Our Journey in Refinishing Hardwood Floors (And a $150 Home Goods Giveaway!)

Hello Friends!

I’m finally here to show you our hardwood floor makeover! If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have seen that a few weeks ago, my husband and I tackled this project. Unless you count running to Home Depot, cooking in a kitchen that had all our living room and office furniture cramped into it, and all the other hundred little things I did. ;)

Our Journey in Refinishing Hardwood Floors at www.joyinourhome.com

I’ll share with you the products we used, the tools we rented, and what we learned through the whole process. After doing a makeover, there’s usually some things you learn and I’ll tell you about those as well!

Our Journey in Refinishing Hardwood Floors at www.joyinourhome.com

This is what our floors liked like “before”. They were a natural oak color. They had never been stained before but had several coats of some sealer on them, which over time caused them to turn yellowish. An ugly yellowish color.

Our Journey in Refinishing Hardwood Floors at www.joyinourhome.com

Here is my hardworking husband sanding away! We rented this drum sander from Home Depot. Let me tell you our sander-renting story…

After consulting the guy in the rental department at Home Depot, we rented the orbitol sander and brought it home. After an hour of running it over our floors there was no difference or sign of it taking off the finish. It was a little scary to think if this is normal! It is a beast of a machine and after loading it back up, my husband took it back. He showed the guy the sandpaper and they said there must be something wrong with the machine as it should have taken the finish off right away. So our next choice was the drum sander but the guy at our Home Depot actually advised us against using this machine. He said it was for “professionals” which my husband is not. However, my husband did a ton of research on the drum sander and was aware how heavy duty and powerful of a machine this was, and was okay with giving it a try.

(Note: Please note I am just sharing our own experience in renting this machine. Consult the experts for the machine that is best for your needs!)

Our Journey in Refinishing Hardwood Floors at www.joyinourhome.com

Here it is almost all bare… except for that little strip you see on the bottom left corner. He used 36 grit sandpaper on the first pass over the floor.

He then used   grit on the second pass.

Our Journey in Refinishing Hardwood Floors at www.joyinourhome.com

I’ll share this little trick we did. After sanding it the first round, we used a pencil and just randomly made lines on the bare floor so he would see where he’s sanded on the second round. It worked really well. We made the pencil markings again after the second round of sanding. Otherwise you would never know where you’ve sanded on the second and third rounds.

Our Journey in Refinishing Hardwood Floors at www.joyinourhome.com

Sanding and more sanding… The drum sander you see in the above picture doesn’t get close to the walls.  rent a smaller sander for along the walls. While it got into the corners, it

Our Journey in Refinishing Hardwood Floors at www.joyinourhome.com

Some of the best advice that we can give you, is to rent this dust containment system. The guy at the rental department told my husband “your wife will thank you” and was he ever right! As you can see in the background we had used plastic to try and keep the dust from going all over. Seriously though, you don’t need to tape of ANYTHING if you rent this unit. It is amazing! Halfway through, we actually took all the plastic down and I didn’t even dust the kitchen or dining room as it didn’t have any dust anywhere!

Our Journey in Refinishing Hardwood Floors at www.joyinourhome.com

Have a peek inside… it collected tons!!!

Our Journey in Refinishing Hardwood Floors at www.joyinourhome.com

 After 3 rounds of sanding we gave the floor a very thorough vacuum. My husband then used Miniwax Prestain Wood Conditioner. We had considered skipping this step but decided we would apply it because it promotes uniform acceptance of oil-based stains.

Our Journey in Refinishing Hardwood Floors at www.joyinourhome.com

We used a paint brush to apply one coat on all the floors and waited 15 minutes for it to penetrate. You then remove the excess with a clean dry cloth. They advise you to apply your stain within the next two hours, which we did.  

Our Journey in Refinishing Hardwood Floors at www.joyinourhome.com

The stain we chose was Miniwax “Special Walnut”. Here we are putting on the first coat. We used a Varathane Universal Applicator brush and just screwed it to the end of a broom handle.

Our Journey in Refinishing Hardwood Floors at www.joyinourhome.com

Our Journey in Refinishing Hardwood Floors at www.joyinourhome.com

Here’s the first coat of stain all done! We loved it already!!

