Board by Board and Never Again


700 square feet on my knees and never again.

I’m still brushing stain in my sleep, so excuse the pessimism. 


So here’s the nitty gritty:

We tried a pickling stain, but found too much yellow from the wood still showed through even after two coats.  Then we tried brushing on regular white wall paint, then rubbing off the excess, but that proved too thick and had a tinge of blue. 


So finally we settled on deck stain.  After trying out several different application methods on scrap boards, we found the best solution: 1 cup of deck stain to 1/2 cup of water.  After mixing, we applied with a paint brush. 


The problem we ran into with all of the above methods was demarcation lines.  That’s why painting board by board was the only way we could figure to do it. 

Since we thinned the stain with water, we didn’t have to worry about it drying too quickly before finishing each board.  But brushing even two boards at a time, we ran into it drying, showing those irritating lines. 


When the stain for the whole room was finally completed, we followed it up by sponging on three coats of polyurethane in satin.  That part was a breeze comparatively.


We  like the end result.   In fact, it’s exactly the look we were after.  But. “Never again!”

Although… those are the very same words I uttered after a very hard labor with my first baby.   And we all know how that worked out in the end.  Which probably means a lot more whitewashing in our future. ;)


  1. Beautiful, magazine worthy. This is going straight to my inspiration file 'painted floors'. How did you convince your hubby to sleep elsewhere for the entire project? This might be my hardest part of the project - the disruption. Well done.

  2. It looks gorgeous, I am so longing to paint my floors.

  3. Oh boy it is lovely looking. Sweat equity for sure. Know that all your hard work truly paid off. It's stunning.

  4. Ohhhh, poor you! ! ! I know how you feel when you have to work that hard to achieve the look you want, but honestly, this looks like it was sooooo worth it! It is perfection! ! ! ! Now, go put your feet up, sit back and just admire what all that hard work has done for your room! Gorgeous!

  5. Oh- It was well worth the effort because it looks beautiful...pain or no pain! Love it! Diana

  6. the results are lovely. Your whitewashed floors seem to float.

  7. STUNNING!!!! I understand it was tons of work, but seriously that is one of the prettiest floors I've ever seen!!

  8. It looks absolutely stunning Rie, well done! Hope those knees are having a very well-deserved rest. Enjoy that gorgeous floor ~ Tina x

  9. It looks fantastic!! Very professional looking for sure:o) Rie, Do you think it would be easier to paint/stain each board and let it dry before you nail it down?

  10. Sorry it was so rough ( I feel similarly about wallpaper)but the results are stunning.

  11. Your floors look fabulous! Congratulations to a job well done. Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful home with us :)

  12. Rie - It looks amazing! They are airy, beautiful, and so summery - literally and figuratively they are completely a look of fresh air. I think light floors make a room look bigger, too, did you find this? Thanks for sharing your experience and all the trials, this is so useful for if I ever try this myself - which is very likely seeing your hard-won results! xo

  13. Rie, The floor is fabulous! I know it was a lot of work but the results are beautiful.

  14. Rie, I love it and I bet in a month you will think it was well worth it =0)
    Ness xx

  15. MAGNIFICENT!!!!!

    Your house is so beautiful.....does anyone live in it? It looks so neat and un-lived in!!!

    Beautiful......I sigh :)


  16. Whew! I hear you! I refinished my floors when I was five months pregnant and it was hard work. If they need to be refinished again, they are getting painted or we're moving!

    Your floors look so lovely, though. Definitely worth it in the end.

  17. GORGEOUS!! It was worth the wait to see the finished results!!!

    Great job!


  18. Your floors look beautiful - well worth the hard work!

  19. It's beautiful Rie~ bravo for hanging in there!!

  20. Oh, it looks fab! I love how it turned out. You must be so happy it is done. Thanks so much for the great information! Now, go get yourself a treat!

  21. It looks beautiful! I'm sure that was a huge amount of hard work but it looks like it all paid off.

  22. They do look beautiful Rie!! Fabulous in fact :) I hear ya on never again....kinda like having kids...hee hee :)

  23. oh my gosh, the floors are gorgeous!!!! i want that exact same thing in my house! :)

  24. I am in love with your floors. They came out gorgeous. Trust me I've said never again many times and usually don't mean it!

  25. gorgeous!!!!!!!!!!!!
    love the photos!
    take care,

  26. I love your blog. I wish you had time to write every day! Could you sometime share a few more photos of your little long-haired daschound? I would love to get one and have never seen a white one. Yours is adorable and I would love to see her/him again. Thanks.

  27. It's gorgeous!

    I'd say it's worth the trouble. But then again, I'm not the one who did it. :)

  28. looks awesome. love the crisp freshness of it~

  29. Oh my goodness....THAT WAS a lot of work, Rie! Sure hope you used knee pads, girl! lol! But the end result is just stunning! LUV IT!!!!! :)

    xoxo laurie

  30. oh my I LOVE it!!! Pat yourself on the back for that one girlfriend!! It looks amazing.

  31. beryla@starband.netMay 9, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    stumbled upon your blog as I am about to finish 250 sq. ft of white pine and I don't want the "yellow" look it can get with age or with certain finishes...I am planning on whitewashing (the last floor I did was 2,000 sq ft of crema marfil marble that I personally grouted and fiinsihed the night before the movers showed up with the semi of our belongings....3 questions: is the Behr product water-based ? was your top coat a Behr product as well (waterbased)? did you sand between your 3 top coats? thank you so very much for your time (you seem to do very well with your time management skills)beryl


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