Home>Discussions>PAINTING & FINISHING>Painting a 115 yr old farmhouse floor
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Amber
Painting a 115 yr old farmhouse floor
Amber

First I can’t say how thrilled I am to be posting here as an actual homeowner (first time!).

So, my husband and I just bought a home build in 1904 by the great grand father of the man we purchased it from. This is the first time this home has not been owned by his family and it is in impressive condition. We wish nothing more than to take the best care of this well loved place. 

My question is regarding the floors, we have removed the carpet and are now left with the sold wood original subfloor (3 1/4 in). We will eventually place new floors over these but until we have the funds for that we have decided to paint them, as they are solid, but not super friendly looking to bare feet. To help with the sealing of the wood and the odor from the dirt crawl space, what product should we use to prime? I would like to cover the prime with a color (probably a grey) but I don’t know what would be best. Could I get some opinions on the pros and cons of options like Kilz original, zinsser, and any others I may not know about?

Thank you so very much!!

Hap
Re: Painting a 115 yr old farmhouse floor
Hap

I have an older home 1890 with hardwood floors, the boards are not all the same width size, some are just a bit wider, I would re-sand and finish those hardwood floors. My windows have never been replaced and still have hand blown glass within. There is a site on-line I found with some interest info on older homes and why we should not do some changes>>https://thecraftsmanblog.com/5-worst-mistakes-of-historic-homeowners-par...

HandyAndyInMtAiry
Re: Painting a 115 yr old farmhouse floor
HandyAndyInMtAiry

Amber,

That is not the subfloor, that is the flooring. Subfloor is under that and usually runs at an angle for the better strength and is usually 1x8's, 1x10's or sometimes 1x12's

We have a house that is over 130 years old. Still with the original wood floors, original everything. We would not dare replace anything or cover up great true hardwood with cheap junk. Most of the woods in our house is either walnut or chestnut. This house sat on a walnut and chestnut grove. I would never suggest to paint any wood. There is nothing like trying to remove paint from wood. Keep it the original finish. Keep everything original as possible. There are some things like all the mechanicals of course that need to be changed. I have rewired and re-plumbed this entire house. We had forced air systems installed on each floor. One furnance and AC compressor for each of the 3 floors. I took our electrical system from knob and tube 60 amp to 800 amp service using all SquareD products. I did not use romex, I used something much better.

Andrew

Handy Andy In Mt Airy NC

Amber
Re: Painting a 115 yr old farmhouse floor
Amber

Hi, 

thanks for the responses. That floor in the photo is actually not hardwood it is heart pine, and it is the subfloor (nailed straight to joist) as there is nothing under it but dirt. We would love more than anything to refinish and keep them (we did on the ones upstairs), but there are two rather large patches and we do not have access or funds to replace the now extinct heart pine, also servers weak places and large gaps between some boards.

I know it’s not ideal. And it is a travesty really to cover such a lost treasure, but for the sake of realistic goals and needing to move my family into this home we are covering them. With hardwoods (mixed unfinished hardwood) no laminate or prefinished here. My husband laid hardwood for a living for a bit so we tend to root for the real thing. 

Also we do have old windows as well, it’s beautiful to see the ripples in the glass when we are watching the sun go down out our bay window. :)

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