Well we’re in the home stretch!
Finished the living/dining room and hallway. The bedrooms will get their first coat of oil tonight and then their white maintenance paste tomorrow night.
It has been a LONG week since I first updated about our hardwood redo. After spending 30 combined hours sanding, I came by the house on Tuesday and realized in the daylight – we had missed some spots under the dust/dark lighting. I wasn’t super bummed, but it was just hard to think through what the next steps would be. Would we redo the whole floor with the drum sander? That would be okay, but it would mean re-renting all the tools again – $$$$$$. After asking a flooring friend, we decided the edger was the way to go.
I spent 6ish hours on Thursday edging out any left over varnish that was on the floors. It was primarily in corners of boards since the boards had been worn to different heights over the 61 years they had been in that house. The edger is a b*tch of a tool to use also because you have to bend over and move your arms back and forth – basically imagine the most awkward position ever and add a high power sanding tool.
The next step was the screen buff. Now I’ll admit, anytime I’ve seen someone running a buffer it looked pretty damn easy. Like just lightly moving it back and forth – no effort. Well, actually using a floor buffer for the first time is pretty much like having a heavy tool jump out of your hands and twirl around like some sort of giant angry cat that is trying to escape your cuddle….. Thankfully, my dad came by just to see if there was anything he could help with – he had to not only run the buff for more than 70% of the time, but he taught me how to run the buffer with control.
I seriously can’t believe how hard it was to control a buffer. Totally surprised.
Anyways after the screen buff (which took much longer than also thought due to the wood filler that I was too liberal with) I had to clean and mop the floors. Again, Lois swooped in and helped so much to get the final push done. We had to dust the walls, the door knobs, everything had dust on it. Then we mopped with special ‘pre-oil’ wood cleaner. It was a long day at the house, but it set me up for success in the next step.
Finally, I get to put oil on my damn floors. I used a paint roller to apply the oil, which had to sit and absorb into the floors for 15-30 minutes. Then I used my good old friend the buffer to first buff the oil into the floors with a red pad. The final step was using terry cloths on the bottom of the buffer to clean any left over oil. The results were AMAZING.
I had one of those moments when I was done and could see the oil where I felt like crying, because I was so fucking happy I did this even though for the entire past week I have felt 100% insane. I still have three bedrooms to do, and then apply some white paste as the final ‘coat’ of oil. It will probably result in a little more ‘milky’ and I’m really excited to see how it comes out in the end.
So obviously, if you didn’t know – we are in the midst of what has morphed into a full blown renovation. During the whole month we’ve owned this house, we have replaced major systems, redone the bathroom, demo-ed two gross bathrooms, painted and generally prepared the house for us. All during this time there has been a little birdie on both the dude’s and I’s shoulder saying ‘you should just redo the floors’. And by little bird I mean multiple influential people we know.
So, we got super stupid and decided to dive in on the floors. At first, I was totally against it. I was like ‘no that’s insane we can’t afford it’. We did end up getting a price quote that rang in at $5,000 NOT including fixing the major work that needed to be done in the bedroom where the bathroom was. So that was depressing. Then the dude started watching too much This Old House and YouTube videos about it. Pretty much we decided if these yokels could do it, we probably could too.
Me, the dude, and my pops all did a bunch of research about what we should do. It seemed like polyeurathane was really difficult – had the most chance for a eff up. We stumbled upon ‘oil treating’ hardwoods and the results are really cool looking – without having to do a complex stain and clear coat. Plus, oil for the floors is no-VOC (aka no harmful toxic chemicals).
So once we decided we were going to try to polish our turd floors into some pretty ones – it was game on. It was REALLY hard to find the oil for the floors. One, in part due to the fact that most stain is oil-based – finding oil vs. oil-based stain is hard and stain can creep into your shopping cart really easily. I finally found a hardwood company’s website that had a short list of oil manufacturers (mostly European).
I called the hardwood company’s contact and the owner of the business didn’t even know he had that listed on his site…. it also would take him 3 weeks to order/get the oils for us. I actually called 3 different local flooring stores and none of them sold materials to redo existing floors they all were primarily in the business of new floors. I found that interesting. Also, didn’t this random owner guy know that we are on a really tight deadline? Oh sorry, my narcissist ‘my house is the center of everyone’s world’ thing flared up again 😉 Anyways, I started looking for how to buy this euro-oil and found a great website www.1877floorguy.com. It totally sounds like a fake website where I just got $500 of my money stolen from, but it was Google Verified and we just got the supplies so I can attest this site is legit and has great customer service.
I did end up going with WOCA because they had really easy to find/understand/buy items. I bought the floor prep, the oil, some buffing paste, and the everyday care cleaner. 1877floorguy.com had $30 3-day shipping so it was good!
We did choose to do the grey-oil and then I got some white buffing paste to make it a little ‘lighter.’
Okay now the fun part – the sanding! So I can probably speak for both of us (since the dude got MAJOR cold feed about doing this the day before we sanded) that it’s terrifying to start sanding your floors. The tools are insane, the idea of ruining your floors can be kind of scary, and honestly it was like ‘what the f*ck are we getting ourselves into?’
We rented a Drum Sander, Square Buff Sander, and an edger from the Home Depot. The sanding paper was somewhat pricey $5-$8 per paper and each one of those would do ~100 sqft. Our project is ~1,000 sqft so we did end up spending $180 in sandpaper for all the tools. The rentals themselves were between $50-$80 per day. So $420 in total.
The dude was brave enough to start the drum sander first. I managed the cord and helped to make sure nothing was going wrong while we got used to the giant drum sander. Eventually, we didn’t need to manage the cord anymore so I got to do the 2 other bedrooms while the dude figured out how to perfectly sand with the edger.
The fearless leader starts in the bedroom
Here’s a time lapse of me in the ‘blue bedroom’
Removing the ‘lay-z-boy’ marks from ma and pa hillbilly
Pic of the difference:
Now we will clean the floors and let them dry – THEN OILING!