Category Archives: floor refinishing

Bye-Bye Sparkle Linoleum

Alright guys, remember the sparkle linoleum from yesterday…

Well, after some intense sanding by Andy’s Custom Flooring and some shiny top coats we have a beautiful, glossy wood floor.  I thought that the guys would scrape off the linoleum before sanding, but instead they just ground the stuff down until they got to the wood.  I thought this was a smart strategy, and for anyone who is interested they used a 15 grit sandpaper on the linoleum.

Here is the gorgeous new floor.

Today I finally was able to walk on the floor, and I have been busily working on the next steps in the room- priming, sanding woodwork, painting ceilings, walls, trim, closets.  I finished most of the painting and I’m so excited to move the bed in tomorrow.

I did manage to drag my dresser into the room using some old towels, but I’ll have to wait until Jimmee gets back to move the rest.

It’s pretty amazing what a sander can do!   Hope you all are having a great Wednesday.



Filed under floor refinishing, master bedroom

The Start of a New Room

Today got off to a rough and very hot start when our air conditioner broke, but things are back on track and the cool air is blowing again, thankfully!   Last week I started working on the room that eventually will be our master bedroom, and it should be done later this week.  In the meantime I’ll update you on what I’ve been working on…

The bedroom had the same popcorn texture as the other rooms, and of course it was on the walls, ceilings, outlets, and baseboards.  I decided before I took the carpet out I needed to get rid of the bumpy walls.  That’s where the photo above comes in… because that’s what it was like when I was sanding.   Things were very dusty, and I looked like a ghost.

After I checked the sanding off the list, it was time to get rid of the carpet.  I knew there were wood floors somewhere underneath, but I wasn’t sure exactly what I would find.

I was not really expecting 1970s linoleum with sparkle in it!!!

Here’s the whole room.

At this point, I was feeling a little overwhelmed and horrified by all the linoleum that would need to be scraped up.  We had experience in the living room with scraping linoleum glue off of a wood floor, and it was not fun or easy.  Here was my small attempt.  This took forever, and I was ready to hand it over to the professionals.

I called around to a couple of places, and I found a company who could sand it and have it finished in a couple of days.  Tomorrow I’ll post the results of the professionals work.  You’ll be amazed at what a little sanding can do, well maybe a lot of sanding.


Filed under floor refinishing, master bedroom

48 Hour Date with the Sander

Okay, maybe it was more like 16 hours, but whatever it was I don’t want to see that machine again for awhile.  The process started out at Lowe’s where we picked up all the materials we would need for the sanding and refinishing.

It turns out you need a LOT of sandpaper- we started out with 9 packs and ended up using over 30!  I think the sandpaper is a little bit tricky because you have no idea you will so much, and the cost of it really adds up, not to mention all the trips back and forth!  I was there so frequently that I actually made friends with several of the employees.

Once we got the sander home and into the living room, we were pretty much ready to go.  I watched a short DVD that you can buy about how it works, things to do, not to do, etc.  Basically the video made it look really quick and easy; just run the sander over the floor a couple of times and you’ll be back to clean, bare wood.  That was not really the case, although it was easy to use.  My main issue with the sander was the amount of time it took to get rid of the old finish.  I ended up resting a book on the handles and reading it while running the sander up and down the room.  Later I switched over to letting the sander run itself while I used the hand sander in the other room.  I kept one eye on it, and it seemed to do okay just shimmying across the floor all by itself.  Overall though it got the job done, and we were pretty happy with the overall result.

Here is the sander itself:

The picture above shows how it looked after a couple hours of sanding.  Here is what the base looks like, just in case you’re curious.  It turns out there are two types of large floor sander- the drum and the orbital.  We chose this one because it’s better for beginners and doesn’t gouge the floor.  We now realize that may also be code for very, very slow progress.

This was day two of sanding.  Most of the finish was gone, but there was definitely still plenty left!  Also, the picture is a little blurry because of the dustiness of the room at the time.

This is me (at almost midnight), finishing up the last couple square feet with the 80 grit!!!  If I hadn’t been so tired, I would have done a little dance to celebrate being done (with that step, at least)!

Before I show the finished result, I wanted to show you a picture of the floor when I found it under the carpet.  It was pretty horrible!

Okay, now back to the oil-based finish, which I waited until the morning to start.  Voila, here it is right after the first application!

And after drying…

I still have two more coats to go, but it will probably be two days until those are finished.  You have to wait 12 hours between coats, and there’s some sanding involved too.  I’ll be out of town next week so by the time I get back it should be time to put the furniture in place!  I can’t wait!


Filed under floor refinishing, living room, sander

Our Floor has Issues

Like this one.

It seems to be nearly impossible for us to make any headway with our living room floor because of all the little things that need to be done before we can bring our friend, the orbital sander, into the picture.  First, there is the floor furnace.  We could leave it. We could try to ignore this guy and go on with our lives, but it doesn’t seem like that is going to work out.  We tried to remove him.

And instead he embedded himself further into the floor.  It seems like the more we pull, the more the thing sunk- maybe we could just bury it in that hole?

Jimmee was feeling the frustration and brought out the hammer or whatever tool that is.

That’s not our only problem.  We also found this lovely thing under the carpet.  Nice surprise, eh?

Here’s a close-up.

Our third dilemma is the tile in the entry way that we’re not very fond of.  We weren’t sure if there was wood under it or something else, but we decided we wouldn’t know unless we removed the tile.

So we started by tearing it up…  here is the process in photos.

Once we got the tile up, SURPRISE! another layer of flooring to get through, along with a layer of drywall that the tile was attached to.

This one had tar adhesive, which we had to do our best to scrape up.  After lots of scraping (and arm toning), we decided to switch to mineral spirits, which took the last bits of tar right off.

So that pretty much solved dilemma number 3.  Now number 1 and 2 were left to be dealt with, and since we weren’t too confident of our wood-working skills, we decided to pick up the phone and call a professional.

We did the demo before he came, and then he did a great job filling in the wood where needed.

Here is the final finished floor!  Problems solved!

Number 1:

Number 2:

Number 3:

Next up, floor refinishing!  Check back later to see the shiny, new floor…


Filed under floor furnace, floor refinishing, issues, random tile under carpet