Take the 2-minute tour ×
Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. It's 100% free, no registration required.


  • I live in an old (mid 1800's) house I'm preparing to sell.
  • Some (new) wide plank pine floors in the kitchen have lost their finish in areas (photos below).
  • I'm pretty sure they were originally finished in tung oil, since that fits all the evidence I have (e.g. the bottles left around from the last owner).
  • I also have a tiny bottle of the original stain, which (of course!) is no longer made.

I have a guy that estimates $750 to sand, stain, and put 3 coats of poly on the floor. Sounds like a pretty good deal, but

  • I'm not sure the poly will match the rest of the house
  • the house is settling, and the boards are slightly uneven; sanding + poly, hmmm.
  • it's the kitchen, and central to the house, so downtime is a big hassle.

My question: would I be crazy to try spot repairing this?

If so, I imagine that will involve:

  • thorough cleaning (Murphy's?)
  • spot sanding
  • spot staining
  • multiple layers/applications of tung oil, perhaps to the whole floor

I wouldn't call myself handy. I've hung some sheetrock, and caulked a few seams in my life. I don't own a sander, which probably speaks volumes. I'm an engineer, and can follow instructions and figure stuff out, but that don't beat experience.

OK, photos. Worn area:

enter image description here

"OK" area:

enter image description here

Another small worn area in kitchen:

enter image description here

For comparison, floor in another room. This wood might be > 150 years old! You can also see a worn area here. I'm not so worried about this kind of thing, but it could possibly use some TLC too.

enter image description here

My full complement of original stain:

enter image description here

share|improve this question

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.