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painted heart-pine floor

A significant portion of the floors in my 116 year-old house were painted years ago. How should I remove the paint to refinish the floors. I really don't want to sand as that will remove a lot of wood and I want the character marks, etc. to remain.

Re: painted heart-pine floor


It you don't sand, yur options are few. You can use chemical strippers, but the stripping "gunk" will be full of the paint pigment and get down into the cracks and imperfections in the wood. You will not be able to get it out of these areas. If you stain the floor, the stain will somewhat mask this, but not all of it.

A few years ago, I did a beautiful Tudor style mansion which had pegged pine floors. The owners did not want to merely sand the floors for the same reason as you.However, these floors were stained, not painted. They had several workers use curved bladed pull scrapers to remove all the old finish. The curveed blades gave the re-finished floor a hand hewned look. They then chose to use an old-fashioned stain, shellac and wax finish. Many people feel that today's poly-urethanes give a plastic look.
Their finished floor was beautiful, if not the most practicle.
For the duration of that job, the whole crew had to put on booties whenever walking on that floor!

These people enjoyed re-habbing a period house. They had paid $4million for the house and stuck another $2 million in remodeling!
The bill for painting and decorating the entire interior came to $160 thousand and lasted from September til May!

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