5 Steps To Achieving A Distressed Look On Your Wooden Floors

So, you love the look of old, distressed wood floors, but your home's wood floors are anything but worn and distressed. Does this mean that, in order to achieve that rustic look, you need to replace your flooring entirely? Not necessarily! With the right tools and technique (along with a weekend of your time), you can transform your existing wooden floors to achieve that aged, distressed look that you love. Just follow some simple steps.

1. Sand

You'll want to start by lightly sanding your existing floors; this will help to remove any existing wax or sealant from the wood, in addition to preparing the wood to accept the new paint and stain. The easiest and fastest way to do this is with a belt sander. If you don't have one, consider checking your local home improvement store to see if they rent them out.

2. Paint

Next, it's time to paint your hardwood floors. Sounds counter-intuitive, but this is what will give your floors that distressed look (and don't worry, you can always strip the paint down the road if you decide you no longer want distressed floors). A simple white, oil-based paint will do the trick here. You don't need to prime, nor do you need more than one coat.

3. Sand Some More

Once your paint is totally dry it's time to sand some more to give your floors the beginning of that distressed look. Use the belt sander again to scuff sand with the grain of the wood (this will create a natural-looking distressed appearance). The purpose of this is to remove some of that paint to reveal the wood underneath. You can sand as much or as little as you like here, depending on the specific look you're going for.

4. Stain

Once you're done sanding, add that vintage and worn look by going over your floors with a bit of dark stain. Again, be sure to work in the direction of the wood--and don't work in large sections at a time, as you don't want the stain drying before you get a chance to work it into the wood.

5. Seal

When you're happy with the look of your faux-distressed floors (and once your stain is totally dry), it's time to preserve that look by applying a sealant to the wood. Keep in mind that you may need to re-seal your floors every few years to protect them from further wear.

For professional help with wood floor finishing, contact local contractors.