Thursday, December 2, 2010

~how I refinished my wood floors~

This is a step by step on how I refinished our floors and saved thousands.
I am by no means a professional.
This is the way I did our floors.
I don't know if it is the preferred, correct method,
but it's how I did ours, and for us it worked!
I highly encourage anyone to do their own floors.
It was inexpensive, easy, and only took 2 days. First things first.
Gather all your materials.
You can rent a sander at any home improvement store for around $50 for 24 hours.
We rented ours at Home Depot.
They will be able to tell you the sandpaper you need to go along with it.
You will also need:
1~a palm sander with sandpaper
2~minwax {this was the brand we used and I was happy with it} pre stain floor conditioner
{I don't know if this is the exact name, but if you ask at the home improvement store they can get you what you need}
3~Stain. I used "jacobean" by minwax and went through 2 gallons.
4~a varathane floor sealer.
I used a low odor, super fast drying sealer.
I was able to re~apply the sealer after 2 hours.
5~stain able wood filler if you have any imperfections in your floors.
First up~clear the room out.
The sander has a bag on it to collect dust, however, it didn't collect all the dust.
I had to go through the house from top to bottom dusting everything after I was done.
I wish I would have put plastic sheets up between rooms, so if you are thinking about doing this, you might want to do so.
Start out with a coarse sandpaper.
Sand the entire floor.
As you can see, my 7 year old could do this.
I was picturing turning the machine on and being taken on a wild ride, but that's not the case.
It's just like pushing a vacuum.
They say to sand the direction of the grain on your floor.
I didn't.
I'm such a rebel.
So, sand all the finish off with a coarse sandpaper.
Sand again with a medium grit sandpaper.
Sand again with a fine sandpaper.
Sweep up the dust.
The sander doesn't get close to your walls and cabinets.
Therefore you have to go back with a palm sander
{I have a dewalt one that I love}
and get those areas.
Use the same method you did with the sander.
Coarse grit, medium grit, and fine grit.
I think the sanding played a huge part in the overall finished product.
Don't skimp here.
Sand and sand and sand.
I think Cody I
sanded for about 4 hours.

This is what our floors looked like after they were sanded.
An improvement already.
Then I used a metal trowel and applied wood filler to all the cracks and imperfections.
We had a lot!
When that is dry, sand again.
{fine grit only needed}
Do you see a pattern here?
Now, go clean off that sander and return it to the store, you are done with that thing!

Sweep your floor.
Vacuum it, get ALL the dust off because
now it is time to use the pre stain conditioner.
Just brush on and let dry.
1 coat.
No rhyme or reason.
Easy peasy.
When dry you can apply your stain.
The directions on the can of stain said to brush on and then wipe off.
The longer you let it sit, the more it will penetrate into the wood, and the deeper the color.
Here's the thing.
I brushed it on, then wiped it off like they suggested.
It looked horribly uneven and blotchy.
So, this is what I did.
I brushed on with a 3 or 4 inch brush like below.
I didn't wipe any off.
I actually put it on kind of thick.
At this point I was really nervous because I wasn't
"following the directions"
But, I went for it, and did the whole floor with this method.
Brush on and leave.
I started this whole process after I dropped the kids at the bus at 8.
I finished with the stain around 5:30 if that gives you a perspective on the timing.
Our kitchen is smack in the middle of our house so we had to come and go through the master bedroom window if you can picture that!
It was quite amusing handing the kids off through the window!

I let it dry overnight.
In the morning there was still places that were tacky.
The instructions on the sealer say to apply it when the floor is totally dry.
I cranked the heat in the house to 75 degrees.
2 hours later, still tacky.
Called my husband in a panic, and in a sweat.
He told me to apply the sealer anyway.
{he's a rebel too, aren't we both just so bad?}
I did.
The sealer and the tacky stain must have had a reaction, a good one, because it dried almost instantly.
I could walk on the floor after an hour.
The sealer said to put on a minimum of 4 coats every 2 hours.
I did do this.
The whole process was more time consuming than anything.
I think the finished product looks like hand scraped flooring that people pay a fortune for.
I am so happy I did this and am wondering why I didn't do it sooner.

The darker color does show the dirt more.
I have to sweep everyday instead of every other day, but that's ok with me.
I'm not the best at tutorials so I hope this was easy enough to follow.
It's been about 2 weeks since I did this and they still look great.
My dog has put some scratches in it with his claws, but nothing we can't live with.

I'll be back tomorrow to tell you about how I painted my cabinets!
Thanks for all your kind comments, I love reading them!
Don't forget to enter the willow house giveaway that ends tomorrow.
You can do so by clicking here.


Debra said...

I am so impressed with how you just do things and do them so well, I think this might give me enough courage to try it, they look great!!!!

Thompson Tales said...

