10
Feb
11

Down to the bare wood…..

The latest installment on our ongoing hardwood floor renovations…..

It all started with the baseboards and windowsills. They needed to be stripped to bring out the stunning century old wood underneath. But before the baseboards/windowsills could be painted over, the interior doors had to be replaced, and the hardwood floor sanded- so that everything could be stained and varnished together.  That’s the story so far.

The Dremel Multi-Max. An amazing tool that can sand many hard to reach areas.

The sanding/staining of the hardwood floors, baseboards, and windowsills is an example of how one seemingly simple home renovation job is connected to so many others. At the moment I still have to sand down the baseboards and windowsills with my new Dremel Multi-max tool, which is an awesome tool to sand corners and awkward areas. However, I won’t have any time to use the Dremel until March break which is a trade off of being a PhD student. Since November, I’ve had the Minwax english chestnut oil-based wood stain and Varathane high solids floor finish in the kitchen and ready to go.

Minwax wood stain and Varathane varnish. It about six weeks I’ll finally be able to use them.

At the end of the winter break I rented a push floor sander and finally sanded the hardwood floors down to the bare wood.

Sanding the floors.

The sander was very easy to use and I enjoyed the process. There was a lot of pine sawdust everywhere but it smelled really good. It also felt oddly therapeutic. Sanding hardwood floors can be an empowering experience as it feels wonderful to transform your home from old to new.

Bleeding money into a home is unnecessary and poor common sense. We have only spent about $1,500 refinishing the floors, baseboards, and windowsills (including all tools and a new Dyson animal vacuum). The process is not expensive but it is a lot of hard work. The elbow grease might be off putting for some but it’s a smarter decision or else your fixer-upper will soon become a money pit. If you are considering purchasing an older home I would recommend refinishing the floors, painting, and replacing the fixtures yourself while saving the kitchen and bathroom for the professions. That’s our plan.

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