Some of the attic floorboards have finally been lovingly transferred from under the eaves, and installed down below, where they can show themselves off. The attic floor is a real anomaly — pine which had never been sanded or finished in any way, and, under the eaves, hardly ever walked on, since the house went up. We have used them to repair the existing old floor in our main kitchen and new back entryway. Rather than sand everything flat, we are sealing them with a tung-oil-based varnish which will follow the natural contours of the boards, especially the irregular grooves left by hand-planing over 200 years ago. The attic floorboards had been covered with a deep layer of dust and dirt, staining the top surfaces uniformly gray. After brushing out the dirt and lightly sanding the highest spots, it become apparent that a couple of the attic boards had also been painted:
This shows a marvellous floorboard now in our back mudroom, with the residual paint sealed in under the first layers of sealant. (We will add more coats, building up a more consistent matte finish.) This next photo shows that the neighboring boards don’t have the paint — the one painted board will remain the anomaly — but you can also see the grooves of the hand-planing in the dark and light variations on the other plain pine boards.