Besides the obvious benefit of being able to walk around in our house barefoot, we have brought the final “eyesore” of the nest back to its former glory. Behold, our rich, glossy, good-as-new hardwood floors!
It was quite the process to bring our 75 year old white oak and heart pine floors back to life. First, we patched-in new white oak in the great room where we built up the subfloor to match the height of the kitchen floor. We had to tear out and replace the floors in the kitchen and butler’s pantry/laundry room because the glue used to apply the linoleum we scraped up was toxic and couldn’t be sanded with the rest of the hardwoods. And finally, we had professionals sand, stain, and refinish the original wood flooring left in the majority of our house – white oak downstairs and heart pine upstairs.
Once the old floors are sanded down to the raw wood, they could almost pass as brand new! We thought it might be difficult choosing a stain color to make the floors feel old and “original” to our house, but our refinishing crew put down a few test patches and Matthew and I both liked the “Provincial” stain color. No contest; that was it. (Finally! An easy decision!!) “Onward!” we said, so down went the stain. Three coats of polyurethane later, we have a fabulous set of floors in the nest.
Lots of patching to do in the new hallway (routed through the old laundry closet and guest bedroom closet).
Hall patching complete!
Hall bathroom patched! (We moved the doorway about 18″ to the right, leaving a gap in the hardwoods).
Test patch to discover what species of wood we have under all that gunk. The answer: white oak!
New hardwoods going down in great room and kitchen.
Butler’s pantry floors are installed. (The tan goopy stuff that looks like peanut butter is actually a filler the floor professionals use to fill gaps and help join the new wood to the old in the most seamless way. The filler takes the stain just like wood!
Miss Pepper approves.
Let the sanding begin!
The miracle machine.
Sanding in progress… can you believe the difference??
All the noble sanding pads that sacrificed their grit to make our floors look good as new! (The floor guys said our floors were the worst they’d seen and that the finish just turned to goop on the pads. They had to sand them twice as much as “normal” jobs. Eeeek! Sorry guys…from the beginning, this has been no ordinary job.)
Test patches — the bottom right was our winner, Minwax’s “Provincial.”
Peeking through the front door at the stain! (We weren’t allowed to walk on the floors, but you couldn’t keep us away! 🙂 )
Peeking in the french doors at the dining room.
Peeking in the dutch door at the great room.
Polyurethane is down. Our floors look brand new!
These floors are all heart pine and were treated with one coat of poly first, then stained with a mix of stain (red mahogany) and polyurethane to recreate the look of aged heart pine. We had to use this method because pine is notorious for staining very unevenly. So, essentially, we stained the first coat of poly instead of the raw wood. This gave it an even, naturally aged pine color to match the ceiling.
Miss Pepper says, “When can we move in??”
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