Our Tasmanian Oak Floors: The Restoration and Transformation

the original floors…

It’s inevitable for problems to pop up during a renovation and if you’ve finished a project without a single issue, I’d love to hear about it… Seriously! When I designed our new kitchen, I immediately knew we’d have problems with our beautiful Tasmanian Oak flooring due to the configuration of the original island bench. Instead of trying to describe the configuration in writing I thought it’d be best to insert a picture. If you haven’t seen my kitchen renovation blog series, have a read of Part One here. The photo below was taken at an inspection whilst the previous owner still lived in the home. It certainly looks just a tad different now!

Exhibit A
Original floor before we purchased the home
The kitchen and living room before we bought it

the unknown…

We had no idea how the floors would look under the original bench but it was a lot better than we predicted.  We also discovered patchy, dark stains in numerous areas in every room particularly up against the skirting and other fixtures of the home. Later on, we figured out how the stains came about however, it wont be mentioned in this post. Either way, they had to go!

Dark stains and damage from the original island bench
Dark stains and damage from the original island bench
Dark stains and damage from the original island bench
The other side
Stains all over existing flooring
Dark stains in patches all over the existing flooring

decisions decisions…

Unfortunately, a simple repair on a section of timber flooring is a no-no, so I had no choice but to restore the entire space being our kitchen, informal living room and formal dining room. Fortunately, we’d forecasted the flooring being an issue and included the cost into our budget from the beginning, thank goodness!

Being a heritage style home, we have a lot of covered verandas surrounding most of our exterior walls. Whilst it’s a beautiful and classic look, it also has the ability to darken our living space. The previous owners installed numerous sky lights throughout, however I’m on a mission to lighten everything up with our renovations and selection of furniture and décor. So far, so good! #allwhiteverything

lightening the floors…

So based on my concept of #allwhiteeverything, I convinced my gorgeous and super patient partner to let me white wash the floors in attempt to abolish the yellow tones and lighten the entire space. I understand a lot of readers will immediately think white washing beautiful Tassie Oak floors is absolutely criminal and I certainly wouldn’t disagree in a lot of circumstances. Even the floor sander himself said he personally wouldn’t white wash timber floors in most homes, except mine. However, our home is grand, our ceilings are high and all of our furniture and décor lends itself to our new classic coastal and Hamptons style theme – perfect for whiter, brighter floors right?

It’s amazing how yellow the existing polyurethane top coat has presented itself with time even though it’s a “clear coat”. The photo on the left is the original floors before commencing any work (excuse the mess, my partner and I were moving all the furniture to make way for the floor sander). The photo on the right is after sanding prior to using the white wash product. I can’t believe what a difference it made by simply removing the original polyurethane top coat.

Original Tasmanian Oak Flooring
Original Tasmanian Oak Flooring before any work
Tasmanian Oak Flooring after sanding
Tasmanian Oak Flooring after sanding (no coating as yet)

rod @ maroochy floor sanding…

Here’s our super cool floor man, Rod from Maroochy Floor Sanding sponging the floors with the white wash product. This is when I started to get excited. All of those yellow tones were magically disappearing and before I knew it, I opened my eyes and looked upon stunning cool, coastal and pale tones. Rod did a fabulous job and his attention to detail was second to none. If you’re on the coast and looking to revive your floors, he comes highly recommended.


Rod from Maroochy Floor Sanding working on our floors
Rod from Maroochy Floor Sanding - what a legend!

repairing the stains…

You can see the journey of the problematic stains below. Obviously, the marks aren’t completely gone, however the final photo seems to make the stains appear worse than they really are. Rod did mention from the start he was worried about the depth of the stains and expressed he’d struggle to remove them all together. To be honest – we hardly notice them! And I can’t say he didn’t try – he did sand each patch 11 times!

Dark stains and damage from the original island bench
From this...
Dark stains and damage from the original island bench sanded with white wash
To this...
Dark stains and damage from the original island bench sanded, white washed with polurethane coating
To this!

a new look for our tired floors…

If you’ve got timber floors and you’re looking to brighten a space or create a more dramatic feel, why not change the colour of your flooring. Beautiful dark timber floors look fabulous in the right space and by darkening them you have the ability to create the desired mood and feel you really want from your room. If you’ve got a dark space that needs lightening, I cannot recommend white washing (or liming) enough. That is, of course if you can let go of the original colour and beauty of your existing floors and be comfortable enough to try something different.

In relation to time and cost; the entire process wasn’t cheap and did take longer than I predicted. We moved all our furniture off the floors on a Sunday, moved out Monday morning and didn’t return until the following Sunday. So for us, it was basically a 7 day process. Also, depending on the area/s to be sanded, you might be required to seek alternative accommodation. Cost wise, we added an extra 50% to our bill in deciding to use a white wash on top of the cost to sand back and recoat with 2 coats of polyurethane. So was it worth it? Absolutely! It’s completely transformed our space and I find our visitors comment on our floors more than any other aspect of our home. Thumbs up from me!

I’ll see you this time next month (not fortnight) as I plan to spend the time finishing up a huge DIY project, so stay tuned! If you want to be reminded of any new posts,  sign up for my newsletter and I promise not to bombard you! Hope you enjoyed the read and as always, feel free to contact me with any questions. xx

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Tasmanian Oak Flooring after restoration of sanding, white wash and polyurethane coating
Tasmanian Oak Flooring after restoration of sanding, white wash and polyurethane coating
Ahhhhhh... So fresh and so clean!

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