“If God wanted us to bend over, he would have put diamonds on the floor!”-Joan Rivers
My house is pretty old. Everything in it is pretty darn old…plaster walls-old, wooden windows-old and hardwood floors-old, old, old. I have been picking away at things but I have to admit, my to-do list around here is at least a foot longer than I am tall. Priorities have changed and I have learned to live with things that when I moved in I said “HAVE TO GO”. I was naive and thought money grew on trees or something (my money tree house plant has yet to produce a bill). Narrowing down priorities is important and slowly picking away at them is the way to go.
My hardwood floors downstairs were in rough shape. The finish was gone in most places and it absorbed my mop water when I washed the floors (always a good sign). The dining room was an entirely different colour than the living room and high traffic areas were worn down to a pulp. I researched re-finishing them myself, equipment rentals and varnishes and the cost was astounding. I figured it would cost 1000-1500 to finish the down stairs alone, not to mention the man-power and time it would take. That is when my awesome neighbour suggested a guy who had re-finished theirs. He did weekends- cash only and had many satisfied customers.
I called him up, he came by to have a look and we settled on $600 to do the entire downstairs (living room, dining room and entry) and he would come on a weekend when we were away for a wedding. I left a key for him outside, cash on the mantel and kept my fingers crossed that he was a decent guy. When I arrived home on the Monday I was pleasantly surprised. My floors were beautiful. They had been meticulously sanded within an inch of their lives and had three coats of clear satin varnish applied. I couldn’t be happier! The hardest part was squeezing all of the furniture up-right in the kitchen! Check ’em out and find some tips below!
Floor re-finishing tips:
- Find someone who comes recommended by a source you can trust.
- When debating staining them dark (I so wanted dark!), try to remember what suits your house and what will be both less perishable and show less dust. Dark floors showcase dust and pet fur..
- When picking a finish also keep dust and pet hair in mind (every home gets dusty no matter how often you clean but that doesn’t mean it needs to be brought to peoples attention!). The more shiny the finish the more dust and pet hair will be noticed. I picked a satin finish for this purpose even though high gloss would have been stunning. Tumble weeds in corners do not need to be centre stage.
- Try to re-finish floors before you move in, it’s easier not to have to move furniture and not to have to tape off rooms. Do it before you do anything else if your funds allow.
- If the above bullet is useless and you are already moved in, go to the dollar store and buy painting tarps. Huge pieces of plastic for a buck that can be used to prevent dust from sanding getting into other rooms. I taped off both entrances to my kitchen and my stairs with plastic tarps and painter tape. This kept my furniture and walls dust free in the rooms that weren’t being re-done.
- When all is said and done- wash your walls and wipe everything down before bringing furniture back into rooms with newly finished floors. The sanding dust can get everywhere!
- Finally, don’t forget to put heavy duty furniture pads on the bottom of everything to help keep your new floors beautiful!