Wax on, Wax off


July 9, 2012 by stpaulhaus

Ok, we might not actually be waxing the floors, but we did sanding and finishing them, which is kinda the same….

It would have been nice to have the karate kid here to take care of this.

This is the floor before:

After sanding:

And after 3 coast of oil-based polyurethane:

oooooooooooo, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

So much better than the pet stained carpet before. Let me refresh your memory…

Kadee at Pete’s Hardwood Floors was an amazing resource throughout this whole project.  We are beyond thrilled with their service.  We rented all the equipment, including a drum sander and edger, from Pete’s. We also purchased the finish and application equipment there. They sell the best stuff–much better quality than the stuff at your local Orange, Blue, or Green. Kadee spend an hour of her time showing me how to use all the equipment and finding the perfect finish.  She made it clear that given the condition and age of the floor that if I wanted to do this I would have to be able to be able live with the imperfections, because it was unlikely that it would come out perfectly even like a freshly laid hardwood floor. I was okay with this.  I thought it would just add to the character and charm of the house.  There are few other things about this house that are perfect.

We decided to go with the same oil-based poly that was used in the floors downstairs.   There are pros and cons to each finish, mainly drying time, color, and smell. Oil-based poly has a nice natural amber color which is very pleasing to the eye, while waterborne is completely clear. Waterborne is less smelly and it dries fast so you have to work quickly.  I think enduring a week of a smelly house it definitely worth it to have the look that I really want.  We are actually spending the night elsewhere for a couple days while it cures up.

It was  a lot work, but not something that I wouldn’t do again. We saved so much money doing it ourselves. It cost just about $250 for the whole project. Patting myself on the back right now.  It was a dusty, messy, smelly process, but it was all worth it.  The only problem I ran into were a couple of really uneven boards and a strange layer of crust around the room right at the baseboards that required some extra sanding with a small grit paper.  Also, the entire upstairs had a thin layer of dusty on everything, even with the plastic sheeting I put up. Ah well–nothing a little cleaning can’t fix.  It did turn out a bit more red than I am anticipated, compared to the floors down stairs, but all and all i’m very happy with the results. I would do it again.

For details on the entire process from planning to finishing see the Pete’s Hardwood Floors website. I followed their recommendations pretty closely.

Now we are just waiting for it to harden up before we put all the furniture back in.  Pete’s suggests waiting 24hrs before putting the furniture back in and two weeks before putting down any rugs.  I have a rug in mind from Home Depot but it is on the spendy side so we will have to wait and see. I always find a good selection at Home Goods for awesome prices. At least we dont need a ginormous rug for this room, with a bed, and chair, and a dresser there is really no need for a  8×10 rug.  I do want to be able to see some of the floor that I spent hours refinishing.  I think we will probably live with it for awhile before we decided what size rug to get.  My mom did find a really nice, heavy rug for next to nothing that we are going to be putting in our living room, so we could always use the current living room rug from Menards up here.  It is nothing special, but it does the job. It is a nice neutral color that works just about anywhere. I actually got it for $29.99, marked down from $49.95 last year. Yippee.

Anyone out there have the secret to finding the perfect rug? Where do you go to find good rugs at a decent price? Anyone planning to give sanding and refinishing hardwood floors a try?


12 thoughts on “Wax on, Wax off

  1. Apryl says:

    My parents redid their floors last fall. We stayed at the Farm. The smell upon our return was terrible but it looked beautiful!! What was odd is every time we ran the dryer for the first week it would burn off the remaining fumes. Our laundry smelled like varnish. Yuck!

    • stpaulhaus says:

      Ew. I am paranoid that every time I leave the house I smell terrible…good thing I only leave to walk amongst other dirty and smelly people at Menards. The fumes are already starting to dissipate but I remember the downstairs still smelled for a good 2 weeks until it was actually fully cured through. Did Lois and Tim do it themselves?

  2. Lory Perryman says:

    I continue to be amazed at your hard work. The transformation of the floors is amazing. The wall color is very warm – can’t wait to see when you load all in.

  3. Husband says:

    oh gurl

  4. Amy says:

    Wow!!!! That looks amazing!!! Is there anything you can’t do???? I am excited to see more!

  5. Stella says:

    Looks great!

  6. […] guest bedroom floors have been refinished and are entering the final curing stages right […]

  7. […] Refinishing the floors was quite the project, but I am so happy that I did it myself for 1/3 the cost. More on refinishing the floors here. […]

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