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How To Refinish A Heart Pine Floor

If you have a red heart pine floor, consider yourself to have a treasure. This soft, but durable wood from the long-leaf pine tree has a warm, red hue, and it almost got extinct once from over logging. Today, it is made from leftover heart pine from old buildings. 

You may notice your floor has faded when you do a home remodel, but you don't have to replace it. Refinish your heart pine floor by following these tips.

Prepare to Refinish the Heart Pine Floor

To refinish heart pine floors, gather:

  • Work gloves 
  • Tape measure
  • Plastic sheets or drop cloths
  • Rags
  • Broom
  • Pry bar 
  • Rubber mallet
  • 120-grit, 180-grit, and 220-grit sandpaper 
  • Floor sander (optional)
  • Hammer nails
  • Hand saw or table saw
  • Paintbrush 
  • Tung oil or pine sealer floor stain
  • Replacement wood (optional) 

Sweep and damp mop the floor to remove surface dirt, then let it dry. Inspect the floor for damaged boards, and look for replacement boards. It may be hard to find an exact color, but try to find a close match. If you can't find genuine hear pine, you may install regular pine to blend with the rest of the floor.

Replace or Fix Damaged Boards

Use a pry bar to remove damaged boards, and install new boards. It may be challenging to find heart pine in an exact color match. If you can't find heart pine, locate regular pine in a close matching color.

Measure the length and width of the replacement area, and mark it on the new board. Lay the boards on a flat surface, and cut the new board to the dimensions, and nail them in place. On some boards, you may have to cut tongue and grooves first.

If the floor has holes, you won't need to replace the whole board. Find a wood dowel in a matching color, and trim it to fit in the hole.

Sand and Stain

Before you sand, hammer in loose nails, and fix squeaky boards by securing the board to the joist under it.  If your floor has never been refinished, sand it with a floor sander. Floor sanders are usually too strong for previously refinished heart pine.  

Otherwise, sand by hand beginning with the lowest grit working to the highest grit sandpaper, and vacuum or sweep sawdust after each session.  

Open a window to ventilate, so you won't breathe stain fumes. Brush on the stain working in the direction of the wood grain pattern. After the stain dries, add a thin layer of tung oil or a pine finish, let it dry, then lightly sand.


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