Thursday, July 10, 2014

Refinishing the Hardwood Floors

The past week has been quite an experience for us.  First I must admit that none of us have ever refinished floors.  I have always wanted to have my floors refinished so we thought, hey, we'll learn how to do this on Eric's floors.  This top photo is the shot of how the floors looked before we started.  Notice all the new fresh beige paint on the walls.  These rooms were previously all white.  Now the crown molding is much more noticeable.  Click on the photo to enlarge it and you will see the bad condition of the floors.

In this spot I should have shown you the sanding of the floors in progress.  However, I didn't want to ruin my camera with dust.  I did use Rick's phone to take some pictures of that mess, but he hasn't had the time to download them.  Even though the machine has a bagger don't think for one minute that it helps with the dust issue.  

I did manage to capture the floors in this image as the varnish was being applied on the first coat.  Rick cut the varnish in around the edges while I applied the remainder of the area with a lamb's wool applicator.  We were applying oil base polyurethane because we didn't want to stain and we knew we couldn't work fast enough with the water base varnish.  That evening we returned and were not happy with the looks of the floor after it had dried, but assumed the second coat would look better and we would be applying three coats total.  

Eric was able to come that evening after work and help us apply the second coat.  Here is my advice:
Never apply varnish at night because the lighting is not good enough.  In our defense though the can said that if we didn't apply the second coat within 12 hours we would have to sand again because it would raise the grain.  We did not finish until after midnight.  We had brushed the varnished on in the little office and the spare bedroom so they looked great the next morning.  The two large rooms however  did not.  I did not in anyway like the lambswool applicator.  Trying to find good videos on how to use this properly was next to impossible and when I did find a video it was not much help.  Rick and I decided to get down on our knees and apply the last coat of varnish with a brush.  It took approximately 5 hours for two "old" people to put the final coat on.  We are now very happy that this project is over and done with.

Here is my final tip:  If you want a professional job, call a professional.  Our son is very happy though with his new floors.


  1. What a great job you've done on the floors. They look beautiful, and what a lovely home Eric has.

  2. Yes, that is one tough job and one that is much easier to leave to the pros IF one has the funds. My father-in-law once tacked hard wood floors and oh the mess he made of it. They were preferable before. Ha! These look fabulous, however. You "oldens" did a great job.

  3. That is definitely hard work! They make it look so easy on remodeling shows on tv!


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