Melaine, I LOVE LOVE LOVE your kitchen, it looks great!! You did an awesome job with the floors and your cabinets look great! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving, can't wait to see your Christmas decor!!!

Laurie said...

Wow, what a great job! You may have inspired me to be brave and try this myself :) Thanks for the tutorial!

Anonymous said...

I love the music on your site! Your floors look great, too.

Cortney said...

Wow- that looks amazing! I work at a bridal store in a downtown shop and our hardwood floors are horrible. I might have to suggest that we tackle them and refinish them too!

Dolce Baci said...

Oh how I wish you could do this on Laminate wood floors. Our old house had real wood floors and I loved it...I'm not feeling this laminate and it's the light blonde color..I wonder if I could stain them???

Renee said...

Thank you sooo very much! We're re-doing our next weekend and my stomach has been in knots at the thought of running the sander. Your post has put my mind at ease. The floors are gorgeous, btw!

Kate Riley said...

Completely beautiful Melaine! I recently redid my staircase, so I know all about that dirt issue, but the beauty makes up for it right? Fantastic tips here, I'm bookmarking for when I'm courageous enough to take on my floors!

Christie said...

Are you the energizer bunny ? I'm amazed at how much you get done in such a short period of time.... like your daughters room .... Sheesh! Seriously, the kitchen is great. I love the oatmeal paint color. Thank you for blogging.
~ Christie

La Maison Fou said...

The floors look great. We did a couple of rooms also several years ago.
My father in law is a wood guru he always suggests a wood conditioner for softer woods too, like pine. It does cut down on uneven staining and streaking.
A great job, I am thinking of doing all of this over the summer...
Thanks and Happy Holidays!

Martha said...

So beautiful!! Your home is gorgeous and an inspiration.

Lauren said...

Love your Blog!! I read it every day!! Can't wait to see the kitchen cabinet tutorial! I have been waiting to do mine.

Simply Jen said...

You absolutely did a fantastic job! Seriously, we just moved into a 109 year old farmhouse and all these little tips have my mind making a list in the back of my head! Thank you for sharing...such a beautiful room!!

Anonymous said...

I am trying to sell my house and the floor guy said he will do it for 1200 dollars. wow. you made this look easy. i am wanting to learn how to do it. so thanks for the inspiration. i hope i dont mess up the floors. yours look great. girls rule

Ange said...

Popping over from Centsational Girl's blog. Love your floors! Mine need to be redone but I might wait until spring so I can open the windows and we all won't be flying higher than a kite from the fumes. :) Thanks for sharing your tutorial. I'll be re-reading it this coming spring.

Michaela said...

They look awesome. I love the stain color. So beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Great job. I love the look of the old floors. You can see how we used plywood if you go over and visit my page. People are shocked that it's plywood. I am loving it. So anxious to see how you done your cabinets. That is on my do list next.

Between You and Me said...

thanks so much for the details..

do you have other rooms in your house that are the light hardwoods that you plan to re-do?

You did a fantastic job!

Stacy said...

Tell me what you did with your trim...did you have to remove it or tape it? I am wondering if the sander scratched it or if painting on the stain would have been easier if it was taped? Looks AWESOME!!!

Stacy said...

Trim = baseboards :)

Renee said...

I would LOVE to restain my wood floors-they look just like yours did-and I have been dreaming of dark floors just as yours ended up! I have been too intimidated to do it myself (and too cheap to have it done!), but now you've got the wheels in my head turning again!

Chris Kauffman said...

It turned out great, I have pine floors in my upper hall and recently had to re-do them because of dog claw marks , three years worth , I just sanded it down with a palm sander so the finished result after restaining it was now more of a reclaimed antiqued looking floor which I love more than ever , pine floors over time have such a nice character ,they will just get better , I will add them to our bedroom hopefully next year.

Anonymous said...

You're simply.. amazing!! Thanks for sharing! It looks great and gives me motivation to start some of my projects I have been putting off :)

BearShe Cottage said...

That was a very ambitious job. Kudos to you. They turned out beautifully.

Judith said...

Your floors look fantastic - thanks for the details! If you don't mind, what brand varathane did you use? I'm restaining a table and chairs and am using Minwax stain, but don't want to use their polyurethane (bad experience once). Thanks Melaine! ps - ordered two wreaths from Wintersteen Farms after seeing thier ad on your site - both recipients said they were beautiful!

LifeinOH said...

Thank you so much. That sander looks far easier than I would have imagined! Much appreciation :)

Christian said...

They look fantastic! Staying tuned for cabinets...

Chez Zizi said...

I am so impressed! I love it. I wish I was that brave.

The Moerks said...

Great tutorial, I love your can do, have a go attitude. The result was well worth it.

Amanda said...

SWEET! Thanks for sharing! You are very ambitious to take this on your self! As for me... I am saving this to show my hubby!

Unknown said...

