Back to Patching Holes
The "cottage" living room floor has been abused in the past. It had been abused by electricians and by HVAC contractors. The floor had 7 holes where socket boxes were once located and four holes for heating vents. The room is 16' X 15' in area. I have been busy this weekend reducing the number of holes in the floor and have finally got good at patching the holes. Buying a router was a step in the right direction also and actually using it was another. I patched up the floor so that we will end up with four floor boxes around the room and two colossal vent holes were patched also. The whole trick to patching these holes is to actually make them look like they were done by somebody else a long, long time ago. Well, that's my opinion anyway. That way they don't stand out too much. I am fortunate to have a lot of old wood to use and I was very fortunate to have a short plank of ash from one of the floors that I could use to patch some of the holes. I was also smart enough to save a bag of sawdust from one of our floor sandings to use as a filler. I mix it with linseed oil and push it into the gaps between floor boards before applying shellac or polyurethane to the floors. In this case I used it to fill the narrow gaps around the edges of the patches.
Any way. Here are some pictures.
This one is right in front of a doorway to the dining room.
This was one of three within 4 feet of each other. Don't ask me why.
This was a large vent hole. One board is ash, the narrow one (if you can actually see it) is pine.
This last one troubled me for a long time, which is why the floor wasn't patched sooner. It was a vent hole cut across several boards. No matter how much I would have tried to hide this it would'nt have worked. I don't have any wide planks of ash to patch it with and to attempt a patch with multiple boards running parallel with the floor boards would have made an obvious patch job look bad. One thought was to patch it with a nicely painted board with a stencil pattern on it and some molding around the edge to frame it nicely. The thought here was to actually draw attention to the flaw and make it pretty but that would have created a ridge where the "frame" would lie. Besides, we will most likely stick a piece of furniture over it so it would be covered anyway. In the end I found a piece of old pine that had been painted on one side. The paint was difficult to remove so I flipped the board over to reveal the unpainted side, sanded it and then cut the edges to conform with the irregularities in the vent hole rather then try to cut the vent hole square. I filled any gaps with my sawdust putty mixture, applied two coats of shellac and now I have to go buy a quart of polyurethane (because that is something I don't have lying around this place), to put over the patches because this is one of our polyurethaned floors. So, you guys all know that I patched these holes but if you saw them yourself you might just say that I am too young to have made these patches! Right, that'll be the day ....