How to refinish your own floors, part two:

When I left off with this story, we were at the point where we realized we needed to patch a bunch of holes.  We wanted to really blend in the wood so that the transition looked seamless.

Here is a tutorial on how to do this:

And here are some pictures during this process.



Sometimes your dumbass cat will decide that the filthy subfloor is an awesome cuddle spot.


What a weirdo.

To patch all the holes we estimate it took about 100 hours.  It was very hard work.  Because the floors are 100 years old, the boards are all slightly warped, but the replacement boards are nice and square.  So we had to use crowbars to pry things into the proper position.

Here is what the finished product looked like, before refinishing:



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See that black stuff next to the fridge?  The hallway was covered in tar from old tiles.  The guy who refinished the floor swore up and down that he could sand it all off.2013-04-25 20.19.50

You’ll also note that we had to dismantle all the kitchen cabinets on the floor, in order to remove all the old laminate.  While this was a massive pain in the ass, it was a good idea ultimately because we ended up not putting the kitchen back together the same way.  But we’ll save the kitchen reno, which is still a work in process, for a different post.

These pictures also give a good idea of the layout of my place.  One big room essentially.  The doors to the left of the fridge there are the doors to the two bedrooms.  One of the bedrooms has a full bath off it, and there is another full bath behind the fridge.  The bath off the bedroom has been refinished this year, there are a few teeny ends left to finish, and the bathroom behind the fridge is still in process now and I figure I can use the Christmas holiday coming up to get a lot of work done and wrap up the one off the bedroom too.

And for the after pictures.  I went with Jacobin stain with a satin poly.

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This is part of that section that was covered in tar.  The refinisher was right–you can’t even tell any more that this wood spent about 70 years covered in tar.

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Do you see the weird seam here?  That was like that when we pulled the floors.  The wood to the right was the stuff covered in tar and is maple.  To the left is oak which is what the whole rest of the house was done in.  I do not know why but all homes of this period I have ever seen had the kitchen done in maple and never blended the seam where the two woods met.  We thought it was an interesting element, and chose to keep it rather than try to remove the maple and blend the planks.

I also want to give mad props to my BF J. who had to actually cut triangular wedges of wood to fill seams btw. the oak and maple here.  You can’t even see where he did that.

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This is one of the bedrooms–you can kind of see the bathroom off of it in the top right.

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I tried to take the pictures from the same spots so you can compare/contrast.  You cannot tell which boards are old now and which are new.

We started the project in June 2012 and finished in April 2013.  It was a huge relief!

Also since then all that honey oak trim on the walls/doors has been painted white and the walls painted grey.  If you look at some of my other pictures, you can see it now.

I have two weeks off starting Monday.  I hope to A. get lots of work done around here! and B. post about it!





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