Refinishing the floors: Part 1

Over the long weekend, we decided to finally tackle the floors upstairs. Our upstairs is a 330 square feet finished attic space (plus a full bathroom) in a cape cod-style bungalow. We started pulling up some of the carpet in January (wow, time flies!).

When I got home from work on Friday, I started taking everything downstairs and created a crazy "Hoarders" look on the main floor. That night we continued to pull up more carpet, staples, tack strips and molding. We gave up that night with the bed area because we were dreading taking apart the bed and removing the mattress.

Prepping floor

Saturday morning we pulled up the last of the carpet and took apart the bed and removed the rest of the items. We attempted to shove the mattress down the steps but it was not working out how we planned. I have no idea how we got the mattress upstairs in the first place. In the end we covered the mattress up and left it upstairs on the staircase half wall.

Getting ready to sand

Around 3:30pm we arrived at Home Depot rental and picked up a drum sander with all of the expensive sand paper (in the end, we were able to return 8 unused sand paper rolls). By 4pm - we were sanding.

Since we started off the project with very low expectations, we were happy with just the first pass of the sander. As you can see, our 80-90 year old floors were never finished but had tons of drywall mud and paint from a previous remodel in the early 1990s.

First pass with sander

Steve sanding bed area

The floor boards did not have too many surprises. We filled a large section of one board (above) with wood filler. We knew it would not look like the other boards, but since we already had lowered expectations, we just described it as "character."

First passes of sander before and after

Bed area being sanded

Steve Sanding built in area 2

We sanded until 9pm on Saturday and started back up around 10am on Sunday morning. By 1:30pm we were back at Home Depot to return the drum sander and to rent the edger sander. We thought we could get away with not using the edge sander and just use our hand sander and cover the edges up with molding. But...fail. The edge sander was really necessary and we were able to finish the edges within 45 minutes.

Sanded floors

Tomorrow's post will be our poly adventure!!


  1. I'm in awe. What a great job you are doing - the floors will look lovely. You must be sneezing dust though. Can't wait to see part two!

  2. Your hard work will surely pay off. They already look so much better!

  3. Brismod, the dust wasn't too bad. I was expecting the kind of dust from sanding drywall.