What's the best way to restore painted wide pine floors on a budget?


The house was built in the 1700s and there are wide pine floors that were painted in the bedrooms and the dining room. We'd like to get back some of the original charm of an old farmhouse. Some of the paint is worn and some areas have water damage. We're pulling up 1 or 2 layers of linoleum, the carpet pad and carpets. Should we repaint?

q what s the best way to restore painted wide pine floors on a budget
q what s the best way to restore painted wide pine floors on a budget
  8 answers
  • John Biermacher John Biermacher on Sep 03, 2019

    I suspect the damaged areas/ defects could be repaired with auto body filler AKA BONDO.

    With a little effort it can be tinted into wood tones https://www.hometalk.com/diy/build/using-and-tinting-auto-body-filler-for-wood-repair-34340531

    and then over-sprayed to give a pretty good match. If you go this route I can provide some more details.


  • Em Em on Sep 03, 2019

    Sanding floors is not as difficult as people think. Rent and orbital floor sander for the weekend. The most important thing you need to know it to keep the sander moving so it does not sit in one spot and take off too much wood. Wear a RESPIRATOR, not a dust mask. I did an entire house by myself. Two coats of stain and two coats of poly. A lot of work but the wood is so beautiful, I am glad I did not paint.

  • Penny Davies Penny Davies on Sep 03, 2019

    Thank you, John. If we find major damage this will be very helpful.

  • Jewellmartin Jewellmartin on Sep 03, 2019

    John’s answer is so complete, but I will reiterate. Rent a floor sander. Wear a respirator. Stain instead of paint, if possible. A 1700s house is an awesome responsibility. You can buy a house like mine in a subdivision which is surrounded by other subdivisions, and the historic part of town is less than 110 years old. Or you could keep working on your 320 year old house which may have to have every timber, joist, pipe, circuit, and shingle replaced, but it will still be a precious memory. Keep the kitchen and bathrooms modern, but be as loyal as you can to its origin. Jewell

    • Penny Davies Penny Davies on Sep 06, 2019

      You're absolutely right, Jewell. We're going to have to repair, replace or reinforce a lot of the original structure. A new roof is in the works. The roof and updated bathroom need to be completed before we move in but then we can take on the other projects as money and time allow. The house has been in the family for a very long time and my mother-in-law once had a pig farm here. She lives with us, now. We think it'll be worth the money and the effort to keep it in the family.

  • Lisa S. Lisa S. on Sep 03, 2019

    I would sand down and refinish. If some are damaged beyond fixing - look to the attic for some that can be swapped out. Or take from the pantry or another place which is not to be seen.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Sep 03, 2019

    You should avoid sanding unless you have had a professional check the integrity of the floors. Considering the age, they have probably been sanded before and pine doesn't hold up well to sanding multiple times.

    I cleaned mine up (1880's) and used Rejuvenate on the ones that didn't have paint. Those that had paint on them will soon be painted but it's a large area and I'm dealing with multiple issues and working around a 3 year old.

  • William William on Sep 04, 2019

    I agree with sanding the floors down to raw wood if you want to stain. If you want to paint just make sure they are clean. I would not use Bondo as it does not take stain well. It would be easier and cheaper to use Minwax wood putty to fill imperfections. Comes in all wood tones and you can paint over it.

  • Penny Davies Penny Davies on Sep 06, 2019

    Thanks to all of you for your input. We can't use an orbital sander because they boards are so uneven and once we removed the carpets and linoleum we found there are large areas that were patched with plywood. We suspect they are from grates in the floors. We plan to replace the plywood with boards the same widths as the original and paint them.