It all started with deciding to paint the living room and the remaining unpainted upstairs bedroom. We also wanted to remove some built-in shelving, so of course, we would need quite a bit of drywall repair, including a pretty challenging repair by the chimney. Dan and I are not skilled at drywall work, we even put a beadboard ceiling in our laundry room to avoid putting up a drywall ceiling. We decided to seek professional help, and asked around and found a great contractor, Jamie, who amazingly could fit us in right away.
We’ve always disliked the textured ceiling in the living room, and it needed a lot of re-taping and repairing, so we opted to have Jamie put up a new drywall ceiling, and repair the many other little problem areas, like our half finished repair from a leak in our upstairs bath. Jamie’s work was amazing, he could put joint compound up so smoothly it barely needed sanding.
Once we dragged out all of the furniture from the living room, Dan commented that the floor looks awful, we should sand and refinish it while the room is empty. Suddenly, the scope of the project expanded dramatically. Dan was right, much easier to do it now while the house is a wreck, rather than make it a wreck next year and have to do all that dust containment again! We rented a floor sander, and in one long, long day, sanded the entire floor.
The rental place didn’t have an orbital sander, so we opted for a pad sander as the drum sanders were too scary. We started with a 36 grit paper, but soon switched to 20 grit, or what felt like macadam. It worked to sand off the remaining finish in the low traffic areas. We then went to 36, then 60, 80, and finished with 100 grit. If you can rent an orbital sander, that it the way to go, but we made the pad sander work, vacuuming frequently and changing the paper often.
It looks amazing. It still has plenty of “patina” from years of living, which is OK with us. There are some dents and scratches and dark spots from who knows what, but we love it. If only we could leave it as us, it even feels good underfoot. Alas, we need to protect it from daily living, so we will be re-finishing with a water-based low sheen polyurethane floor finish.
Unfortunately, we seem to have entered monsoon season here in Maine, and after a spectacular week last week, we have had humid, gray days since Monday, with rain, humidity and overcast skies predicted through Independence Day. Yuk. not great weather for polyurethane. For now, we’ve covered the floor in plastic and have moved on to painting the ceiling and walls. We’ll even (I hope) add polyurethane to the never-finished section of the wainscoting. Maybe by the time we finish that, the sun will return? I can hope.