Thursday, December 24, 2015

one project done...finally!

Before Bob and I got sick last week we had started the process of refinishing our dining room floor.  Originally there was a rug in there, which I loved, but one of our cats ruined it and it had to be removed.  I think the cat was traumatized by the move last year and chose to take it out on the dining room, unfortunately.

A couple months ago, while I was in California on a business trip, Bob ripped out the rug.  (I love when I go away and things like this get done; it's like magic!) What was underneath was 1920s hardwood.  Very nice normally, but our house was built in 1735, so it's not exactly period-correct.  Eventually we will pull up the hardwood and expose the original wide-planked floor underneath.  But for now, the hardwood will do.

Before sanding. The floor was in much better shape than we thought it would be.

A few weeks ago Bob sanded it down to the bare wood--a tedious, dirty job for sure!  Even though the room was blocked off, there was still dust everywhere.  Such is the nature of the job. 

After sanding. I like the unevenness of the coloring. (Don't mind the mess!)

We had a hard time deciding what to do with the floor:  paint, stain, wax, or just polyurethane?  We wanted to do something that would match the age of the house, but to do that really meant doing nothing at all, or just a few coats of wax, as most floors in 1735 were not finished.  Wax would give us the look we wanted, but if it got wet, those spots would turn white.  With cats, though, that wasn't an option.  We could have painted the floor either plain or with a pattern, which was done sometimes, but we were a little leery of painting the floor, even though we knew we would eventually rip it up.  We just couldn't picture how it would look and didn't want to have to live with it for however long. We eventually decided on stain.  It was a hard decision as to what color to use.  I wasn't sure if we should go natural, go darker, go light, gloss, semi-glass, satin, etc.  We settled on MinWax Polyshades in Pecan with a satin finish.  It's polyurethane and stain in one, which eliminates the need for a separate coat of polyurethane.  I didn't want a glossy finish, since it would likely show scratches more readily.  Also, it would call to attention the fact that the flooring isn't really period-correct.  A satin finish would give it a nice glow without the shininess.

We put the first coat on last week.  It looked nice at first, but when it dried we noticed some dry spots.  I don't know if the stain didn't take, or it just soaked in more than other parts of the floor.  I was hoping to do only one coat, but it wasn't meant to be.  But then we both got sick and work stalled.  This week I was able to get in there, sand the first coat, vacuum it, and tack cloth it.  Surprisingly, it didn't take more than a half hour for each step.  The other night we put the second coat down and now it looks gorgeous! 

I love the glow!
Now we just need to do something with the molding.  Either we paint it, or put in another strip of molding.  Apparently all the molding was bright blue before they painted it--and everything else in the house--white.


  1. It looks beautiful!!!!!

  2. Blue paint from Old Village Paints. They have "period correct" formula.

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