Turns out our 130 year old Hemlock floor cleans up real nice!
When we bought the new house we were unsure of which floors we would be able to save and which ones should really be covered up or replaced. It took a lot of work and many steps but the Master bedroom floor now looks gorgeous! And I wouldn’t trade it for a new hardwood floor, a laminate floor or carpet for anything!
This is how to Master bedroom floor looked before. The photograph really makes the finish look horrible!
The first thing we did was clean it like crazy (sweep, vacuum hand scrub and then vacuum/scrape out all the cracks on the floor to get rid of all of the years of accumulated dirt we could, especially in the cracks of the floor. Then we started filling. I used a 1 inch putty knife and Minwax stainable wood filler. We used probably 5 of these big tubs in the room. Using the 1 inch putty knife we tried not to overfill to much to have a ton to sand. It took 4 afternoons to get to this step and then we were ready to sand! At first we thought we could use our hand sander with a fine grit, then maybe with a rough grit, then realized that we were wrong and really needed a big floor sander, luckily our local Lowe’s has then in stock to rent for under $40 a day. We followed the directions starting with 37 grit and working our way to 80 and then went in the corners and the edges we couldn’t reach with the hand sander and a bit of hand sanding . This process was surprisingly dust free! Not anything at all like sanding drywall mud :p When our floor was where we called “done” it was not 100% new looking. Our floors were bowed and warped from years of being unheated, have filled gaps between each board and aren’t as secure as a brand new floor, but we weren’t going for new in this floor, just nice – we didn’t want to remove the years of character from the floor, only the years of neglect. The next step was to tack cloth the whole thing and then start applying stain. I choose a very dark brown stain, And we applied it as instructed. After the stain we applied 2 coats of a semi gloss poly. I wanted to go for a high gloss but was cautioned against it because of the rough nature of the old wood (that every little imperfection would reflect the light differently and make it look bad) I am so glad I took the experts advice and we couldn’t be happier with the end results!