The Scandinavian whitewashed wood floor look is currently very fashionable and regularly requested by our clients. It’s worth knowing a little about it. The traditional Scandinavian approach to achieving this look is to white oil the floor followed by the application of a soap treatment. This method will eventually deliver a less than pristine white but it is true to the traditional Scandinavian whitewashed wood floor look and feel. The result is a natural-looking floor that will develop more character over time. The orange tones of some timbers can spoil the overall look of the white finish in some people’s opinion. If you want the very palest look it is possible to pre-treat the timber with either softwood or hardwood lye depending on the species.
Whitewashed Wood Floor – Maintenance
With the traditional approach it is important to keep in mind that like those nice white shoes or clothes, a natural white is harder to keep clean. Although the required care and maintenance of this oiled finish are relatively easy, it is more frequent than most people want. We generally recommend that you wash the floor with specialist white floor soap. This should be required between two and four times a month, depending on traffic and use. When used regularly, a soap membrane is formed that protects the wooden floor against grease, dirt and depletion.
Whitewashed wood floor – Alternatives
If the traditional method of achieving the Scandinavian whitewashed wood floor look is not really your cup of tea, there are two alternatives. A more modern approach that achieves a similar look is white tinted, catalysed oil. This option requires less regular maintenance and is our preferred option for non-traditionalists. A second option is to stain the floor white and then apply lacquer over the top of the stain. This method gives additional control over the shade of white that can be achieved, long term it also means that any damage to the floor is virtually impossible to disguise without a total re-sand. The choice is yours.
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