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.

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