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DIY: Restoring Old Wooden Floorboards

Are your wooden floorboards getting you down? We don’t often realise how much old flooring can reduce the overall appeal of a room. If you don’t take care of your wooden surfaces, they’ll quickly deteriorate and start to look less impressive. Wooden floorboards can add either a modern or a rustic feel – depending on how you choose to finish the wood and decorate. Use your flooring to liven up your rooms again and find out how to restore old wooden floorboards.


Oil and Sheen

If you just want your floorboards to shine again, you’ll need to get to work with oils. And you really can do this yourself! First, make sure there are no nails sticking out or holes, gaps and so on, on the surface, give them a good sand and clean down the floor with a vacuum.

Once you’ve prepared thoroughly, you can grab some Timberex Free. This product deeply penetrates the wood meaning that pores are filled, and the surface is sealed but protected from within too. Timberex Free has up to three times the coverage of other oils, is solvent free and is ideal for a wide range of commercial and domestic applications including airports, museums, sports halls, private homes etc.

After testing a small area, all you need to do is apply a coat of Timbrex Free with a squeegee, and keep moving the oil to areas where it’s being absorbed. You don’t want it to dry out between coats. Remember to clean up any accidental splashes as quickly as possible! Then, apply a second and third coat with about 20-30 minutes in between each coat. Buff the wet surface until it’s matt.

To bring the shine back to your floorboards, you need to buff, buff, buff! It’s important that you don’t skip this step – you’ll be left with a lovely satin sheen. You can buff the surface to a high shine – as shiny as you like! Just remember to take care of it.


Modern Stains

If using a stain to restore your old floorboards doesn’t appeal to you, maybe you need to try something different. Using a grey based stain like Timberex Active Stain can give your floorboard the best of both worlds. You’ll be able to see the natural grain of the wood through stain for a rustic look, and achieve a modern feel with the grey tones. You only need to apply it once with a micro-fibre roller and it only needs one application! Just watch out for any stain that has splashed on other surfaces and clean it up quickly.

Hardwearing Varnish

A well-varnished wooden floor can really bring a room together. If your floorboards haven’t received much attention, give them a good clean and remove any old varnish before you restore them. Then, sand the wood down and work with the grain. If however, the varnish is in sound condition, you just need to lightly sand the surface before you apply varnish.


Blackfriar Heavy Duty Varnish will leave you with a completely transformed, durable surface that is chemical and stain resistant! Simply apply it with a brush using light strokes, or use a short nap mohair roller if you prefer. If you want the ultimate results use 3 coats on new wood and two coats on previously varnished surfaces.

No matter how you choose to restore your floorboards, just remember to follow the instructions on any products. Especially any safety instructions!


  1. Thank you for your post. There are so many different resources for refinishing wood floors. This post is a jumping off point. The one thing I want you to take from this is, don’t be afraid of the sanding process.

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