You know how sometimes you wait and wait and wait for something? You wait so long you are pretty sure it’s never going to happen. And then one day, it finally happens and you realized you were glad you waited, and the waiting has made you appreciate it even more? That’s how refinishing wood floors in our hallway felt.
We aren’t totally done, but I wanted to share the progress with you so far.When we moved in about 16 1/2 years ago, we learned from the previous owner that when they bought the house the lady before them had cats.Lots and lots of cats.And, I guess she wasn’t too picky about if they used the litter box everytime. So… they said the floors were fairly pet stained, and they primed over them and then covered them with laminate and carpet. After we moved in we didn’t smell cat pee, so we figured it couldn’t be that bad. It made me crazy to think that underneath us might be all of this awesome hardwood floor waiting to be brought back to life.
Well, when we gutted our kitchen in 2010,I was hoping we could save some money by refinishing the original wood.We pulled up the laminate that covered the entire main floor.We found out that not only was there 3 layers of old vinyl in the kitchen and no wood in there, but, the main floor had been primed and yes, it smelled faintly like cat pee. I was sad.And no money saved there. At the time,the only way to fix it, and match the area in the kitchen where there was no wood flooring was to put down all new wood, which is what we did. We did get lucky and the stair treads were fine, so were were able to refinish those.
Fast forward to 2016. We had now been in our house 16 years. The owners before us put in a basic beige carpet which was 4 years old when we bought it. We were now walking every day on 20 year old carpet. For those of you that think bloggers have everything in their house done, this is a testament that not all parts of our home are pretty. It would make me crazy every time I vacuumed that gross old carpet and thought about how dirty it was. I kept saying we needed to pull up the carpet and refinish it, but there was never a good time. It’s the only access to our bedrooms so it also meant we needed to camp out somewhere for a few days and there was never a good time for that either.
So I lived with it.
And hated it.
I kept contemplating pulling up the carpet and seeing how bad it was, or even pulling it up and painting it with porch paint, but I knew if we ever wanted to sell the best resale was in matching wood floors. I even bought dark gray porch paint which sat in a can in my garage because I never could quite manage to pull the trigger.
The one day, on an out of town trip, I get this text : Look at this!
That man knows the way to my heart. Talk about brownie points.
While I was gone, he pulled up the carpet and sanded the old primer off the floors. They were in amazing shape! I almost cried I was so happy. This was really happening! And to have that nasty carpet out! It felt so much better!
That was back in May.
When I got back,we had to put the carpet back over the wood for a while, there was a hospital visit, and busyness and life. And, there was the issue that the floor we put in 6 years ago was a custom stain I mixed.
It took me a bit of time, and a few extra cans of stain to come up with a close match the second time around (by the way I have lots of barely-used stain if you need some). I ended up with a combination of Antique brown,Mahogany and a bit of Chestnut that was pretty, darn close. Finally in October, we were able to plan the time to camp out for a few days downstairs.
It was so exciting to see the stain finally go down! 2 coats later and a polycoat and a few days of curing and it was done!
We are one step ahead of this picture, I’ll share later. The holidays happened and we got busy again.We finally have the trim down, and need to repaint everything, and the transitions need to go in where the bedroom carpets meet the wood. It feels so good to have it done! It’s so easy to clean! It wasn’t really even a hard job, just time intensive, and requires some planning if it’s a main living area. For about 10 seconds we thought about taking a chance doing the bedrooms too, but I think we are going to re-carpet those one room at a time instead for now.We aren’t that crazy.
See, dreams do come true!