Before Moving, Do Floors, Part 3: The Final Results

We did end up finishing the floors about 2 weeks before we had to move in. Yay! It did end up taking about a week longer than we thought it might (laying down polyurethane in 90 degree heat with 90% humidity and the a/c shut off is pretty much the worst scenario for poly to dry quickly), but we were finished in plenty of time. It was so. much. hard. work, but very much worth it. Here are some pictures! Shiny!


Dining room floors, right after the stain was finished.


Hallway floor, after both coats of polyurethane.


From dining room, looking into the kitchen. I love how the arch makes a complete circle in the reflection!


Dining room floors


Living room, looking out into the hallway.
If you are wondering, that window was a salvage find from Habitat for Humanity’s “Restore” second hand outlet.


Upstairs office – no stain, just original wood floor colors and a coat of polyurethane. We chose an oil poly, as this gives the wood a more ‘amber’ glow, which would match with how the floors would have looked if redone 100 years ago.


Back bedroom floors – also were not stained, just varnished.


We used a Minwax High Build Polyurethane, with Minwax stain on the first floor, and no staining (just natural wood and poly!) on the second floor rooms. If you noticed that the baseboards look funky in several photos, it’s because, when tearing up the baseboard edging, it often came up with a big ‘ol peel of paint. This is what happens when you don’t properly prime before painting, people! That is ok, though, because that means we will be able to easily expose the hardwood baseboards in those rooms. Yay! Each time the paint peels away, it’s like opening a present from the house, to us.

Tips I Learned:

1) When varnishing a light colored floor, don’t panic if on the first coat, the varnish looks unevenly colored. Chances are, it will even out with the next coat or two. We had a minor panic moment after the first coat on the top (unstained) rooms, when the finish looked incredibly uneven in color tone. It all sorted itself out in the second coat. Save yourself this panic, and don’t worry!

2) High-build poly is your friend. Two coats instead of three or four? Yes please.


Although it was a lot of sweaty, hot, backbreaking work, the end results were totally worth it. The floors are the first thing that people comment on now, when they enter our home.


We are looking forward to improving all aspects of the home this much!


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