Don’t want to lose the ‘old’ look of the floor by sanding

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Q: We installed a 100 year old salvaged floor that is heart pine. Although it is in pretty good shape, we want to clean it up a bit and fill the scratches and gouges. Everyone we have talked to wants to sand and refinish, but we don’t want to lose the ‘old’ look of the floor, since that is the charm.

What is the best way to clean up the years of stuff on the floor without sanding all the charm out of the floor?

A: Your floor was taken from another location and installed in your house. It can’t be flat. The only way to make it flat is to sand it down. If you do that, you won’t remove the colour from a century of changes to the wood. You can chemically strip it, but you won’t get it flat that way. I would sand it. I have done many of these. A few have turned out quite dark, which shows that you can’t sand out a century of colour.

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