Saturday, June 11, 2011

Refinishing 60 Year Old Hard Wood Floors

This project was done about 2 years ago now, but I always get asked about how we did it when people visit us and see our floors. They can't believe that we did it ourselves. That makes me smile! Their compliment and the fact that we saved over $1,000 by doing it ourselves makes me grin ear to ear!!

Our home was built in 1954. When I looked at it with my real estate agent, the first thing I did was pull up a corner of the carpet in the closet to see if there were hard wood floors underneath. Sure enough there was. Solid oak floors. Why did they ever cover them up? So when we had our big move we decided that before we moved anything in we'd refinish them. We had already tackled this in our last home so it wasn't as intimidating.

60 Year Old Hardwood Floors
 We rented a sander from Home Depot. We refinished 1000 sq. ft in 3 days. 
Cost $450 (we saved about $1400 by doing it ourselves). The first thing you want to do is talk to someone that's done this before. The rental department staff are amazing!
Hammer in all your lose nails
Take off any trim or molding
Open all your windows and doors. This project will cover EVERYTHING with a coat of dust. You will be cleaning for about 2 weeks after this. Still SO worth it!
Rent your Sander. We like the drum sander that vibrates. The one that rotates works well too but it's better suited for professionals according to the rental dept guys we talked to.
Start slowly and work your way from one space to another. Move in long, even rows, back and forth. You will repeat this process 4 different times, lowering the grit of your sand paper each time. Again, the rental dept can walk you through what paper to buy.
When you're done with the sanding, as if it's that easy ha, then you'll tack cloth everything and clean it with a little mineral spirits - at least that's what we did. Then you choose your stain. In our case, we decided on no stain. We wanted to keep it as is. I love those dark hard wood floor stains though! We opted for a water base polyurethane by Min wax. Also what the Home Depot rental department recommended. After 4 coats our floors were done. It was hard work and took 3 long days. Here are the photo details.
Here's a pretty good picture of the final product before we moved all the furniture in on these pretty floors.
This was one of the first photos we had taken with any furniture on the floor. We waited about 2 weeks for it to fully cure. Yep - we hung out in the basement on the couches in the mean time. Oh and also we didn't fill many of the cracks as we've found that the wood glue really doesn't work well when your floors swell or shrink in the seasons.

Have you refinished your hard wood floors? How did it go?

1 comment:

  1. congrats! keep up the good work/this is a great presentation.

    Doors refinishing


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