Can you see how dark it is? It's not full of stars. It's just a dark oak stain for pine floorboards in the family room. Remember it was more a shell of a room when we started, so getting to this part is reason to gibber. Andrew refused to wear gloves for staining the floor, he said, 'You can't feel the grain with rubber gloves on'. He now has very brown hands, he will later on have just what look like very dirty nails, which is normal with a gardener, no matter what they do they always seem to end up with dirty nails.
We were advised to strip back the boards but frankly, and from previous experience of doing it, we knew we would lose all those wonderful echoes of yesteryear, the drop of paint (we know we're odd), the dip in the wood that fitted the heel of someone long gone, and the patina - yes, we know we are staining it but the ghosts of the past still ache through and that is patina, you can't buy that stuff - we know that a dark stain is forgiving on a floor though dubious on jeans. So, Andrew stripped off to his underwear, one of our neighbours' witnessed that when we answered the door and we showed her the new floor. We were so proud of it but I forgot Andrew was still staining it in his boxer shorts and not much else. We haven't seen her since. It was a sight that would have damaged a fragile heart. Frankly, it would have floored an ox too.
So, the only thing we stripped back was Andrew's clothing and the result is rather nice, though Andrew appears to have fake tan when his shirt is off. It's called dark oak. Next it's all about the varnish, thankfully not wax, that can be dangerous with chest hair.