Graining Pine Floors

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Graining Pine Floors

Postby Brian Laster on Mon Mar 08, 1999 1:42 am

The victorian era house we want to purchase has pine doors, wood works and floors. Everthing is oak grained including the floors. I had never before seen floors grained. Is this common?

Also since refinishing the floors would destroy their history are there any ideas as to the best method (cleaners, oils etc) to clean/preserve them?

Brian Laster

Re: Graining Pine Floors

Postby Ken Holmes on Mon Mar 08, 1999 1:33 pm


I've owned and worked on houses with woodgrained doors and woodwork, and I own some pine furniture that is grained as well. But pine flooring that has been painted to look like oak is a new one on me.

What condition are the floors in currently? And is there anywhere (such as a closet) where you could do some experimentation if you eventually needed to?

My guess, by the way, would be that these floors were probably topcoated with varnish -- which, when dulled, readily accepts a new coat of varnish.

Ken Holmes

Re: Graining Pine Floors

Postby Brian Laster on Mon Mar 08, 1999 3:56 pm

The floors are in relatively good condition. Fortunately the house has been maintained but not drastically remodeled. There has been an area rug centered in most rooms so the edges of the room are darker than the middle.

Two small 2 foot deep closets exist but I don't remember much about the floor in them.

While doing more research I discovered today that the house sits on the edge of a 100 year flood plane. Neighbors native to this area report that water has never risen to the house but has gotten within 50 feet of the house.

This information may affect my decision. The local codes department would require any addition/garage to be built up 4 feet to get it out of the flood plane.

Here's my question: How costly would it be to raise (jack up) the entire house 4 - 5 feet?

Thanks, Brian
Brian Laster

Good luck Brian

Postby tracy on Tue Mar 09, 1999 9:36 pm

I have some furniture with the graining....it is really kind of beat-up. :) I can't imagine having that done on the floors, but anyway, I agree with Ken that it was undoubtedly varnished over the top. When was the last flood? :) I have no experience with house-jacking, sorry. How is the rest of the foundation? I imagine jacking would be fairly straightforward as long as the existing foundation was in good shape, but if it's not....:(

Re: Graining Pine Floors

Postby Ken Holmes on Tue Mar 09, 1999 11:11 pm

Jacking a house up several feet should be a fairly straightforward job, but one that will cost a lot. Given the age of the house, you'd probably be looking at a job where you would temporarily support the house on I-beams and cribbing, demolish the old foundation, and then build an entirely new one -- as the old one probably wouldn't meet any of today's code requirements.

You'd also have to take into account a fair amount of re-plumbing (drain pipes, supply lines, etc.) as well as some rewiring, unless the fuse box/breaker panel is somewhere other than in the cellar. Cost of a job like this? I haven't a clue; it's been years since I was estimating big jobs, and even then I never pushed a house four feet higher into the air! But you probably can find a few companies fairly quickly through the yellow pages that do this sort of work.

As for the floors: If you decide to buy this place, you're going to have to do some experimentation. It would seem to me you'll be looking for a technique to gently remove some of the old varnish (the darkening you describe is consistent with varnish) and then put down a new top coat. Top coat possibilities would seem to include more varnish (yes, they still make the stuff) or a non-yellowing water-based urethane.

Good luck -- and keep us posted on how things progress!

P.S. Can anyone else out there help us with answers?
Ken Holmes

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