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A day amongst the hustle and bustle of busy London can often leave you feeling drained and one thing that is sure to relax the senses is a warm and characterful room to return home to. Many homes in London are blessed with an authentic wooden floor and it’s easy to give these floors the magic they deserve! Away with the old paint and dirt, in with the vanish and your floorboards will look rewardingly beautiful in a short space of time.

Prep your floor for sanding:

First of all, it’s important that your floor is left clear of all furniture – especially fragile objects! Once the space is empty, tape around all of the doors and built-in cupboards that cannot be moved to avoid dust damage.

Then scan your floor for loose and protruding nails as these can interfere with the sander. You might choose to replace old/ protruding nails with new ones but alternatively, it’s easy just to nail down any that stick out.

At this point, it might also be an idea to repair your floor if there are any scratches or dents that have been annoying you over the years. Once you’ve complete this, give the floor a good vacuum and then you’re ready to sand.

 

Let the sanding begin:

As opposed to buying outright, it might be worth checking which of your London-based hard-wear stores allow equipment rental to save you splashing out on equipment you’ll only use once. Floor sanders come with sanding sheets that should be attached tightly against the drum of the sander so they don’t slip. Ensure you read the manual before starting any work with heavy duty equipment.

When you come to start sanding, always ensure you sand with the grain of the wood. Work at a slow and steady pace, lowering the sander slowly towards the floor as you start at one end of the room, and lifting in a similar fashion at the other end. You should repeat this process in similar motion approximately 5-8cm across from the previous area until you’ve covered the entire floor. The key is for a smooth and even sanding finish; any tough corners and hard-to-reach areas can be blended with an edge sander at the end of the process.

Finally, varnish!

Not only does varnishing enhance that luscious, woody quality your floorboards deserve so much, it also acts as a sealant, protecting your floorboards from boisterous, London life. Don’t cheap out on your varnish either as high quality finishes and integral to achieving that super-stylish look.

Ensure to clean your floor before varnishing, even after that sanding process as dust and debris will show up in the end finish.

When applying varnish, we at GJP recommend a sheep-skin applicator to ensure a smooth finish. Use wide brush strokes and follow the grain of the wood for the most natural look. You should allow two hours drying time before applying a second coat of finish. Keep the room well ventilated and wear appropriate protection to avoid damage to your lungs. After the final coat, it can take from 24 to 72 hours for your floorboards to dry properly, after which time you’re all set to move back into your newly renovated, London apartment.