The first week we lived in our new home was an adventure, and not just in doing floor sanding for the first time.
We had gone to settlement with our cars packed with clothes, tools, cleaning supplies, food, bedsheets, pillows, and an air mattress. With the exception of a special haul by Karl’s parents with their pickup that brought us our mattress and boxspring the next day, we lived with just those things for the first week.
Oh, except the boxspring. It didn’t make it up our stairs.
But hey, a mattress on the floor is better than an air mattress, right? Right.
In that first week of being in our new home we had the goal of sanding and staining the wood in all the rooms on the main floor before the coming Saturday when all of our furniture and extra boxes were arriving and make it more difficult to move things around.
It made sense. But these rooms included the dining, living room, vestibule and entryway. We’d also manage to do all this while working our jobs.
Had we ever done sanding or staining of floors before?
Why did we think we could magically do all this in a week?
Because we were stupid naive.
Actually, we didn’t even start until a Tuesday because we were unpacking and researching which sander to use until then. So with the gracious help of our bro-in-law and his truck on a Tuesday evening, we rented a belt sander from Home Depot and got it to our house.
That same night we sealed off the doorways with plastic and discovered that the sander pushed me more than I pushed it, so Karl donned my Darth Vader face mask and goggles and took on the job.
Karl started sanding the living room floor. Everything was going according to plan.
…and that’s when good ol’ Murphy’s Law jumped in saying, “I hear you’re doing a house project. I love house projects! Oh, and you have a deadline? Perfect!”
As Murphy would have it, we soon found the sander was leaving a single streak and having difficulty getting the stain up, even with 40 grit. So we put on a new roll of sandpaper and tried again, but it again did the weird streaking in the same area.
This is where we started to change plans…
…we decided that maybe it’d be better to concentrate on finishing just the living and dining rooms for now and work on the entryway after the move (and we patted ourselves on the back that this was probably a smart move as we’d get a lot of foot traffic on moving day in the entry).
It being very late, we gave up for the night. The next morning the streaks were even more apparent so I called HD and stopped the clock so that we could exchange our sander for another after work.
We went back that evening and found one that had a better looking roller. You can see in these pix how the one we had was completely worn-in on the one side that we were getting the rings.
We took the replacement home (we learned by now the sander actually dissembles and could fit in our sedan) and to our relief the streaking wasn’t happening anymore and the stain and finish came up easily. Staying in the living room, we went through the other grits (40, 60, 80) until we reached 100-grit that night, which meant our major sanding of the living room was done. Woohoo!
I still can’t get over how the wood looks like it’s brand new. No stains, warping…just a former owner who got a bit too crazy with using a LOT of nails. We can live with that.
Now to get started on the sanding all along the edges and corners…
We then decided we shouldn’t be too zealous and that we should stick to just the living room.