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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Our refinished oak plank floor...

Oh how it shines!

refinished oak plank wood floor, the glare makes me squint!
Why relax on the weekend, when you can tarp off your dining room and refinish the ratty old oak planks? We started this project late last fall, then realized it had gotten too cold to continue. An unusual stretch of warm days for late September gave us the push we needed to complete the job.

Last year we ripped up the carpet we inherited from the previous owner. Once we finished removing about 500 padding staples, we understood why the "lovely oak floor" had been covered up. We had to fix loose boards, heavy wear and water damage, and learn to live with quite a lot of face nails. We filled, sanded, and stained the floor and moved the furniture back in.

Phase II, "apply really stinky polyurethane finish," began on Saturday. With priceless help from my oldest son, we sanded and stained all over again. (A year's worth of use takes its toll.)

Then, with every door and window wide open, we worked together to lay down the first of three coats. The finish was one I've used before, Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane clear semi-gloss. Note that "fast-drying" translates into "dangerous fumes." Even with all that fresh air coming in I ended up with a headache.

The glaring shine you can so plainly see in the picture comes from adding two more topcoats (per the manufacturer's recommendations). That meant two more rounds of full tarping to seal off the doorways for re-sanding with 220-grit. Applying those two extra layers of finish was almost fun, by comparison, despite the resulting headache. Now I can be fairly sure that our refurbished dining room floor can handle some heavy traffic.

We'll move the furniture back in after letting the new finish harden up for a day. I'll stop back and post another picture then.

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