I. Love. Wood. Floors.

Ok everyone, thanks for all the great support and feedback from the first blog. I was pretty overwhelmed with the messages  and comments, in a good way.  Your support is awesome!

So, let’s get to it. If you are anything like Jenny and I, after a few curious nights wondering what in the hell is underneath the carpet in our house, you’d pull that $hi* up in a heartbeat; that’s what we did in this house AND the previous house in GB. We got super lucky in this house, especially…ORIGINAL FLOORS! What we don’t know is if they are original to the home as of 1893 or at some point after that. Either way, they are amazing. 

Let me preface everything by saying that the way I approach potentially 100 year old flooring is that, one, I want them original as possible, two, I want the patina of the wood to shine like a mofo, and three, I want them durable-I think I obtained all 3 with our floors. 

So, what we started with…

From there, we got down to business!

We even found a movie case!

(Never seen it.)

So here’s after carpet removal and vacuuming (dogs are helping again).

After removal of dogs and top coat, I came up with this…

This is the sander I used from Home Depot..

In the Grand Blanc, I used a commercial belt sander and mannnn, that left grooves and dips and gouges galore! 

The orbital sander above took a little bit longer BUT gave me the smooth, even sand I wanted. DEFINITELY recommend.

The the floor was a little harder to sand than I thought. The many layers of varnish on the floor were nearly impossible to remove. Originally, I used 24 grit and 40 grit and was destroying paper at a rapid rate, so, I went back to The Depot for 20 grit paper…same results. The first day I sanded close to 6 hours. The second day, about 8 hours. I just tried to get the floors as smooth as possible. Around the edges, I used a belt sander with 20 grit paper too but man, it was tough. Then a palm sander to get in closer to the wall.

Once I got to that point, it was time for the fun part! I got to stain and poly!

I did about a 4 ft section at a time and applied thick, then wiped off with a clean rag.  I pretty much just followed the instructions on the back of the can. Oh, and by the way, we choose the Minwax Jacobean as the color of stain. 

This step took about 2-2 1/2 hours. I did it after everyone went to bed so that it could dry overnight and so I didn’t have to worry about anyone walking on it. 

This is what it looked like after I was done. Not too impressed at this point. 

The next morning, I got to start the fun stuff and make it shiny! I used the following poly and lamb skin applicator…

After using this Varathane product, I will NEVER use anything else again. This stuff is awesome! Goes on milky and dries as clear as glass. 

The lamb skin applicator is also an amazing invention too. I would highly recommend this-it allows the poly to be drug across the floor, which eliminates bubbles in the clear and also fills in hard to reach places and I think, it creates a more smooth finish overall. 

Here is the result of the first coat. At first, I was not impressed. But after each coat, the floors looked better and better. In between coats, I waited about 3 hours and DO NOT sand in between. I think the can recommend that you could sand after 24 hours, but I didn’t have that kind of time due to the fact that this is a high traffic area and I needed to get it done in a few days.

And when they say sand, they mean just knocking down the high spots of poly in between coats, usually using a drywall sanding screen on a pole with 220 grit.

Here’s the result of coats 3-4. Can’t really tell too much but there is a difference in the sheen of the floors.

This is after the final coat. Looks great, eh?! 

After a day, we were able to lightly walk on them. I didn’t let the dogs though, just to be safe. But after 3 days, we were all able to walk on them! 


I had already redone an extra bedroom we have and used Minwax polyurethane but after using the Varathane, I decided to go back over that, too.

Here’s using the Minwax:

Here’s using the Varathane:

It may not look like much, but the difference is HUGE. The dogs scratched the floors after using the Minwax but the Varathane has held strong 💪🏼 
Here are some other pictures from the bedroom that I redid.

Same process as the entry way, just a smaller space.

Hope you enjoyed this round! Stay tuned for more blogs!