So we started working on The Great Floor Disaster yesterday.  Most of it Mr. E will finish while I am in a gin coma in Vermont with our children, but we wanted to rough sand a few of the rooms to see if we were going to try to save these floors because if we’re not, we don’t have to move all the furniture out of our house and into the garage.

Luckily, it’s been pouring rain for five days.  In June, in Sacramento.  And then a few minutes after Mr. E got the rented drum sander home, the power went out for an hour.  So obviously our floors have opened a portal to the apocalypse.

On the plus side, there was pizza.

Here’s what they looked like before we sanded them.  This is my bedroom.

And here’s what they looked like afterwards.

I think we lucked out a little bit because even though they are super thin (all the houses around here have this very specific 3/8″ flooring), I think the laziness/decrepitude/stupidity of the former owners meant there wasn’t a lot of floor refinishing going on before we bought the house.  They’ve been painted and I think there was carpet over them, but they haven’t been sanded down too much, at least not so far.

The other good news is that the boards themselves are in remarkably good shape. I think most of them can be saved.  Sanding helped SO much, and I think we can slap some wood fill down in most of the big cracks and call it a day.

Also, taking out all the furniture  and seeing the rooms without the laminate but with all the wall colors I’ve painted is making me happy. I think it’s going to look really good.  Someday.  I love that gray paint in my bedroom, although it’s filthy and I will be repainting it this morning.

The bad news is the floors REEK and are really stained.  We’re hoping they will air out, and we’re going to try hydrogen peroxide on them today, but we’re probably going to have to stain them really dark.

Up close of the staining:

But aren’t the corners cool? I am very glad we are trying to save these floors.

14 Responses

  1. this makes me want to refinish my floors. I love the corners! it reminds me of a quilt.

  2. I think they look amazing. Really. We have hardwood that is in desperate need of refinishing, and our dining room and living room actually have big unfinished pine boards in the middle that you’re supposed to put a rug down over. Saves money to finish only the border, you see. But we keep putting this project off because of money and the horrible pain in the neckness of it all, so kudos for doing it yourselves!

  3. Gorgeous corners! I love them!

    We are to the transitions and molding portion of our floor and even though I wish it was real wood very often, it is just so much better than carpet and so pretty, I am so much happier already.

  4. They will be awesome when you’re done. The corner detail is charming! Seeing this does make me wonder how all that staining happened–looks like water might have been puddled there for quite some time. How great that you took the before pictures. Can’t wait to see after!

    • Most of it is dog urine. The previous owners left a ton of dogs just trapped in the house all day and they trashed the floors and the moldings, etc.

  5. Wow, just with the sanding they look so much better! I bet they will turn out wonderfully.

  6. What a difference! I love the corners, and I am so glad it looks like you’ll be able to save them.

  7. eeee!! I’m so excited for you!!! They look fabulous already!

  8. And I thought I couldn’t be MORE impressed with your inner DIYness. That’s awesome. Even if makes me want to start the gin coma right now.

  9. ok, I totally want to know everything when you are done. Like I said before, I don’t want to shell out $1500 to refinish mine, so I want to watch you do it before I attempt it.

  10. That looks awesome, and the corners are amazing. I am a big fan of the beautiful old details you can find in houses. Kudos to you guys for all the hard work!

  11. YAY! Floors! Those corners are really awesome. I don’t remember my floors reeking when we were sanding them, but that may be because I was just SO HAPPY to have the cat pee carpet out of my house, even though the whole house still smelled like cat pee. I will say that I feel like polyurethane will seal out any remaining smell. That’s assuming you are planning to stain them then polyurethane them. Good luck!

  12. I love the corners! They would make me happy, but also even MORE pissed the previous owners had such disregard for them.

  13. WHAT an improvement already! I’m glad refinishing will work!

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