Ah, the joy of home projects….

We live in an 1895 Queen Anne Victorian.  A large, lovely home with a list of projects as far as the eye can see.  It was a funeral home for about 30 years and the last owners had a devil may care attitude to it’s upkeep.  Fortunately it is a solid house so the bones are good but we are slowly making our way through the list.  My husband had to create a kitchen when he moved in.  Used to be the casket show room.  Originally it was a three room kitchen with a back room attached.  He also had to redo the roof, rebuild the chimneys, and when I moved in we had to redo the carriage house foundation.  Do not let trees grow near foundations!  If you do, you too can have a hole large enough to drive a VW bug through.

Because there are so many rooms and projects we try to as much of the work ourselves.  We haven’t won the lottery after all and given our luck with that we can’t count on it.  🙂

Our kids were down in Florida for a couple of weeks this summer so we thought it was time to redo our daughter’s wood floor.  If you want to know how much stuff your child has accumulated over the years, go empty their room.  I dare you.  And we don’t buy her a ton of stuff!

I don’t believe this floor has been redone since it was put in so we were in for a lot of sanding as the stuff they used back then was pretty tough.

New wood floor 1 2013

So we set off to rent a floor sander, get the masks, sandpaper for the floor sander, then hand sanders, and the stain we wanted.  As it was a pine floor and there isn’t a chance in hell to match the original stain colour we decided to have contrast and went with a light colour.

I was very happy to say goodbye to this:

New wood floor 2 2013

Of course we had to deal with this little monster:

New wood floor 3 2013

It’s very hard for me to be on my knees for any length of time because of my back, especially hand-sanding so I ended up using the floor sander.  I managed to keep it from dancing about.  And oh the dust!  Even with the windows wide open it was a mess.  We had her doors shut but it still got everywhere.  And of course you have to do a few layers with finer and finer paper.

New wood floor 4 2013

The edges gave us a run for their money and it took awhile to get it all smooth and clean.  Then there is the cleaning.  Everything had to be vacuumed, including the walls.  The we bought the Swifter stuff and used that.  And vacuumed some more.  Then a coat of staining and 3 coats of poly.  But we got it done!

New wood floor 5 2013

It’s nice to walk on a floor and not worry about splinters!  🙂  Our daughter was very surprised and loved it.  Good thing to as we weren’t changing it again!

24 thoughts on “Ah, the joy of home projects….

  1. Your floor looks great! We’ve just done the same in our similarly aged house and it looks good. We went with a light oil and are pleased with it. Just a couple of other jobs in that room and then on to the next but we don’t have as many rooms as you, nor your fascinating history! 🙂

  2. You guys did a beautiful job on that floor. How very ambitious of you! Sanding floors is not for the faint of heart. But the dust! My neighbor’s company does this sort of thing and he did my kitchen floor for an unbelievable price. It’s been 7 or 8 years and I bet if I went deep into the cupboards with a white glove that I’d still find dust — and my cupboards were taped shut and covered in plastic.

  3. We suffer in a 30 year old house here in Dublin. Awful build quality. I have to tell the kids not to walk in the kitchen while I take a photo. Love the job you have done here.

    • I don’t know what happened in the 80’s with building but it’s a chronic problem. 60’s and 70’s just have bad design. We’re lucky with this house as it was a one off. Most homes from that time were put up at a rapid rate to keep up with the increased manufacturing and you’ll find many a sloped floor in the homes.

  4. That’s the one job most folks hire-out, even if they’re handy…I’d rather hang sheetrock and mud and tape joints for a month than ever deal with one of those damn belt sanders again…
    You guys get Gold Stars – it looks great!

    • My pipe dream is to win the lottery, move out for several months, hire a bunch of people, then move back in. 🙂 So far we’re stuck doing it ourselves. There are projects we can’t do completely so we save up and then get it done. Our next house, we’ll just worry about paint colours. 🙂

  5. When we bought our apartment we (i.e. my mother-in-law and me, as my husband was expatriated to Scotland) did all the painting ourselves, but for 104 square meters of wooden floors I insisted we got somebody in to do the floors. Never regretted it… Yours look great, but I just didn’t want to face that nightmare alone! And 2 years on our floors are scuffed and “lived in”, but they still look great and will not need redoing for ages and ages. (Let’s face it; I think women look great in stilettos if they like to wear them, so they are allowed in our apartment – and that shows on varnished pine floor boards! Mementoes of great parties and lovely company, I say!)

    • Sounds like your MIL is a wonderful person to help you with all that work! I have to admit I prefer people to take off their shoes in our house to keep the dirt down to a minimum. Probably sounds weird as we have two dogs. 🙂

      • Normally people take off their shoes when entering an apartment in Copenhagen, but the one exception is a party where people dress up to look their best. Some DO insist that guests take off their shoes – or send invitations with “no stilettos” specified – but I don’t mind our floors taking a beating for a good cause. Such as letting people wear whatever they think they look best in.

        My MIL did all the wood painting. Door frames, windows, doors – including the french doors between the sitting room and dining room and the double doors between the dining room and the library… She was a star! I hate painting woodwork, so I loved only having to do walls and ceilings – and the skirting boards, because her back doesn’t like bending that much. Oh, and when I’d moved in she stopped by to clean the windows, because after all her work to get the window frames perfect she didn’t want people to look at them and notice the dirt, rather than the paint work! 🙂

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