Well, it's done. Yep almost everything is done. More or less we are done.... At least enough to move back into the big house. It took us exactly 3 months and two days. This past month has been almost entirely dedicated to the wood floors, well that and cabinets, counter tops, and a whole bunch of other little things. Ever since the beginning of this massive renovation endeavor I have imagined these floors redone. I knew we would get here but actually tackling the project that I've had on my mind for two years was very rewarding.
But like anything else it had to go in stages. The idea has always been to try and make it look like the staircase was always there so it also had to get refinished at the same time.
Step One: Clear away all the crap that is stored in the bedroom and the endless amounts of stray tools and beer cans.
Step Two: Rent big sanding machine.... Return said machine and get the bigger one.
Step Three: Use 60 grit paper to really get down under the 70 year old stain.
Step Four: Break the machine, return, repeat.
Step Five: Repeat step three using different grits of paper til you get that smoothish rustic floor look.
Step Six: Put new treds on the staircase and sand the crap out of them with the handheld, including but not limited to the sides and underneath taking care not to sand all the edges off the steps.... not as easy as you would think.
Step Seven: Clear away beer cans.
Step Eight: Bring home the smaller corner sander, proceed to sand the corners and all the other little stuff you missed.
Step Nine/Ten: Vacuum. Clean. Vacuum.
So the floors were ready to take some stain! Both an exciting and terrifying moment. It's not like paint where you could just slap another colour over it if you don't like it. After all that work sanding I wasn't about to restart.... So with a deep breath it was go time....
Oh. My. God. It's f-ing red!!!!!
I panicked.... I'm not proud of that moment but I cried.... Hard. My devastation couldn't be seen by the world, I kept it to myself and cried harder. We had done so many tests, and it still wasn't the right colour I was dumbfounded, but I couldn't stop either. I had to dig deep and just 'keep swimming' (in my ocean of sawdusty tears, hahaha).
- Wipe away tears
- Stain Staircase
- Continue throughout the rest of the project with a beer fueled rage
The next day it was time to start the first of three coats of polyurethane. I remember walking into the room of my crushed renovation dreams... as I hadn't slept all night I teared up right away, but this time in relief. They weren't red anymore they were exactly what they were supposed to be! Thank you stain gods and colour fairies! Days later I finished the floors and finally it was time to start getting organized for countertops and kitchen plumbing.
Before we could really get going on the finishing of the kitchen I had to clean the house. Seriously clean, that dust from sanding the floors got into everything! We did our best to keep it controlled but it was impossible. If I've learned anything about renovation I've learned that cleaning is half the job.