Friday, December 25, 2015

The Floor Sanding Sagas - Part II

Note: Hi all! This post was intended to go up this past Monday (21st), but as things were a bit cray-cray with work, the wonderful floor stainers, busy holiday week, and living out of a suitcase for a few days, it's just now going up. Hence, read this as though it were Monday. Also, since in the real world it's not Monday, Merry Christmas y'all and see you in the new year with tons of pix showing our newly stained floors!! Wahoo!

(If you haven't read Part I of our floor sanding saga, catch up here)

A deadline is sometimes the best kick-in-the-butt you need to get something done. Right now we're kicking it into gear with getting our floor sanding done as we've scheduled to have the floors stained on Tuesday. As in, the 22nd. As in...tomorrow.


Let me back up a sec here though and explain why we decided to go with professional floor stainers versus doing it ourselves. It came down to 3 simple reasons:

1. They're professionals
2. We're not
3. We don't want to mess it up

If we were doing a bedroom (which is in our future) we would do it ourselves, but being that these 3 rooms (entryway, dining, living) are a huge area (our whole main floor minus the kitchen), not to mention it's the part of the house that will get a lot of use, we figured it was worth the investment rather than the risk.

So, as of now, 'twas the week before Christmas and all through the house...

...not a piece of furniture could be seen, no not even our couch (because it's now in the kitchen...)

...and plastic sheeting had been hung over all doorways with care...

...and getting stuck in them made you fear Shelob would soon be there...

...Aaaanyways...we've been sanding all this past weekend and have been making steady progress. However, the two remaining rooms needing sanding, the dining room and entryway, have been our toughest with uneven boards, a terrible oil-based finish that kept clogging our sandpaper, and nails.

Oh, and a past owner's horrible use of a rotary disc sander where they seemed to have held it in place for too long EVERYWHERE and made deep grooves in the wood - grrrr.

We went with a local tool rental company this time rather than Home Depot and were able to rent a drum sander and edger together for a phenomenal $65/day total! On top of that their sandpaper was 3x cheaper, so we saved quite a bit this weekend. After this, I'd recommend seeking out local rental companies with good service in your area if you take on a floor sanding project.

It's a good thing the sandpaper was cheaper, because THIS is how much sandpaper we went through for these floors, with 80% of it being from taking off the former finish.

The stubborn finish and uneven boards were so bad in the dining room that we even had to go down to a whopping 20-grit to get it off. This was how it looked after our first pass with the 36-grit before trying the 20:

Crazy and not ideal to have to go that rough, but it worked. Once the finish was off we could move through the other grits of 60 and 80.

To get some of the crazy nicks or lower floor boards Karl improvised and used the edger to smooth out these areas that the drum sander couldn't get, and I worked some smaller areas by hand.

For corners and underneath the radiators I've been using my Mouse sander with 50-grit and even hand sanding with 60-grit, both which have been pretty effective.

But oh boy, did we ever get some bruised and nicked knuckles while sanding underneath the radiators! ...and dust is everywhere.

All worth it of course.

We're so close to done!

Before I forget, here's a spoiler of the floor stain samples the company put down for us to choose from. We kind of knew what we wanted but actually surprised ourselves with the one we chose.

Once again, have a Merry Christmas and see y'all next week!

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