Floors, At Last

As I mentioned previously, we are finally back on track at Camp Davis.  With the structural rebuild complete, the biggest sticking point left was the floors.  We had the contractors install unfinished New England White Pine – in part to save money and in part because we had a very particular look in mind that we knew we probably couldn’t achieve (especially in our price range) if we went with factory-finished flooring or if someone else did the finish job for us.

Of course, we had no idea if we could pull it off ourselves, or if the wood we chose would be worthy of the image we had in our heads.

Fortunately, when the contractors laid down the bare pine flooring we absolutely loved it.  It was super knotty, rustic, very pale with hints of pink here and there, and we knew right away we wanted to skip staining altogether and go straight to sealing in it’s natural goodness.  The wood flooring looked like wood.  It felt like wood.  This led us to pursue more research, trying to figure just the right method and product for maintaining such a look.  We visited many websites, we spent many hours on Pinterest.

Then, seemingly out of the blue, within a week my dad and I sanded them, and I returned alone on a few day trips to seal them and then add two coats of finish.  With that, they were complete.   We drove up as a family just after New Year’s Day, with the snow falling and the fireplace roaring.  Not surprisingly, the first thing we unpacked were the kids’ toys.

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There is barely any sheen to the finish.  In some ways you can hardly tell we finished the wood at all.

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Which was exactly the point.  This is Camp Davis after all.

In twilight and at night the floors glow warm, romantic even.  In the daylight, they whiten and really pop.  At any time they feel great underfoot – a total contrast to the ice cold ceramic tile that was there before the renovations.

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The Rooster, taking up a family tradition. Adding style.

And now that I’m looking through pictures I can’t help but notice just how closely this floor coloring resembles the Rooster’s hair.  Totally a coincidence…right?

We sealed the floors with BonaSeal, then finished them with two coats of Bona Naturale.  The application was relatively simple, though it took a few Youtube tutorials and write-ups to decide on a game plan.  Each coat of sealer or finish was allowed to dry a full 24 hours before the next.  That’s not because I planned it that way (all that waiting lacks the requisite instant gratification I yearn for in a project like this), but because I never had enough time to do more than one coat per trip.

So far the finish is holding up as well as I could hope.  Ruthie, ever the messy eater, has dropped a good bit of every food group on to the floor with each meal.  It wipes up easily with a damp paper towel.  It hasn’t yet taken the spilled red wine test, and I’m sure that’s bound to happen sooner or later in a beverage-heavy home like ours, but I think it will be able to handle it.

We have a long way to go before this renovation is complete.  Fortunately, with the floors finished we’re now free to get to everything else.

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