This weekend, we finally took the plunge and sanded down our floors. I’ve been wanting to for a long time…well, and not wanting to at the same time. It’s a total pain. It’s messy and it’s really hard work, but I got it in my mind that I really wanted it done before decorating for Christmas and then closing out 2014 and Jeff went along with it.
In case you haven’t seen them before, this is what the floors looked like before sanding them. They are the original oak floors from the 1940’s. When we moved in, we removed the berber carpet that covered them and a year later refinished them in a dark walnut stain with three coats of poly.
They looked great for a few years, despite the fact that I really didn’t know what I was doing when I finished them. That finally started showing when the thickly applied stain (that never soaked into the wood) started peeling up, taking the poly finish with it.
I have realized since then that we didn’t fully strip off the old finish, either. We were pretty passive with the sanding and just roughed them up.
This weekend, we worked room-by-room and sanded them down to the raw wood. I’m not exactly sure how I want to finish them, yet, so we’re just leaving them raw for now.
And here’s how they look…
(We’re going to put some trim under the baseboard heaters, so there isn’t a big, black stripe underneath them from the shadow and the stain we couldn’t reach.)
I actually love how rustic and European the raw wood floors look, but I’m so used to having slick & smooth poly underfoot that it feels a little strange. It’s smooth, but you can feel it’s a porous surface, if that makes sense. Maybe sort of like the difference between polished and honed marble.
It really brightens up the space, though, which I really love.
After two days of sanding, plus a full day of cleaning and putting the house back together, I just can’t find it in me to write about how we sanded down the floor, so that will have to wait for another post…