds apart in how the room will feel and look. Go for F & B if you can afford it and all the work. a much superior room.

NineUnlikelyTales Sun 08-Jul-07 22:29:54

Ah no you're getting me all wrong - I mean I'll be looking for brown of some description. I am very much a brown person. I want something that will go with Slipper Satin, which is such a good name for a paint that I will be using it on my woodwork. And no I can't really afford it but I really hate cheap paint so it's tough really

trixymalixy Sun 08-Jul-07 23:34:34

Get someone in to do the sanding. The varnish round the edges on Victorian floorboards is an absolute nightmare to get off.

Hire floor sanders are notorious for being in poor condition and you will probably go through a fortune in sanding sheets as they are almost impossible to get tight enough.

We didn't think it worked out that much cheaper doing it yourself in the end.

Also didn't help that I somehow managed to cut through a radiator pipe with the edge sander and we couldn't find the cockstop. I ended up lying on the floor mopping up the water off my lovely sanded floorboards with my finger over the hole while we aited for the emergency plumber. LOL!

NineUnlikelyTales Mon 09-Jul-07 09:31:05

OMG Trixymalixy

That's bad news about the hired sanders not being much good. I really don't think we can stretch to paying someone as we have had so much to do on the house already and there's still loads more to do.

trixymalixy Mon 09-Jul-07 12:00:42

That has just been our experience, and we have friends who tried and gave up and ended up paying out for the sander and then hiring someone in to do it.

I would say it depends on whether you're good at DIY type things.

We have sanded floorboards a few times and after the first experience my DH insisted on inspecting the sanders and picking the one that seemed in the best condition.

The main problem is the screw that holds the sandpaper on gets rounded off over time and it becomes impossible to tighten the sandpaper to the drum properly. It then just shatters when it touches the floor if it's too loose, and they charge a fortune for the sandpaper.

My DH also ended up lengthening the slots in the sandpaper to get it tighter round the drum. Bit of a hassle but it worked for us.

thehairybabysmum Mon 09-Jul-07 12:13:52

we had no trouble with sanding/varnishing our victorian floor. Sander worked great and old varnish came off no problem.

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