Raw fingers and broken backs: A journey to finished floors

Hey guys! It feels like we FINALLY turned a corner into a more habitable space last weekend! Dan and I sanded ALLLLLLL the floors. That's over 1,100 square feet of floors and OMG. Thankfully it wasn't my first rodeo - if you recall from sanding my last house's floor. I knew it'd be tough, but for some reason I kept forgetting that this house has twice the amount of wood floors that needed sanding. And MAN were they in bad shape! Layers of gunk, and all un-level which makes for some time consuming sanding!

SO! Let's get into how we did it! Ya know, in case you are insane enough to do the same. So, upstairs we had 3 bedrooms (4 closets) and one hallway to sand. These were maple floors, and we used 24 grit - 36 grit - 60 grit - 100 grit to sand them. YUP, we sanded those puppies FOUR TIMES (shopvac-in between each pass). We edged 3 times (skipped the 36 grit #rebels). Downstairs we have 3 rooms with oak floors and used the same grit pattern as upstairs. We also had 8 radiators to sander under (LOLOL fun times) and used 24-100 grit patterns for those.

Here's some BEFORE shots for ya:

Most of those photos are pre-floor wash because #thedustlife. So first, we moved everything out of the way, and put plastic over the bathroom door, to semi-contain the dust (which wasn't so bad). We shop-vaced the floors, and wiped them down with water and a swiffer. We just wanted to make sure all the big chunks were out of the way so they didn't fall under the sander and scratch the floors...more than they already were.

The upstairs floors were MUCH worst than the main floors, but the main floor has alot more black spots (and maybe fire burn in one area?!). So we started sanding upstairs first on Thursday after work. I sanded the 'field' and dan sanded the edges (bless his heart) and under the radiators. We were rounding the last lap of grits when I went to grab some water and check the time and LOL IT WAS ONE IN THE MORNING. So, we called it.

Of course i'm a psycho and can't sleep when a fun (LOL) project is looming so I woke up at 7am and went back to the house to finish up the edges and corners upstairs. I used a dremel for the corners and a hand sander for any boards that were too low to be caught by the sander.

After that, we wiped down the floors with a microfiber cloth and some water to get any remaining dust from the floor before we sealed them.

We repeated the process the next day on the main floor..sand-vac-sand-vac-sand-vac-sand-vac-wipe...THEN seal.

We sealed the floors with a water based Bona sealer and OMG I LOVE THIS PRODUCT. I used Dura-seal in my last house which was oil based - I used that because I wanted the floors to darken a bit to match up with the kitchen faux-wood floors. But BONA! The house didn't smell when we put it on, clean up was a BREEZE, and I am obsessed with how the coloring turned out.

After the sealer, we had to wait 12 hours before the next coat. After the sealer (BonaSeal) we lightly sanded the floors and wiped them down with water and a microfiber cloth again. Then we applied two coats waiting 4 hours between, then we waited 24 hours before walking on them.


Shoutout to my mom who painted the office!! 

So much paint and gunk and IDK even what on those floor before

Yeah, there's marks and spots and imperfections but WHATEVER they are over 100 years old and look SOOO much better than before. So we are happy. But like, not sanding floors again for a REAL long time. Next up - finishing up the walls, the bathroom and hey hopefully getting a roof on there soon because omg MN stop raining it's starting to leak into the house which ISN'T coo.

The two week mark!

GUYS! We have OFFICIALLY owned this gem (well, its starting to be one) for DOS weeks! It's crazy how much we've done in that time....but also even more crazy how much more we need to do before it's habitable! It's getting there, and we are so happy with how it's turning out. Things are moving FAST (thankfully) and we haven't had TOO many surprises to push anything (too) far back, so phew. OKAY let's dive into a quick update on everything huh?!

Big things happened this week! We hired a crew (because OMG no thanks) to skim coat the walls and ceilings (which made SUCH a great difference) and then my mom spent the afternoon painting it so it's THAT much closer to being an actual room that humans can hang out in (if they are OK with a layer of dust everywhere).

We chose Navajo White for all the main areas of the house. It reads different colors (white to a soft yellow) throughout the day,. I've been pumping myself up to finish the ceiling paint, it's one of my least favi jobs, but I refuse to pay someone for something I can do...which I am doing in other places in this house and it kinda kills me but also we need a finished house ASAP so...compromises?

ANYWHO. Moving on.

The kitchen! Progress! Well, since the last photo, we basically cleaned it out (shout out to the hardest working dumpster!)


OK so beyond the kitchen is that little area we are going to put a bathroom/laundry area. There used to be a door here...

Side note: Legend (the neighbors) say this door was the exterior access for HORSES into the kitchen. There is a little stoop outside of this door with a drop off where horses could walk past with a buggy to be unloaded into the kitchen. A little backstory on the house: It was the old farm managers house (our neighbors house looks like a small barn - it was the 'apple barn.') back when all the land around here was an apple (and pear?) farm! Cool! The history deserves it's own post...later...so yeah there's that. End side note. 

The patch job on that door NEEDS some work...but i'm showing this image for THE FLOORS. So the kitchen/bath area had like 16 (3) layers of floors (mainly plywood) over the joists. We (Dan and my dad) ripped up the first and saw this! And I immediately shut construction DOWN because Asbestos ya know. SO, typically old (pre 1981) tiles that are roughly 8x8 or 10x10 have asbestos either in the tile or in the adhesive. However there was a tar paper of sorts BELOW the tile, which made me think but BEST TO BE SAFE! We had them tested - and they came back negative (YUS!). Apparently, which I learned after the fact, the tar paper is a good indication that is ISN'T asbestos! HURRAH!

Below the tiles was hardwoods, unfortunately the kitchen didn't have any (so there would be a weird gap between the rooms...also we have plans for heated floors so we can remove that radiator...aka there are many reasons why we had to remove this flooring, don't get mad at me.  ALSO, most of it was damaged.) We ripped it out and saved a few lengths to patch up the floors upstairs (from the wall we are removing in the bedroom...are you following along?!). ANOTHER reason we wanted to rip everything out was to have a flush transition from the dining room to the kitchen. I trip on air, so this was a safety necessity:). Next on the agenda for this area is to put in new sub floor! I need to say that excitedly because it's not the EASIEST job, but you know me, unwilling to pay someone to do something for me.

Upstairs in the bathroom!...we rented a demo hammer...TBT(uesday) to my last house LOL. So at least we REALLY knew what we were doing this time. It didn't take too long to break it up, revealing the floor boards. The boards by the bathtub were...less than ideal...and no one wants to fall through the tub into the kitchen right? So! Time for a little sub floor patching...

One step closer! AND! Since then, the bathtub and a new window have been installed! *Insert dancing emoji!*). Next steps in here? Tile ALL THE THINGS.

WHAT ELSE DID WE DO?! One of the things we have been WAITING to do since we closed on the house...remove the shed/dollhouse/unsupported walls dangling in the yard!

Just a couple swings of the sledge hammer and she came tumbling down. Then came the task of sawzalling (a new word we invented) the structure apart and tossing it in the dumpster. The yard feels SO much bigger now.

PHEW! We have contractors (and roofers!) over all next week... and next weekend we are finally SANDING THE FLOORS! Which I've been waiting (for the result not the work LOL) for since I first laid eyes on those puppies.

21 days until move in!! eek!