For hundreds of years, wood was treated with a lime and beeswax mixture. The objective was to protect the wood from being damaged by worms or insects. However, the lime residue left on the grain was also attractive. Many people still wash their floors with liming paste for its decorative effects.
Clear all the furniture from the room, then vacuum the entire floor. Dip a clean lint-free cloth in mineral spirits purchased from a home improvement store. Wipe the floor with the cloth, and continue dipping and wiping the entire floor. This will clean all the boards.
Go over the floorboards in the direction of the wood grain with a wire brush. Sand the floor if it is varnished or painted. Take the wood back to its bare finish. Sweep and clean the floor again to remove all the sanding dust.
Paint a coat of shellac on the floor. This will seal the wood. Allow the shellac to dry overnight.
Apply the liming paste with another paint brush. Apply in small, circular motions so that the paste works into the wood grain. Allow the paste to dry for a few hours.
Apply clear paste wax with clean, lint-free cloths. The wax will remove excess liming and add a protective, lustrous coat.