Friday, February 13, 2015

Floor Finishing 101

We love our oak floor.  It was a pain to put down.  Heavy!  We waited to finish it until a majority of the work was done inside.  We didn't want to mess it up moving things around and stacking wood everywhere.  But the time has come to get it done.  We wanted it finished and sealed before we build our kitchen cabinets and moved the appliances in.  We bought a small belt sander from Harbor Freight and picked out our stain.  We went with a traditional color called Golden Pecan.  It looked great on the oak sample we saw.  So here's what we did and how it turned out!

As you can see, the floor got pretty dirty and a little stained with all the work we have been doing.  It was ready for some TLC!

We originally planned to leave the screws visible and fill them in with the floor sealer but decided it didn't look right. 
You can see the staining from moisture and dirt pretty well in this picture. 

Hubby built a homemade countersink stop for his drill.  We wanted the screws all countersunk at the same distance. 

Screws countersunk and in place.

We plugged the holes with a dowel rod.  We glued it in place.


We trimmed it flush with the floor.

We filed it smooth.  One down, now on to the hundred or so more screws we have to fill!

It's slow work but it's getting there!

Sanding the floors took some elbow grease.  Since a lot of the areas were tight, we used a small belt sander.  That meant the Hubby was crawling around on his knees to do the sanding.  It had to be done several times.  This is with a course grit sand paper to get a majority of the stains and dirt up. 

It had to be sanded again with a fine grit sandpaper to smooth it out completely before we could stain.  All that sanding covered everything in dust.  We used the air compressor to blow off the walls and such and then vacuumed several times to get all the dust up.  Did I mention it was DUSTY!?!

We wiped the floor completely with acetone to remove any lingering dust before we stained.  We applied the stain in small sections with a foam roller and let it sit a few minutes before wiping it off with a clean rag.  So far it looks great!


Stain completely rolled on and drying.  It turned out a little splotchy but we thought it would even out with the sealer.

We used Parks Pro Water based Polyurethane to seal the floors.  It looked like milk being spread on the floors.  As you can see, Hubby made his own protective booties out of plastic shopping bags to keep dirt off the floor.   

There it is...floor finished!  It didn't turn out as perfectly as we hoped.  It was still splotchy and unevenly stained in areas.  But it's done!  We are not beating ourselves up too badly since this was the first time we had done a staining job this big.  It shows character I think.  It shows we did it ourselves! And yes, I love my imperfect floor!

We have to be sure and put down protective covering when we lay anything on the floor now.  We bought some painters traps and packing blankets to use when we work inside. 

So, there you have it.  We now have finished floors and can move on to other things!  We will be finishing up the small details in the bedroom and then on to the kitchen!  Oh boy!  We are pretty excited to get to this stage!  I just love seeing my house come together bit by bit.  :)



Craig K said...

The floor looks amazing!

Chrissy Stanley said...

Thanks Craig. We are happy with it, uneven stain and all. :-)