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Preserving decoratively painted wood floor

We just bought an 1885 row house where the hardwood floors in the kitchen are painted in a large diamond pattern (black over natural). We LOVE how it looks, but it is severely worn in the high-traffic areas. I'd hate to sand off any of the "patina" but I also don't want feet full of slivers. Is there a way restore and protect it without changing the look too much? Could it just be clear-coated as is?

Tacoma John
Re: Preserving decoratively painted wood floor

Problems I see with your idea.
First, hardwood floors dont belong in a kitchen because of the water. Second, without at least a light sanding nothing will stick. Third, any where the finish has worn off, the oils found in the kitchen have found their way into the wood. Hence nothing will stick well. If you still want to go ahead, get scotch pads, the same as for cleaning pots and pans. Cut to fit an orbital sander, they attatch well to a hook and loop system. Deglaze the entire floor. Clear coat twice with oil base polyurethane. Put a maintance coat every year using the steps listed above. Good luck

Re: Preserving decoratively painted wood floor

Thanks for the refinishing advice, although the idea that you can't have hardwood floors in a kitchen is sort of ridiculous, unless you believe that a huge number of homeowners for the past hundreds of years are completely misguided. Anyway I think we're resigned to getting the floors refinished and painting on top if we want that look again. This is our first foray into old home ownership so there's lots were trying to figure out.

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