Our Journey in Refinishing Hardwood Floors at www.joyinourhome.com

I won’t describe a step-by-step tutorial of how we put the stain on. We followed the directions on the Miniwax “Special Walnut” container. One thing I will mention is, not to leave your stain on past the time it recommends in hopes of getting a darker color. This’ll just make it harder to wipe off! I won’t tell you how we learned that one… ;)

Our Journey in Refinishing Hardwood Floors at www.joyinourhome.com

This was the perfect time to go through our tshirts and sort through any we don’t need anymore. They make for perfect rags in wiping off any excess stain. So be sure to have lots on hand!

Our Journey in Refinishing Hardwood Floors at www.joyinourhome.com

The final step was sealing the stain with Minwax Oil-Modified Polyurethane. Again, we followed all directions on the can and gave our floor three coats. It is super quick drying and they recommend waiting 8 hours after you apply your last coat of stain before putting the Polyurethane on your floors.

Our Journey in Refinishing Hardwood Floors at www.joyinourhome.com

And just in case you’re getting tired of floor pictures, in the middle of this big job, we took time to celebrate my husband’s birthday! These two little sweeties picked his cake… I secretly think it was the one with the most icing! ;

Some tips we’d love to share with you:

1. Please make very sure you have proper hearing protection when using the sander. We refinished our floors when the weather was beautiful out so the kids were mainly outside. It is extremely loud and I’d definitely recommend using ear protection.

2. Something else that I would definitely recommend is to use a proper mask when applying the stain and varathane. Again, our children were not around when we did this and my husband wore a mask. It realllly has a strong odor!

3. When applying the stain, they recommend leaving it on 15 minutes. Do not think you will get darker stain by leaving it on longer. (We may or may not have learned this the hard way ;) It just makes it very hard to remove the excess stain!

4. In all honesty, this was a bigger job than we realized. Please allow yourself 4 full days from stripping the floor to applying the final coat of Polyurethane.

5. It was well worth it though! We’d totally do it again if we had the choice!

Our Journey in Refinishing Hardwood Floors at www.joyinourhome.com

Our floor isn’t perfect by any means but we are so happy how it turned out. It was our first time refinishing hardwood floors and was a huge job but saved us a lot by choosing to refinish them ourselves.

floor collage

And the most favorite part in every redoing or refinishing post is to look at before and after pictures! It makes all your sweat and hardwork so worth it!! The first picture really shows how yellowed the floor is!

And why not start this week of with a giveaway for my fabulous readers? As a way of saying thank you for following along with me in my blogging journey, myself and some of my wonderful bloggy friends are giving away a $150 Home Goods gift card!

$150 HomeGoods Gift Card Giveaway Pinterest Logo

 

This giveaway wouldn’t be possible without the help of some of my favorite blogger friends. I hope you’ll check out their blogs and social media after you enter for a chance to win this fabulous prize!

Average But Inspired
Dwell Beautiful
Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body
Houseologie
Kenarry: Ideas for the Home
Little Red Brick House
Table + Hearth
Brepurposed
Making it in the mountains
Meet the B’s
Joy in our Home
Canary Street Crafts
Dwelling in Happiness
Little House of Four
Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body
Mastering DIY
 

Before you enter, here are a few important details!

  • This prize has been sponsored by the hosts of the $150 HomeGoods Gift Card Giveaway. No purchase necessary.
  • Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm eastern time on October 5, 2014.
  • Contest is open to residents of the United States and Canada, 18 years and older. (To our friends abroad – we’re sorry you can’t win, but there aren’t HomeGoods where you live!)
  • One winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter.
  • Winner must respond within 48 hours of notification send time to claim their prize. If no response is received within that time, a new winner will be randomly selected.
  • Gift card will be sent via US Mail.
  • Please be sure to read the complete Terms & Conditions on Rafflecopter.com.
  • If you have any questions, please email Bre at averagebutinspired@gmail.com.
  • Void where prohibited by law.

Good luck and thanks for entering!
a Rafflecopter giveaway