If you follow us on Instagram (which, I mean, you really should because we actually post regularly there) you will know two things. 1. Geff and I bought a house, and 2. I ripped out the upstairs carpet almost immediately. Did I tell my husband that I was about to turn our “move in ready” home into a demo zone? NOPE. Fun fact about me—I typically don’t think things through. Once something is in my head, wellll you better just buckle up because I’m going for it.
As if painting, moving and throwing all of our money into a new home wasn’t enough, I took it upon myself (and my dad) to expose the original hardwood floors beneath the carpet in three bedrooms, a hallway and a staircase. Although the hardwood wasn’t in the best condition, I knew it could be resurrected. Not only would the refinishing add value to our home but it would certainly look better and be easier to maintain. Side note: Barkley still hasn’t forgiven me for making his life more difficult. Anyone have any doggie bootie recommendations? Asking for a friend.
The first thing I did was remove all of the old carpet, carpet padding, tack strips and staples/nails from the floor. I read all the blogs and I watched all of the YouTube videos but everyone installs carpet differently so I had to find the removal technique that worked best for me. I found that loud music, wine and decent tools (especially an industrial strength wine opener) helped move the process along.
After a lot of research, I decided to rent a random orbit floor sander from The Home Depot which cost about $60 for the day. I also had to buy three varieties of sandpaper grit (course, medium and fine). I took a stab at sanding the floors but, when it came down to it, my dad was more experienced, stronger and faster. He made one pass with each grit over all of our floors which left them looking renewed and ready to accept the stain. While he tackled the larger surfaces, I used a handheld orbital sander on the staircase and landings.
At this point we filled in any holes with stainable wood putty and swept the floors for what felt like the 56th time. I decided on a stain that would match the existing wood floors in our living/dining rooms and it turned out perfectly! After staining it was time to coat the floors with three coats of polyurethane—this helps protect the floors and gives them a bit of shine but, LORD JESUS, open some windows when you get to this stage of the project.
Are you considering refinishing wood floors? Here’s a bit of advice—drape off rooms with plastic drop cloths, floor to ceiling. Don’t think that you’re going to keep a clean home in the process. It’s not going to happen. I don’t care if you’re as neat as my sweet grandmother, you will have dust everywhere. Dust will blanket the furniture and floor below the room you’re working in. Dust will be on the ceiling and all over your houseplants. Even your boogers will be dusty.
Also—ask your friends and family if they have tools you can borrow. This can turn into an expensive project and we were only able to afford to redo an entire level of our home right away because we knew people with the goods. When it was all said and done, we spent under $400 to refinish the three bedrooms, staircase and hallway. Not bad for a weeks’ worth of work.
Paint/decor up next. Stay tuned!