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Updating wood floor

(85 Posts)
GinAndOnIt Mon 07-Nov-16 12:13:41

We have varnished wood parquet floor in the kitchen, but it's very dated. It's a very yellow-y/orange colour, and I want it dark brown.

When we had a carpenter here fitting the shutters, he said I could scrub it with something and then varnish over it, but I can't remember what he thing he said to scrub it with. Something similar to a green dish sponge I think. Anyone got any ideas?

I'm not interested in sanding it or buffing it with a hired tool, I just want something to make sure the next coat of varnish will actually paint on.

shovetheholly Mon 07-Nov-16 12:55:00

I could be wrong about this but unfortunately, I think if you want to recoat wood, you have to get rid of any current coatings first, back to bare wood. That means stripping back any varnish/oil/wax/other gunk that is on the surface before you even think about repainting. The only things I know that will do this are nitromors-type strippers or mechanical methods (i.e some kind of sanding). However, I'm no expert with flooring!

Wrinklytights Mon 07-Nov-16 13:00:40

Because varnish is transparent I don't think it will look good unless you strip off all the existing varnish off first. and even then you have to be very careful with parquet because of the blocks going in different directions so you can't always sand with the grain, which can leave stains/varnishes looking patchy.

GinAndOnIt Mon 07-Nov-16 13:03:32

I might just paint it then

shovetheholly Mon 07-Nov-16 13:56:38

I'm so sorry, gin but I don't know if you can just paint over the finish.

I know you are doing loads and loads right now, so please don't hate me for this suggestion... grin... but...

Parquet is a really valuable floor. It takes a lot of skill and labour to fit, and the blocks ain't cheap either. (I'd love to have one in my house, but it's always going to be too expensive for me!) I know you don't like what you have right now, but with a bit of TLC it could be absolutely sensational. If I were in your shoes, I would look at doing a slightly more patient restoration with a sander and a refinish. You can get companies in to do this for you, without it costing a fortune - I think £20 a metre would be about average, possibly less depending on where you are.

The trouble with painted floors is that they don't look good for long. Even the toughest paints won't deal with the kind of battering a floor gets over the longer term - they will chip and mark and unless you're going for that kind of look, it really isn't good. You'll then have a huge job in future to strip off all the paint!

GinAndOnIt Mon 07-Nov-16 14:29:33

Ah thanks shove - I've painted other floors in the house with a varnish already on, and it's given it a lovely old white colour. I'd do it all over if DP and GinDog weren't so bloody dirty grin we do like the 'worn' look though.

Am going to buy a tester of varnish and a tester of paint to try on a hidden patch and see what it's like. It's not the nice parquet that everyone has, it's like tiles of square parquet. Hold on, I'll take a picture...

GinAndOnIt Mon 07-Nov-16 14:33:11

It's 'retro' for the wrong reasons wink

GinAndOnIt Mon 07-Nov-16 14:34:27

To be honest, the whole lot needs ripping out and new floor laying. It's not in the best of states, but we are most definitely not doing that!

So it would be more of a quick fix to make it bearable until that's an option IYSWIM.

SwedishEdith Mon 07-Nov-16 14:47:42

Don't they call that woodblock? I'd still trade it for our flooring.

shovetheholly Mon 07-Nov-16 14:52:18

gin - I don't know how to say this - I really, really love it like that! Yes, it looks like it needs a bit of a revarnish (to be honest, so do I!!!) but the colour and pattern are gorgeous!

I appreciate not everyone has the same tastes, but honestly I don't just like it, I really love it!

shovetheholly Mon 07-Nov-16 14:53:08

PS Just checked up and the price to fit - just to fit - a parquet floor like that is £60 /metre. shock

shovetheholly Mon 07-Nov-16 14:53:49

PPS I bet if you posted it in the 'modernist appreciation' thread, you would get a whole chorus of admiration!

FrickOnAStick Mon 07-Nov-16 15:07:32

That 5 finger parquet can look fab with the right furnishings and finished properly. Don't get rid of it.

FrickOnAStick Mon 07-Nov-16 15:10:26

edith, the pattern is called '5 finger parquet'.

SwedishEdith Mon 07-Nov-16 15:13:29

Oh, thanks frick.

GinAndOnIt Mon 07-Nov-16 15:15:38

Oh gosh. Well this was all rather unexpected. I've just posted a photo of the kitchen to see how you think it matches as a 'whole' but I've lost the post somehow. And lost the picture. I'll try again later. I'm just not sure it matches the colours of the walls.....but maybe I'm looking for fault. Hmm.

FrickOnAStick Mon 07-Nov-16 15:15:53

Reminds me of my school hall when I was a kid smile

GinAndOnIt Mon 07-Nov-16 15:16:29

Some might say I shouldn't have painted the walls those colours if they don't match floor, but y'know.... grin

GinAndOnIt Mon 07-Nov-16 15:17:09

Ha Frick! The spare room floor did that to me. Very dark cherry brown varnished floorboards!

Kidnapped Mon 07-Nov-16 15:20:07

That is like our hall floor. It has been down since the previous owners put it there in the 70s.

I looooove it. I'd have it all over the ground floor if I could afford it. We have a big hall and it looks nice with big rugs on it. Honest.

And I don't refer to it as yellowy/orange. I call it honey-coloured. wink

If you really don't like it then get your carpenter fella to have a go at with the green sponge thing first. Have a look at it then and if it doesn't look great then get him to give it a light sanding before putting a darker varnish on it. Wouldn't cost a fortune to do.

And if you're still not so keen on the finished product, then chuck a big rug over it.

GinAndOnIt Mon 07-Nov-16 15:22:44

I had a little pick at it earlier with my fingernail <professional> and it came off really easily like nail varnish, and was a lighter colour but still shiny underneath? I wonder if someone else put varnish on top of varnish at one point and it would be quite easy to lift that top layer off maybe. There are bits that are quite chipped but it kind of 'goes' with our messy rustic farm cottage.

shovetheholly Mon 07-Nov-16 15:23:16

<high fives to all the parquet appreciators>

From your picture gin the blocks look like they have a lovely grain too. Bet they'd just glow in the sunshine! I honestly think that colour of floor goes with loads of different wall colours as well - can you remember what the paint is called?

Kidnapped Mon 07-Nov-16 15:34:40

Our hallway looks a bit like this.

And yes, it is channelling the 1970s and not to everybody's tastes of course. But I love the flooring. And I get loads of compliments from people on it. Honest.

GinAndOnIt Mon 07-Nov-16 15:48:56

I did the walls mainly Skimming Stone with French Gray on the fireplace wall and kitchen unit wall!

shovetheholly Mon 07-Nov-16 15:55:32

I like that combination! I know there is a fashion at the moment for lots and lots of grey colours all together with cream flooring, but I honestly think the parquet warms up the grey-cream paint in a way that's really beautiful. And it won't date nearly as quickly.

For what it's worth - I spent an hour earlier combining greys, creams and warm wood tones like those of your floor trying to find a combination for my new room!!

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