You may have seen on Instagram we are just wrapping up a large set of home renovation projects. We gutted our kitchen in February and emptied the first floor to have the hardwood floors refinished. All this before we realized the country was about to shut down for CoVid19.
Our home has red oak floors throughout that had orange’d over the 20 years since the house was built. This is the normal aging effect of oil based polyurethane which was used to protect the floors.
Our last home had the same flooring and we had refinished those floors with Duraseal “Country White” stain. I knew when we were house hunting that refinishing the floors was almost definitely going to be on my project list. I factored renovation cost into every single home we looked at. I’m particular 🤷♀️.
To get rid of the honey color the floors need to be sanded. I guess in theory you could paint them if you wanted a cottage vibe. We painted the floors at our beach cottage white but that’s a story for another day.
So many of you asked – did you have to move out? I would HIGHLY recommend getting out of the house if you decide to refinish your floors. You will need to empty everything – you can see we had tarped off lots of light fixtures, fireplaces, and built-ins to try and deter dust collections.
Refinishing hardwood floors is one of the harder projects to live through in my opinion though not as long as some. We moved everything off our first floor – INCLUDING TOILETS! Then it’s loud and dusty for the first portion of the project and stinks of fumes for the last few days while the hardwood is stained and then covered with protective polyurethane.
Once the hardwood floors are refinished you also need to allow the floors to cure (really dry to full protection) for a couple weeks (this depends on the products used). While you can move furniture back in with felt pads, I found in our last home when we did this after only 2 days of drying, the felt pad soaked up a thin coat of the finish. It is a couple WEEKS before you can put area rugs back down.
We had already refinished our upstairs and 2 staircases in this house when we first bought it and at that point I had chosen a custom Duraseal stain mix of about 60% fruitwood and 40% country white. I wasn’t sure how this custom stain would look over the dark inlays we have in parts of our first floor so I had them sample Duraseal “Silvered Gray” on the red oak floors next to the stain mix I’d used upstairs. They were similar, but I still liked the custom Fruitwood/Country White stain mix better. Because this was a mixed stain it cost a little more per square foot.
I had searched high and low for pictures of Duraseal Silvered Gray on red oak hardwood floors without much luck, so in case you’ve done the same, hopefully this post comes up in your google search.
To minimize the orange effect that comes with aging oil based polyurethane protective coats we used a water based polyurethane to protect the floors. We stained the red oak floors in our last home with country white and then clear coated them in water based polyurethane. We never had issues with yellowing, but only lived there for another 2 years after refinishing the hardwood floors.
If you’ve been searching the web for pictures of Duraseal Silvered Gray (a newer stain in their line) or wanted real feedback and opinions on the process I hope this helped. If there’s something I didn’t mention that you’re curious about please drop a comment below and I’ll be sure to get back to you.
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