Just moved house and about to embark on a kitchen reno and need to sand, polish and the floor (see attached floor pic). The boards are red-brown with the lighter colour at the bottom of the pic nearer the window obviously a bit sun-bleached. I've had a couple of companies quote, but they have identified the boards differently (one Tas Oak, the other Jarrah). We want to lighten them up at least to more of a yellow-brown or possibly even grey but both have given pretty vague descriptions of what they might end up looking like. Just wondering if I can do a spot test with hand sander and some varnish/polish to see the possibilities. Any comments/suggestions or company recommendations welcome (located in Caulfield, Melbourne BTW).
The red hues to the timber are natural, and I'm not sure how you would be able to lighten them with sanding and coating. It appears that there is just a clear coat on the timber at the moment. You could apply a brown stain to mask the red colouring, but this will significantly darken the boards.
The greyed timber look popular for the last eight years is achieved by lime-washing over a lighter coloured timber like Vic ash. Since your timber has some strong reds in it, the outcome of using a lime-wash would be unknown. There are a couple of ways to do the lime wash. The first being the limewash by itself and then CFP to seal it or the one-step limewash and polyurethane coating. These products can be tinted to different shades, and the catalogues in-store will show you what is available. Alternatively, there are paint products like Feast Watson 4L Satin White Floor Paint available. All these products require you to sand the floor back to bare timber.
I trust you'll find these step-by-step guides useful: