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Refinished White Pine Floors

Ah yes, eastern white pine, a New England classic. There’s nothing quite like it in my opinion. White pine flooring that has aged with a New England home can arguably be one of the best features a house can have. It’s true that a lot of people steer away from using pine because it’s soft and scratches quite easily, however, when you let the boards age and let life happen, they become something really special.

If you’re lucky enough to get to live in an antique New England home, you’ll likely be walking on white pine floor boards in most of your house. If your pine floors are currently stained and maybe showing signs of a wearing finish, you should consider refinishing them. I can attest that that was one of the things that changed our home’s aesthetic the most.

This home was originally built in 1775 and still has two full rooms with the original white pine flooring. The house was vacant for many years and it even had a huge hole in the living room floor - fun! Someone eventually rescued it and took on the rehab and they thankfully left the original flooring where they could and did their best to match it where they had to.

I knew from the beginning that we had to get the floors refinished, they were covered in a dark, red-toned stain that shadowed the natural beauty. Also, there were spots where the finish was clearly wearing so it seemed like perfect timing. I knew refinishing the floors would fit perfectly with my signature design style.

Before refinishing: the floors in this room are not original but they did a great job matching withe white pine and visible square nails. You can tell that this stain has taken on a red tone!

After refinishing: the floors are drastically lighter in color and so smooth! The natural finish really shows off the grain and knots.

This project was one of the few that we did not want to tackle ourselves, so we hired it out. They sanded all the floors down and then finished them with a water based - clear polyurethane. I went with clear because I wanted the natural color of the pine to show and selected a water based product because oil based polyurethane tends to make the pine yellow over time.

Before Refinishing: the original floors in the dining room were too dark for my style and were showing signs of uneven wear.

After Refinishing: So much lighter and you can really see all of the character in these original floor! (These are my favorite in the house).

It was more than worth it, to say the least. The color of the refinished floors completely changed the look of the house even before we painted anything. Having these old pine floors adds so much character to this house and is definitely my favorite feature.

Something I love to share with people is that the widest plank we have in the house is over 18” wide! You wouldn’t find that in a new-build today, that's for sure.

- Kati


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