Our Floor Project

It all started when I began to make curtains for our living room.  The fabric is very elegant and I made the comment that it sure would like nice once our floors were refinished.  I then asked Mike if we could rip up some carpet.  Now, we had talked about doing this project for awhile, but we just never got it started.  There were always things going on to prevent us.  But, that night, Mike said that we could rip up the carpet in our hallway.

So, that is what we did. As I was pulling out the staples left behind from the carpet padding and Mike was removing the tack strip, I realized what we had done. We had committed ourselves to a huge project that was going to be very time consuming and challenging. After seeing the condition of the flooring we thought about hiring a professional, but the cost was prohibitive.

With the carpet in the hallway pulled up we decided that we needed to go ahead and rip out the rest of the carpet in the dining room and living room. We also decided that we would leave the carpet in the bedrooms.

As you can see the floors weren’t in horrible shape, but they did need to be sanded and refinished. Someone had sanded them at one time, but only slightly and must have given up. Plus, when they painted the walls and ceilings, they didn’t use drop cloths which allowed paint to drip onto the floors.

The refinishing project was started early Labor Day weekend. By starting it Thursday evening we were hoping to have the project completed in time to enjoy a day with my family on Labor Day.

We first started with a hand sander to see how difficult it would be to get the edges and then we went to Home Depot and rented a machine called U-Sand. It was a machine that had four orbital sanders in it and could get edges and corners. We were quite impressed by how well it sanded the floors down. Mike did most of the sanding, but I did do one pass. In order to get the desired smoothness we used various levels of sander grit. The finished product felt very smooth.


Once the floors were sanded we applied our stain. It was so amazing to see the color down on the floor. It was hard to believe we had already gotten to that step. We did run into a problem with the stain. I started with a small can of stain which was a regular Minwax stain. We were using it to test the color and then when we decided to use that color, Mike started using the stain out of the gallon can. The problem came when we realized that the gallon can was the low V.O.C. formula. That type of stain is very thick, almost like paint and we were soon to find out that it takes a very long time to dry. We had planned on polyurethaning our floors the day following the staining. We were able to have the house open and had left the fans on and it was going to be more than the recommended dry time. Well, the floors weren’t dry and didn’t completely dry for several days. In that time we decided that we weren’t going to put polyurethane down, but that we would just use Johnson’s Past Wax. Once we put the wax down we used a hand buffer to buff the wax. When that didn’t work very well we rented a large “Floor Maintainer” from Home Depot and buffed the floors. The finished product looks very nice.

Eight days after starting the project we moved our couch back into the house and then the following day we put our dining room table back. It is amazing how nice it is to have furniture in a house. J The only thing we have left to do now is put molding around the baseboards, finish putting books back into the bookshelves and then buy a few rugs. We love our “new” floors!

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