April fools. We still haven’t moved in! I’m lying in bed at my parents in law’s house dying from what can only be described as a severe case of man-flu.
So what’s been happening? How much longer until we can move in I hear you (and everyone else) ask?!
Well it is so close! So close now. The floors have given us all kinds of grief due to two reasons – storing car parts on timber is a terrible idea – there are all manners of petroleum and other stains on the floorboards and secondly my friend my borer.
For those of you unfamiliar with what a borer is count yourself lucky – these little critters munch on timber for up to years at a time emerging only to lay more eggs. It’s a common problem in old houses here – they like damp, untreated timber and a lot of old villas and bungalows suffered from varying degrees of damp in their early life. Our floors are riddled with them – there are a few patches which will undoubtedly fall through in time as the wood is 10% wood and 90% holes from our borer friends.
For now we have taken the approach to accept and ignore the weak patches – our floorboards (matai in 97mm widths) dont exist any more and replacing boards is expensive and time consuming and I’m a little but keen to speed the process along and move the.f in already! !!
Now for the positive side. .. there are some “finished” I.e move-in-able rooms. The lounge walls and ceiling are not painted but the room is lead free and the floor is finished! This room unfortunately had to be pro sanded – there was a huge shellac and paint border that I couldn’t shift. It’s then had one coat of stain – Briwax wood dye in a mix of antique mahogany and black and then 3 coats of Briwax Danish Oil – sanded in between with 320grit – all applied painstakingly by my hands. We chose to do the Danish oil instead of polyurethane as it is a more natural finish – the oil penetrates the wood and hardens the top layer as opposed to polyurethanes which are basically a plastic layer on top. That and cost – and best of all you never have to sand your floors again with Danish oil – any scratches you just touch up yourself with more oil. It is a very different feel from polyurethane – one im learning to love.
Our bedroom was a case of listening to everyone’s advice and everyone being wrong… it’s ok – nothing like practicing on your real floors to make you appreciate paying professionals to do stuff for you haha! This room had old cracked poly on it and again was sanded back exposing a ton of tracks. Through my internet research and afvice from bunnings I mixed the stain into the oil hoping to acheive a much darker finish. As you can see from the picture the colour is nothing like that of the lounge which was stained first. Oh well! You live and learn! One positive thing that came out of this experience is that I learned that the danish oil is extremely protective of the timber – I attempted multiple times to stain over the top of just one layer of oil – even brushing it on and leaving it for minutes and it all wiped off to nothing! Not the slightest mark.
Then there are a few floors with no sign really of borer but we know its there! The tracks stay hidden until you sand the floor. As such we don’t want to sand the floors and have just lightly hand sanded the hallway and dining area.
That’s all the pictures I’ve got for you – cant wait to share pictures of the dining and kids bedroom because they look amazing if I do say so myself!