I normally like to start the blog updates with pictures. But this story needs some explaining before we get to the good stuff. I've mentioned previously that we have a tight budget and so we are doing some things ourselves. One of my bright ideas was to refinish the floors ourselves. I cannot possibly articulate in a blog post how naive this idea was. I thought "How hard can it be?"
Spoiler alert. Really. Fucking. Hard.
About two weeks ago, in a panic, I called my brother and asked him if he would be willing to fly up from Alabama to help us with the floors. Even though it was his birthday, he agreed to help us out. But, he could only come for 2 full days - Thursday and Friday. I wasn't able to take Thursday off of work, but did take Friday off to help. Sometime around Thursday afternoon, I sent him a text to see how it was going. "Slow" was his response. Then sometime around 5:30 on Thursday he texts "There is no way I'm going to be finished sanding by tomorrow". Uh oh
Friday was my own version of torture. We rented a second drum sander so we could both sand at the same time. We started at 8 and by 5 we were both toast. At that point, we had the second floor rough sanded and edged. But the first floor was only rough sanded. Paul and I ended up finishing up on Saturday and Sunday. If you are not familiar with the process of refinishing floors I'm going to break down the steps for you now.
- Rough sand the floors - this involves multiple passes with a drum sander to get the floors flat and the existing finish off. typical floors need 60-80 git sand paper. We had to use 25...so basically beaver teeth to get the finish off
- Edge floor - the drum sander can't get the 6" perimeter so you need to use an edger. The edger is the same weight at a smaller toddler, so like 30lbs. And in order to use it correctly, you have to squat and hold it. I am not joking when I say my max time doing this was about 5-10 min before I needed to take a break.
- Vacuum floors
- Resand floors - this time with 80 grit sandpaper. This step went much faster.
- Vacuum floors
- Tack floors (when you wipe them down with a barely damp cloth)
- Apply sealer - since we were doing clear poly over bare wood, we opted for a sealer.
- Buff floors - This time with 120 grit sand paper
- Vacuum floors AGAIN
- Tack floors AGAIN
- Apply First coat of poly. We used Bona Traffic HD in the Ultra Matte finish
We still have one more buff and poly coat to do which won't be until this weekend. I'm proud to say we did finish the first coat of poly by noon on Sunday. But I needed a 4 hour nap afterwards and I'm still sore. It was probably the hardest thing I've ever done. Like, I would go through childbirth again before refinishing floors - no joke. In hindsight..we should have hired someone to do this for us as it would have been money well spent.
Jake working hard