We rented a floor sander for this job. We sanded the dining room floor first...
... and then the living room. We debated about whether to go ahead and do the living room at the same time, or wait until a later date. I was afraid that we'd lose momentum if we waited on the living room floor. Plus, I'm tired of all the dust! Dust from tearing down the chimney, dust from tearing down the fireplace, dust from putting in the new hearth, dust from building the woodstove alcove, and now dust from doing the dining room floor. I want my house back!
Both floors are oak, but you can see the difference in their natural colors with the old finish off the living room floor.
There was a lot of hand sanding too. This included the edges by the walls where the floor sander couldn't get, and also rough spots left by that same floor sander when it stops and starts.
Finally staining. I chose a color similar to what the living room originally was.
I will admit that we aren't entirely happy with the way the stain turned out. We did a lot of research beforehand, both on types of stains as well as techniques for putting it down. The big concern is getting it down evenly. To accomplish this we feathered the edges, but we still ended up with areas that aren't evenly blended. Of course I googled this problem and discovered that it is unfortunately all too common. Not only amongst DIYers, but quite a few professional jobs turned out the same. The type and brand of stain didn't matter, they can all do it . And there's nothing to be done after the fact unless one has the energy to sand the whole finish off again and start over. Many advised that putting on the finish helped the overall appearance, though I can't see how. Fortunately the high traffic areas (hallway and doorways) look the best. Most of the rest of it will be covered with furniture and an area rug or two.
Next will be two coats of the polyurethane finish on both floors. We are going to use a satin finish because, 1 - we like it better, and 2 - glossier finishes are more reflective and tend to make imperfections more prominent. After that we can finish the thresholds, trim, and other finishing touches.
The light at the end of the tunnel is being able to have functional dining and living rooms. That means the spare room and my studio can be cleared out of furniture and unpacked boxes, so they will also be usable. It also means I can get the rest of my dishes, kitchen tools, and what-nots unpacked. As you can imagine, I'm really looking forward to that day.
Dining Room Floor: Sanding & Staining photos & text copyright December 2009 by Leigh at http://my5acredream.blogspot.com/
Our Next Project
Dining Room Floor: Removing the Old Linoleum
Sort Of Like A Jigsaw Puzzle
Dining Room Floor: Getting There!
More Problems With The Dining Room Floor