After almost 2 years we finally have the parlor floor finished! We began a few weeks ago with rented sanders (2 different kinds), a belt sander, a random orbit sander, a heat gun and a wire brush on a drill all in the attempt to remove 1 layer of latex paint over ancient varnish over the original milk paint. We got 90%+ removed and called it good enough; an 150 year old floor will never look new and we are content with that. I didn't sweat removing all of the milk paint, I'm intrigued by the red floor edges and the green baseboards, it's an old house quirk that I love.
And then the floor finish, I AGONIZED over it for weeks. I loathe polyurethane, I think it looks fake and we do try to avoid petroleum by-products whenever we can. I really want to keep the house as much as it was when it was built including what finishes they would have had access to so in the end we used raw linseed oil. I researched it and we bought this product, using it avoids the mold issues that linseed oil can have and it's completely organic, an important consideration because really, if you can't eat your floor finish then why use it? ;) We applied 2 coats, wiped the excess (there wasn't much) and then let it rest until the wax came. The wax arrived today, we applied it, buffed it and and voila'! My lovely floor. Every year we will need to reapply the wax, but that's an effort that I'm willing to make for such a beautiful end product.
Should the floor become scratched we just reapply wax in that spot, no fear of lap marks as with polyurethane. If the scratch is deep enough we would apply linseed oil first then wax, so much easier than brush-on products.
Now we can begin to move furniture in that's been sitting on the porch while this project d-r-a-g-g-e-d on and figuring out how to arrange paintings that have been in storage since we bought the house. I'm excited!