Disclaimer: we aren't professionals

Thanks for reading our silly little blog! As the disclaimer says, we aren't professionals in either blogging or house stuff, but we try. This is mostly to let our friends and family know what we've destroyed so far in the house. We post irregularly and usually forget to take pictures, so thanks for your patience, and please feel free to comment with your thoughts and suggestions!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Refinishing the Laundry Room Floors

I finished the sanding of the floor in the laundry room a day or two ago. I had to replace two boards were the old water heater (or possibly the washer) had a leak that went unnoticed and eventually warped the underlayment. I inspected the underlayment under the house and found it to be in good shape other that the small amount of warping. I replaced the two boards with some of the left over red oak I had used in the other room. Here is a tip to hard wood floors; older houses from the 60s and 70s usually used white oak flooring. I didn't know it was white oak flooring until after I had put down the red oak and sanded off the finish. They will look slightly different, especially if you don't stain the wood prior to the poly finish.

After replacing the boards, I rented another square orbital sander from Home Depot and went to town. I used 20/32/60/80 grit to get the floor to a decent finish. You could probably get away with 32/80 and then finish out with 100 on refinished floors. New floors follow a schedule of 60/80/100. I save the 100 grit pass for my palm sander because I wanted to fill divots and cracks with a wood filler. Again, they make a red oak and a white oak filler. I went with the white oak filler and used it to also help blend in the red oak boards that I used (I will try to find the pictures I took during this refinishing process and add them to this post).

After I wood puttied the large holes (odd nail holes and a hole for the old dryer receptacle coming through the floor) and let the wood floor filler dry, I came back with 100 grit sand paper on my Dewalt pad sander. It would be appropriate to caution anyone planning on refinishing their floors to use the wood floor filler sparingly. I covered the entire laundry room floor with a thin layer of it (mostly focusing on the cracks and low spots), but I paid for the generosity of my spreading with a ton of fine particle dust during the sanding. I ended up using a sheet over the entryway to at least control some of it. The A/C still does not work, so I wasn't worried about any being inhaled by that system (same goes for drywall dust).

After the 100 grit, the floor was like a baby's butt (minus the curved part, that would be bad). The next step actually leads into the pictures that I had planned for this post. The first step is to wipe down the floor with mineral spirits and then follow with a dry tack cloth/cheesecloth. This will get the oils, dust and trash off of the surface (in theory). The next picture shows the floor being wiped down with mineral spirits.

The next step is to apply stain. I had to guesstimate on the stain color/staining time and the finish. I was actually a bit nervous about this, but thankfully Minwax doesn't make a lot of different stains. I used Special Walnut and applied it with the grain using staining pads. I only did one coat and I wiped the same areas several times until there was an even application everywhere.

I let it dry for about 10 minutes and then, using a rag soaked with mineral spirits, rubbed the left over stain and oils off of the surface. After letting this dry for about 4 hours, I used 220 grit sand paper on my pad sander to smooth the surface of trash and to help the poly bond better. I wiped the surface off with mineral spirits again, followed by cheesecloth, to prepare for the poly. I used a lamb's wool applicator cleaned with mineral spirits to apply a thin layer of fast drying polyurethane.

I made one pass on each set of boards, careful not to stop and leave an overlap layer caused by stopping the stroke.

I still have to do this step twice more with sanding and cleaning between each time to get the 3 coats of poly that most floors require. I used a clear satin poly for the finish. Hopefully the washer and dryer can go in on Tuesday of next week.

1 comment:

  1. You can always use wood from older furniture for things like this to decorate your home this is Eco friendly and save's your lots of buck's and after that you can use some to make it look much better in your home.

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