on finishing unfinished heart pine flooring
I am a homeowner who is just learning about floor finishing. I've learned a ton by reading threads on this forum!
The flooring in question is 100 year old heart pine (we are in NC). I am in the process of taking up all the flooring that was over top of these pine tongue-and-groove boards, and wish to refinish them. They look to be in very good shape. The floor seems to have been covered in rugs or floor coverings of some kind while the pine boards were still in use. Where the (former) floor coverings were, the wood is completely unfinished. Outside of these unfinished rectangular areas, the floor was painted with a coat of dark red paint.
First, how concerned do I need to be about getting the painted and non-painted wood boards to match after stripping the paint off of the painted areas and then sanding the floor?
Second, is there a best-practice for sanding these heart pine floors, so that I can make sure they don't get screwed up? I've read horror stories of drum sanders and pine floors. Would like to sand as lightly as possible.
And finally, I am trying to choose between Waterlox and Rubio Monocoat. Any pointers/preferences/comparisons from those with experience? (we have no kids or dogs; i'd rather not use poly)