Q: Our loft apartment has rough-sawn hardwood floors that I think are unstained pine(?) coated with polyurethane. Our building is only about 10 years old so they are pretty new. The problem is, they are extremely yellow. They seem more yellow in areas receiving direct sunlight all day so I suspect it may be the poly that is yellowing. I am tired of trying to design around our floor color and want to refinish with either a very faint whitewash so the wood grain and texture are still visible, or a light but non-yellow shade, if that's possible:
Firstly, is it possible to refinish (DIY) roughsawn poly-coated floors without sanding the heck out of them, to the point where they are almost smooth? I have read that only a light scuffing is necessary to get the paint to adhere. But my partner thinks that if we whitewash, it will not stick in the small creases of the wood grain and will end up wearing unevenly, peeling, and looking awful. Is he right? Has anybody out there tried this?
Secondly, what are people's opinions on whitewashed flooring in general? I am ok with rustic, and with scuffs on the white, but I don't want something that will look too West Elm/CB2 designer-y or dated in a few years when we resell. Would you buy a loft with whitewashed floors? Or do you think ours look okay the way they are? We have a LOT of wood in this apartment already because the ceilings are unfinished pine with steel beams.
Sent by Elizabeth
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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and son in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.
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