For the past four days I have pretty much sat on the floor with a heat gun and orbital sander. You would never think that sitting down all day could be physically tiring.
For the rest of the house we have either laid carpet (upstairs and the downstairs guest room) or we have had our NSW Spotted Gum floors sanded and sealed professionally by David from DD Floors. Dave's team laid all the new floors and then stripped and sealed our existing floors (dining room, kitchen and hallway) to match.
However it's the end of the job, I'm trying to save some money, so I decided to sort out the floor in our old bedroom/my new studio myself. I pulled up the carpet and was very happy to find the original 100 year old floors in great condition - except that half the floor had been covered with a thick black varnish. There was obviously a rug in the centre of the room that the previous owners had decided not to move when they were sealing the floor so luckily the varnish wasn't over the whole room.
I experimented with a few ways to remove the varnish but the most effective way was to use a heat gun and then my orbital sander. Slow work but the floor looks pretty good. Dave said that they use a concrete grinder to remove this but I didn't trust myself to not rip up the floorboards with such a powerful machine. I thought slow and steady might be better. It's still a bit patchy now but all the tar/varnish is gone and I can just work on evening up the colour slowly. It's very rustic industrial but it is a paint studio after all. I'm unsure of how i want to seal the floor but at the moment I am happy with having it unsealed. At least if I spill some paint I can just sand it off. The original floor boards are 25mm thick so there's no chance of me sanding too much. It feels beautiful underfoot - very smooth.
There are still tools everywhere (and that roll of carpet which is getting laid in the guest room today) but I think by the end of this week I'll have it sorted. The floor in the guest room (below) was pretty perfect. A few old paint drips and lots of staples but if my studio floor was the same as this I could have done it in a couple of hours rather than 4 days.
more photos coming soon.