Naked floors (Beach house #74)

Started refinishing the floors this week – and BOY was that a harder job than I had thought it ever would be. I mean I knew the floors were pretty effed up from about 60 years of abuse – stained all over and in one room, the old owner said the tenants had just left a window open for over a year so the entire floor was cupped and warped.

So I knew it would be a chore. But I wasn’t prepared for just how hard it was going to be. I’ve done some hard projects on this house – and this one, I think, I’d rate up there with about as hard as hanging drywall ceilings by myself. Just to start with, the drum sander weighed about 150 pounds. I managed to carry it up the 10 stairs to get inside, but then I spent about 17 hours pushing it around.

Yes, 17 hours. I worked until 2 in the morning multiple times on this part of the project. Which is why the end as you’ll see, is so damn frustrating. Just a little foreshadowing there for ya. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

But first, the good parts. Some before/afters!

The master bedroom (the one with the worst floors). This was the one where I straight up replaced half the floors to begin with, and left the rest because it looked like it was in relatively good condition. Forgetting that I was judging it based on the rotten parts that had been there before… suffice to say, I probably should have removed more of it.



You can’t see how cupped the boards are, and in these photos I’ve already patched a whole bunch of holes and gaping seams. Still:


Worked out pretty good. This was soothing.

Moving into the second bedroom:



Took about 1/3 the time the first did. The floors were flatter.




Great room:



So very satisfying.




This part was more difficult. Not only was it nearly 2am and I was at the end of my strength, but it seemed like over the years various coats of paint had been laid down between coats of polyurethane. Or maybe it was just sticky black layers of decades-old crusted pet pee – smelled like it, at times. Suffice it to say, I didn’t do as thorough a job here. I admit it.

So I left the place (relatively) beautiful. Sanded up to 100 grit and vacuumed within an inch of its life, as I intended to come in and apply sealer the next morning. That was my mistake. I should have applied the sealer that night, before tragedy struck…

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