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Let’s talk about floors, baby!

August 16, 2013

One of the questions I get asked the most – here on the blog and on Instagram too – is how I got the floors of my old apartment to look the way they did. Remember my floors?
These plank floors are 113 years old and still beautiful as ever. I stained them with white oil myself. See more of my old floors here and here.

The new apartment has the same kind of old plank floors. The previous owner has not been taking very good care of them, so they are in need of some TLC.

I am staining some of them with white oil – like in my old home – and I am going to do a step-by-step guide here on the blog to answer all your questions and share my experiences. It will be up shortly, so stay tuned. See what a big difference it makes?

To mix things up a bit I am painting the floors of the kitchen and hallway white. There are two ways to go when painting floors. Oil based paint or the new water based paint. I have chosen the latter, as white oil paint have a tendency to turn yellow in time. The water based paint dries faster too and it is easier to clean the tools afterwards.
I would be happy to do a step-by-step guide and share my experiences if anyone is interested? Edit: Here’s a link to the DIY guide.

My new home is really starting to come together and I can’t wait to share some pics with you. Today the floor of the living room is getting done by professionals – it is the last floor to get done and I should be able to unpack my last boxes next week finally!

I have been working so hard on painting, sanding, oiling and fixing up everything that I’ve given myself carpal tunnel syndrome in my right hand. No fun at all – it is very painful and I’ve been put on full rest by the doctor. Luckily I am getting som help with the last few projects.

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  • Avatar
    Reply Cat @ StudioHuntingBears August 16, 2013 at 10:54

    Well I for one am very interested as I love the wood floors in your old home. Our house is 120 years old and although some of the wood floors had wood rot and we swapped them out we replaced them with Victorian pitch pine planks. We just used a couple of coats of matt varnish but I’ve always preferred lighter floors and these now look a kind of orangey brown which I don’t like. I don’t think it would take too much effort to strip/sand them back and use the white oil you talk about. I’d love a step by step in photos to see just how I could achieve it.

    Very excited for you and can’t wait to see pictures. Hope the hand is better soon xxxx

    • Rikke
      Reply Rikke August 16, 2013 at 12:47

      I know excatly what you mean. The floors in my new kitchen and hallway had varnish on – they do tend to turn a bit orangy-brown. The step by step guide to oil stain the floors will be up in the next few days. Typing with my left hand only is a bit tricky ;)

      It is a lot of work doing this yourself, but they are so easy to keep afterwards – worth all the work.

      Thank you, Hun! Hopefully I can unpack the last boxes next week now that my living room floor is getting done and start making this a home. And share some photos of cause! xx

  • Avatar
    Reply Marianne August 18, 2013 at 23:42

    Hi Rikke
    I too would be very interested in getting a ‘ how to do ‘ white oil floors.
    I live in a 100 year old farm house in Australia and I too have those orangy timber floors. Being Danish I am just longing to change them to create ‘ that Nordic feeling’ in my home. So yes, please share….
    Hope your hand will get better soon.

    • Rikke
      Reply Rikke August 19, 2013 at 12:03

      Hej Marianne
      Nu svarer jeg på dansk, så jeg håber, at du stadig kan huske dit modersmål ;) Dejligt at høre, at der er efterspørgsel på guiden. Jeg er i fuld gang med at skrive den, men det tager lige lidt ekstra tid, nu hvor jeg kun har venstre hånd. Australien lyder skønt! Håber du kan få lidt nordisk look ind.

  • Reply Summer of ’13 | thatnordicfeeling August 20, 2013 at 10:53

    […] The post I promised you on how to do oil stained floors is coming up soon. It’s taking a little longer to write than expected as I can only type with […]

  • Reply How to give your floors that nordic look | thatnordicfeeling August 28, 2013 at 21:09

    […] you go lovelies, as promised my step by step guide to stain your hardwood floors with white oil and create that nordic feeling […]

  • Avatar
    Reply samone September 2, 2013 at 15:54

    Hi Rikke
    I’ve just moved into a new home and would have loved white floors but there was no way I could convince my husband! Cannot wait to see your new home – enjoying your IG feed.
    IG | beachside_

    • Rikke
      Reply Rikke September 2, 2013 at 16:21

      Husbands can be tricky ;) You must work on him for next time, hehe. Start by making him read this post ;)
      Thank you very much – so happy to hear that. It’s really starting to look like a home and I will share lots of pics soon.

      Rikke x

  • Avatar
    Reply Ana-Maria September 27, 2013 at 12:13

    Hi Rikke-

    Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful tips on creating that Nordic floor look. I have a question regarding this. We too have an old house with pine floors dating back to 1879. We recently stripped them down and applied Danish oil. They are simply too orange in color and would much prefer a whiter and paler look. In order to achieve this, do you think I will need to resand or can I simply apply the white tinted oil on top? Thanks again!


    • Rikke
      Reply Rikke September 30, 2013 at 14:52

      Hi Ana-Maria

      So glad you can use the guide. In your case I would begin with stripping the floor of oil in the way I have described in the guide. Once dry take a good look at it. Is all the oil gone? If yes, go ahead and apply the extra white oil. If not – what does it look like? If there is a lot of oil left I would sand it down again. If there is only a thin layer left, I would strip it down one more time like described in the guide.

      You can only sand these old floors so many times – so I would definitely try to avoid it – also scrubbing it is less messier ;-)

      I would love to know how it turns out! Good luck.


  • Avatar
    Reply Maja March 11, 2015 at 08:12

    Thanks for the post! I am very interested in either natural soaped or very slightly white oiled floors for a new house we are planning. Are soaped floors very difficult to maintain? Do they get marked very easily or are they easy to remove? I am looking for a natural (not too white, and not too yello) look. Mange Tak!!! Any insight would be helpful!!

    • Rikke
      Reply Rikke March 11, 2015 at 08:14

      If you have another look at the post, you’ll find my maintenance advice and experiences towards the end :) Good luck!

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