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One of the first projects Kevin and I decided to check off the list before was moved into our new house was to refinish the hardwood floors. When we viewed the house the first time I could tell right away that the floors were original and had been very well loved over the past 60 years. These floors had some scuffs, paint splatters of various colors and had been nailed through for carpet installation. It definitely didn’t need to be done right away, but we figured that doing it prior to moving our stuff in would be a lot less hassle than doing it one or two years down the road.

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First, here is the before and after. It’s kind of hard to tell (so you’re gonna have to take my word for it) but the photos above are of the exact same spot. The “after” looks a little more grey toned in this picture than it does in real life, but this is a good side-by-side. They look brand new!

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This is the only real before picture that I have. We were trying to move fast to get in the house as soon as possible, so after trying to choose between doing the floors ourselves and hiring someone to do them, we decided to go the faster (albeit more expensive) route. In the end, I am really happy with that decision, it allowed us to move in quicker and ultimately gave us time to do other things that were on our to-do list at the same time. Plus having someone else do it meant that we didn’t have to haul any bulky equipment or remove any of the trim (he did that for us)! We got the floor guy’s name from from a friend and I had the chance to see his workmanship before we even met him, which really helped me feel confident in letting him touch our beautiful floors.

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As our floor guy progressed, I took pictures. It took about about 4 passes with the sanders to get some of the scratches and stains out. As he went, we noticed that the raw floors were ABSOLUTELY stunning and made Kevin and I want to leave them bare with just a top coat.

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Even Chloe was a big fan! The color was the exact same as her!

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After the initial sanding was done, it was time for filler. (And more sanding.)

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We thought that choosing the color was going to be the hardest part, but it turned out to be hilariously easy since Kevin and I had the exact same color in mind. Since he was mixing the color from scratch, we got to show him some photos from pinterest and choose the base and any additional colors we might want to add. We both wanted a pretty true brown with no red/orange/purple, so on the third try of adding the brown color we were both happy. It took all of three minutes. I asked the floor guy later how long it typically takes for clients to choose and he said on average 45 minutes and sometimes people even have to sleep on it. HAHA!

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Here it is half stained, half raw! Each time he put on another coat, he did it by room which ultimately lead to “painting himself out of the house”.

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He came back a few days later to put the first coat of polyurethane on. Despite how the picture looks below, we chose a middle of the road type – not too glossy but not matte either. This stuff had a terrible odor, so we opened every window we could without walking on the floor to get some ventilation going.

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The final poly coat took about 48 hours to dry, which was perfect timing for us to move in 3 days later! We could not have been more happy with how it turned out and I don’t know if it was the color we chose or just sanding down in general, but the wood grain and knots seem a lot more prevalent now. We love that the color doesn’t take away from the beauty or character of the house and it looks great with our new furniture!


This post is part of my challenge to post every day in July! To see them all, click here!

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