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August 2015

Why old methods still work

DIY conversation in our email inbox: (do you have a question yourself - use the ?Help button at the bottom of every page to ask us)

Dull floor after wood worm treatment

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Hi, can you advise please?

I have a herringbone parquet wood floor in my entrance hall and hallway in my house that was built about 60 years ago. Recently I was redecorating the entrance hall and noticed some woodworm flight holes in areas of the entrance hall: some clearly old and some newer looking ones.
The specialist treatment I applied needed the surface coat to be stripped away, which I did on the area affected (about a dozen tiles covering about 1 sq m). I did this by stripping and sanding and then treating.

However, I am puzzled on how to get back to a matching finish now that I have completed the treatment. It is not a polyurethane varnish as a drop of water leaves a white mark. But danish oil does not give any shine and floor wax does not seem to bring up the shine and lustre. Previous to my treatment, the floor was occasionally polished by my wife with a wax polish. But this, on a trial area, on its own wont bring the surface condition back. Your site looks very informative and helpful. Any advice would be welcome. My local paint shop simply say buy some satin polyurethane varnish, but I am careful about this.

In essence, I don't really want to sand the whole floor down if I can help it.

Thanks, Ian

Old fashion does not always mean obsolete

Basin Tante Polly_2.5

When a floor is sanded bare it will take a few coats of polishing wax (Ivory White) before it comes back to its shine and lustre. If the floor always has been polished with normal polishing wax (Traditional Yellow) it would indeed be best to treat the sanded part with this wax too but it might take a bit longer to give you the result you are looking/hoping for.

Also bare in mind that when an existing floor is sanded it will lose its matured patina and will show slight colour differences between non-sanded and sanded parts of the floor. This will gradually "fade" to the same appearance.

Treat the sanded part with wax, buff it in and give the floor time to absorb it. Then treat it again one or two days later in the same way. Repeat this a few times, but make sure the floor has time to absorb it before you apply the next coat of wax otherwise you'll end with a sticky mess.

Hope this makes sense?

Let us know how you get on. Remember, it's taken your floor a long time to get its authentic shine and lustre and these things do take time (us modern humans would prefer everything to be done/finished/right yesterday, but nature takes it time to give you the best )

Karin - Wood You LIke Ltd

Answered received:

Very many thanks for this advice. I was getting a bit despairing at getting back the look without considerable effort and expense.

I will have a go at your suggestions this weekend.

Best regards

Ian

And the result:

You asked for feedback on how I got on.

Well I started on Friday evening and followed your suggestion: particularly to leave it to absorb. The effect has been great. The luster is returning – although there are still patina differences between the areas.

I have repeated the treatment and as you say it does blend in better each time.

Many thanks indeed.

Ian

At your service, always more than happy to help out, even if it means re-instating old-fashion methods which now in these (ultra) modern times still prove their worth.

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Throw your windows wide....

Recently we had a phone conversation with a client about various maintenance products etc. At one point he mentioned his floor was acting a "bit odd" lately, seeming to expand then apparently not - could that be an installation fault (although his floor was down over two years now).

No, it looked more like a weather "fault.

Lately there has been (too) hot weather, (too) wet weather, followed again by (too) hot weather. Knowing wood reacts to humidity in the air - expanding when the humidity is high, evaporating moist when it is (very) low which can look like shrinking.

After a wet spell, followed by a warm or hot spell, moist in the earth (and in lakes, rivers, puddles, etc etc) will evaporate, increasing the air humidity. Your floor will react to this and can expand. When most of the moist is absorbed in the air, your floor will start to release the extra moist to the air too, which can look like shrinking (or in fact coming back to its original state).

To prevent excessive movement of/in your floor we highly recommend you ventilate your home every day: "throw your windows wide"(*) so the additional moist in the floor can escape easier to the outside world.

To help your floor stabilise quicker or easier we also recommend you treat it regularly with a maintenance product, because where there is polish/wax, there can not be moist.

* = this sentence is taken - freely - from the wonderful number by Elbow

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Quick fix before real restoration starts

DIY conversation in our email inbox: (do you have a question yourself -  use the ?Help button at the bottom of every page to ask us)

Hello,
We have a 1950's-1970's parquet flooring in the kitchen and dining room which is in need of some tlc, however as we plan to lift it and re-lay it at a later date when we knock the two rooms into one, for now we would like a 'quick fix' for the kitchen area which is damaged.
The floor has a small area which has been covered by furniture which appears to be bare wood, small areas of grey wood where the current surface (wax, polish or oil, i'm not sure) has worn and small areas of water damage.
We do not want to sand it at this stage and were planning on using white spirit and wire wool to remove the existing surface coating. What would be the best product to then apply to match the original surface coating?
Many thanks in advance.
Kay

Hi Kay

Nice floor! And worth restoring - when the time is there.
For the time being you could treat the floor with a suitable maintenance product to keep the wood protected against more water spillages. Wire-wool etc will not completely shift the original finish so there might be colour differences until you can sand everything back to its bare wood again.

  Basin Tante Polly_2.5

The best product to use for now - which does mean "hand and knees" work - would be Aunt Polly's polishing wax - light yellow. In the olden days this was used to treat bare wood (a coat of 4 - 5 applied), but in this circumstances you could apply 1 coat over areas still "covered" by the existing oil/wax finish and 2 coats (at least) on the bare areas.

Hope this helps

Kind Regards
Karin Hermans - Wood You Like Ltd

Many thanks Karin.

Kay

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Care and Repair

When you are (re)searching products to care or repair your wooden floor, you could be forgiven for becoming overwhelmed by all the products available. Which one, or combination of products, would do everything you want it to do, AND is suitable for it?

Do I need an oil when my floor has been oiled before to bring back its lustre, do I need a cleaning product first and what wax or polish can I apply and how often? 
What products do I need when I only have to add a few blocks to our existing parquet floor, and want to sand and re-finish the whole area of flooring?

The list of questions can go on and on.

For this purpose we created so-called "all in one boxes" in our secure webshop, all the items you need for certain care and/or repair jobs.

image from images-cdn.ecwid.com

Such as:

Ecoline cleaning kit for all floor finishes

Intensive cleaning and repair kit for oiled floors

and Saicos Floor Care set.

And don't forget the various guides we created especially for you:

The Ultimate Maintenance Guide

and/or

Restore without Sanding

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Place your order now (before 01.07.17) and be entered in the Pre-Summer-Draw - see HERE for more information
Thank you for your time, do visit our Secure Webshop - all links in articles and pages are coloured red
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