I am in love with your floors! Good job!

Ever - The red house by the lake said...

Good job!

I am so happy you posted this, because it is so nice to read about other DIY projects. Sanding the floor is something people always said that one shouldnt do by oneself, but you prove that it is possible.

I am also glad that there are more people than me out there that tend to break the rules. Although I would have been sooo very nervous when it didnt dry. ;-)

Antiqueaholics said...

What a huge job - I'm impressed that you took this on. We moved into a house that was 70 years old. The areas of the house that had original old oak flooring were really drab. I decided to hand polish it with Mylands Wax which is the same polish I use on all my antiques. I then had to hand buff the floor as well. It was a big project, but looks amazing - like the patina of a beautiful antique vs. a new piece of furniture. I purchased an Oreck Orbitter and buff my floors weekly. It takes more effort, but clearly worth the time and effort.
It must be so rewarding for you to have taken on this project and be happy with it. They look great.

sara said...

it looks gorgeous! and so worth the efforts. me and husband kept laughing on how you two were rebels who don't listen or care for instructions *sounds too familiar, erk!* well, the most important thing is the results and did i tell you the floor was gorgeous?? :P

Anonymous said...

They are beautiful. I have dark walnut floors, too. My dog is also scratching them up. Can you tell me what exactly you used to seal the floors with?

In with the Old said...

Amazing post. Just wanted to let you know that I passed it along to my readers at I hope it brings in more traffic for you.

Again, thank you so much. As soon as we are available to, our floors will be looking just like yours (hopefully).

Kathy said...

Many people would think that it easier to clean and maintain carpeted floors but wooden floors has lower maintenance than the carpeted ones. I only have few carpets in my home because I'm a lazy mom and just recently, I replaced our wooden floors with tile ones that we got from some tile stores (Tampa area). We also installed some vinyl flooring (Tampa) in our kitchen and it looked really gorgeous!

Aleena said...

I work at a bridal store in a downtown shop and our hardwood floors are horrible. I might have to suggest that we tackle them and refinish them too!

Flooring company

Kathy Carbone said...

Pretty impressive girl! Your new floors make your kitchen a little brighter than the usual. A big thanks to Cody who did a great job on sanding the floors. Now I know how to make my floor shiny and elegant.

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Finishing my hardwood floors said...

Thanks so much for this post! You have no idea how much this helped me.

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Unknown said...

Our wood floor takes up most of the entire main level, do you know if it is ok to do half the floor at time?

At Rivercrest Cottage said...

Your floors certainly look as good as our hand-scraped custom floors that we did pay a fortune for! If we ever need to refinish them, I hope we are brave enough to try it your way. The only thing I can think to caution about is to be careful not to take too much of the wood off. You really did a lovely job.

Unknown said...

Your wood floors look amazing. Very cool that your son was able to help you sand down the floor. Personally I like the lighter wood before you stained it, but the dark stain was a very nice touch to your kitchen. Thank for sharing these pictures with everyone.

Unknown said...

I think dusting the whole house after using the sander sounds like the worst part of this job. Maybe I will rent a fan as part of the essential equipment. I will put it in the window and maybe it will cut down on the dust.

Elizabeth said...

Good review!I have actually read a lot of your blog posts in the last hour. I really enjoy what you are doing here. (And as a writer of fantasy novels, I'm enjoying looking at different aspects of that when you go through them in blog post). And truly, I love world-culture building

Mark Lee said...

They look awesome.I love the stain color.I am happy to find this post very useful for me, as it contains lot of information.

Construction Filler

John said...

Very professional
Good Job!

Anonymous said...

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Tom Brady said...

Any DIY projects also make our house become more beautiful! Simply, we only need to paint again furniture in house because i often creates DIY for myself. Thanks the author!

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Hi people,
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If someone want to learn more about the floor sanding edinburgh I think this is the right place for you!

Sandria Warne said...

That's a cool innovation. I never thought of doing such things. I have with me some Reclaimed Pine Floorboards with surely gonna try this out. Thanks for sharing. Its lovely.

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Unknown said...

Amazing Post!! I have never thought of this tricks. I am planning for refinishing hardwood floors at my place and i am surely gonna try this!! thanks for this wonderful post!!

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Christian Kingsbury said...

I love your blog! Keep up the great work! It's DIY projects like these that really get me excited about having a home! I live in North Carolina and found a great company that does hardwood floor refinishing in Charlotte, but it's always fun to do these kinds of things on your own! It's a lot cheaper if you have the skill set to make repairs and do home improvement projects on your own! Again, love the blog!

adriana W. said...

Love the elegant look of a freshly waxed hardwood floor. Unfortunatly, it isn't that durable compared to a laquer finish :(

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If we ever need to refinish them, I hope we are brave enough to try it your way. The only thing I can think to caution about is to be careful not to take too much of the wood off.
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