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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Georgian (Story) Boards

Get set for another before and after story. This time we feature the original Georgian floorboards and their stories.

Like every other room, the hallway was scrubbed and scrubbed dozens of times with a pericarbonate solution because of the cat destruction, leaving the boards stripped and dry. 
As you can see, otherwise, they are in pretty original condition and carry the decades of wear upon them. Note the colour difference and tack line where a carpet runner decades ago was tacked into place and of course the paint spills from previous "handy men". The boards have aged incredibly and still hold a dead straight line and some faintly show the pit saw marks. There are gaps but this allows the boards to swell and contract and we are not subject to draughts because of the solidness of the foundations and the special draughting tunnel built under the boards

The entire area was prepped by a thorough clean down with methylated spirits. Beeswax was gently melted in a ratio of 2:1 with Gum Turpentine. This creates a pliable, softish wax that is skimmed lightly across the boards to put down a thin layer that is then worked and polished with ultra fine steel wool (like size 0). The friction creates warmth and spread the wax in an even layer and helps it to penetrate the timber fibres, nourishing and evening, leaving a hard protective coating but most importantly, a breathable finish.

Rather than plugging holes and filling nail heads, we leave in full view the tribute to a time when every nail was hand made. Many people are tempted to sand back to perfection and then coat with a polyurethane finish.  I find this natural product and glowing finish to be the perfect treatment as we step as lightly as we can upon the history.


  1. Gorgeous result! Thank you so much for this post as I've got to deal with some floor boards like that and didn't have a clue how to do it. Now I know. I'd better go in hunt for my 'gardener's knees'.

  2. I love this, Tanya. It’s exactly what I want to do with our old boards that are in similar condition to yours (minus the cat issues). Big job, but worth it. Want to come do ours? Lol

  3. beautiful!
    i have a mess of flooring here, much larger gaps (no cat pee even though i've had cats the whole time i've been here) i hope to get my floors done in the future, big gaps through a lot (verandahs built in)
    thanx for sharing

  4. It looks like several of us have all got boards that need doing, lol. The ones in my bedroom are a delight, though, as they show decades of paint splashes and other artwork leavings. A bit of my own history which I'd like to keep, although I love the way you've preserved history with that fabulous wax finish. :)


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