Floors, #2: can this floor be saved? (cont’d)

Sanded floor with fresh patch
Old and new

Even with Scott the floor genius’s hard work and a thin coat of white stain on the old part, there’s still a big contrast between the old floor and the new, fresh patches. Scott gives me the go ahead to play with it a bit, “But not too much,” he says. “I don’t want to have to sand the whole thing again.

I start with some grey paint. I mix it darker this time so it’s a true match for the marine paint that lingers in the cracks and valleys of the old floor. I use it sparingly, to try to bridge some of the gaps where a fresh, raw board butts up against an old one.

A thin strip of grey paint covers filler and links old to new
A thin strip of grey paint covers filler and links old to new

Then I get serious. I mix neutral tint water based stain base, which I happen to have left over from the cabinets (I used it to dilute the blue green, which was pretty fierce), with raw umber powdered pigment that I happen to have hanging around. Now, you might ask, “Who just happens to have powdered pigment hanging around?” – and it would be a legitimate  question. But if you’re into color, it’s one of the things you need to always have, just in case (that and the primary colors, of course). It makes a lovely dark brown, which I can thin or thicken at will. Thick, I use it to match the dark brown paint that’s hanging on for dear life. Thin, I use it to darken the fresh patches so they don’t stand out quite so badly. And yes, I am obsessed – I do this by crawling around the floor on my hands and knees hand rubbing stain. It’s kind of fun, actually, just swiping stain around and wiping it off and after a few coats, it actually starts to blend!

Raw umber pigment blends old with new

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