You know there is nothing prettier than a newly finished wood floor. But what about a distressed, worn look?
Distressed hardwood floors feature the nicks, gouges, and scratches that usually come with decades of use. Since these imperfections give wood floors their unique, well-worn character, distressed hardwood floors are much more forgiving when it comes to wear and tear. They are extremely durable and low maintenance - making them perfect for active families and people with pets. Richard Daniell, a distressing finisher with Trinity Floors in Dallas, Texas, describes distressed hardwood floors as “bullet proof.”
Their rustic charm complements Southwest, Country, and Old World décor and can add warmth and texture to traditional and contemporary interior design schemes. Any type of wood can be used, but if you are budget conscious, you might want to consider less expensive woods like Southern Yellow Pine and White Oak, or even factory seconds.
With a simple assortment of inexpensive hand tools, you can distress your new or existing floor like a pro.
BASIC EQUIPMENT & TOOLS
* Floor sander (rental)
* Floor buffer (rental)
* Paint scraper
You can screw an ordinary paint scraper to an 18" length of aluminum or metal tubing. This will give you better leverage during the scraping step
* Length of metal chain
* Metal file
* Water bucket
* Broom and dust pan
STEPS TO DISTRESSING A HARDWOOD FLOOR
* The Double-Scrape Technique
Begin by sanding the entire area of wood floor that you want to distress.
Use a sponge to wet a portion of the floor where you will begin scraping. It is best to wet only a small area - about 2’x2’ - at a time. The water lets you see where you are working.
Use the paint scraper to scrape against the wood’s grain in the 2’x2’ wet area.
Wet the same 2’x2’ area again.
Use the paint scraper to scrape with the wood’s grain in the 2’x2’ wet area.
Continue the scraping process - first with the wood’s grain, then against the wood’s grain - until you have scraped the entire area you want to distress.
Sweep away all the wood shavings.
On your knees, walk around the entire area, randomly hitting the floor with the length of metal chain until you have the desired amount of chain marks.
Use the paint scraper to randomly add long and short scratches to the area until you have achieved your desired effect.
Use a crowbar and metal file to randomly add gouges to the area until you achieve the desired effect.
After you have finished adding the desired amount of scrapes, nicks and gouges, lightly buff the floor. Now the floor is ready to be stained and sealed with polyurethane.