Today I am sharing our floor refinishing prep work! This January, we finally decided to tackle refinishing the floors! This isn’t a simple process, which is why we put it off so long, but I plan to share the entire process along the way!
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If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you know that we are in the process of refinishing our hardwood floors which means there is a lot of refinishing prep work!
This March we will have lived in our home for 10 years, and this project has always been on my wish list. It’s such a huge and intimidating job that we kept putting it off, but in December we finally decided that 2022 would be the year!
Our home was built in the 1930’s, and we have beautiful red oak flooring. Over the years, however, the finish has not only been damaged in several areas, but it’s also yellowed tremendously over time.
You can see in some of the photos below just how red/orange it looks now, and we’d love to neutralize those red tones with a different stain that will really show off the beautiful details in our hardwood floors.
I plan on breaking this project up into three separate parts – floor refinishing prep work, sanding, and staining. It’s just so much information that I really didn’t want to cram it all into one blog post. I can’t wait to take you guys along!
Now those of you that know me (or my husband, for that matter), know that we never hire jobs out. Every single project in this home we have tackled ourselves, and the floors were no exception.
Personally, I’m so glad we went the DIY route, and I’ll explain why in a future post. Today I want to talk about all of the prep work that is involved in refinishing your floors.
Floor Refinishing Prep Work Step One – Move Everything Out
The very first thing that needs to be done in order to prep for sanding is to move everything out.
Now if you wanted to, you could rent a storage space or a U-haul for the duration of your project. We simply moved as much as we could into the downstairs bedrooms and sealed it off.
With the doors closed and sealed, there was minimal dust that entered into the bedrooms. I was actually pretty pleased when all the sanding was done!
And since it’s January and I usually love to give the entire house a good deep clean this month, I didn’t mind a little bit of cleaning. As I bring things out of the bedroom and back into the main living areas, I will wipe everything down.
We ended up leaving larger items like our couch, the piano, our corner cabinet and our dining room table out since there was really no place to put them. We simply moved them from room to room as we worked, making sure they were protected with plastic, which leads me to step two!
Floor Refinishing Prep Work Step Two – Use Plastic Sheeting to Minimize Dust
Like I said before, we also covered larger pieces of furniture with plastic as well.
Do not be lazy with this step. Taking the time to tape everything off and hang plastic wherever necessary will save you so much time once you’re ready for clean up. I was so pleasantly surprised by how well the plastic stopped dust from spreading.
One area I wish I had used plastic was on my light fixtures – but honestly my fans and lights all need a good deep clean anyway and I knew that. They are just extra dirty now haha!
Floor Refinishing Prep Work Step Three – Removal of Baseboards
Once everything has been protected and covered, you’ll need to remove your baseboards so that you’re able to sand as close to the wall as possible.
This is another tedious step, but it has to be done. My husband used a crowbar and a hammer to remover ours, and a lot of it was so damaged (our home is almost 100 years old) that it broke in pieces as he pulled it off.
We are going to have to replace some of ours with new, and I will be sure to factor that into the cost once we are completely done with our floors, since a lot of you have asked how pricey this project is! He didn’t have to pull off the entire baseboard, just the quarter round at the base of ours.
I forgot to snap photos of this part, but here’s a picture of our baseboards without the quarter round.
Here’s a tip – do your best to keep track of where your baseboards fit after removing them so that i’t not a puzzle when you’re trying to reattach it all! Label them or organize them in a way that will be simple to remember.
Once your furniture is cleared out, you’ve hung plastic everywhere you can, and your baseboards are removed, your refinishing prep is done – it’s time to start sanding! Yay! The most exciting part.
So if you are considering refinishing your floors like we are, be sure to remember these three floor refinishing prep steps, they are very important for a successful project:
- Move everything out
- Use plastic sheets to minimize dust
- Remove the baseboards
As I type this, the floors are completely sanded. I can’t even believe how amazing they already look. I plan to share all about the sanding process next week – so stay tuned!
And if you just can’t wait and you’d like to see a little more of the floor refinishing prep so far, I have some stories saved in a highlight over on Instagram! Thank you friends!
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