The Floors

We've made some progress in the last couple of weeks! The flat of land for the barn is ready and we even have the post holes dug. The kitchen has a new (to us) oven that does not smell like burning rats when it is cooking. Jeremy has even caught a couple of rats in all his many traps.

And this weekend we finished the master's floor.

To go way back to the beginning, let's remember the pebble beach linoleum that was in here. That was easy enough pull up, but then we had to tackle the 3/4 inch plywood that was under it.

Jeremy kept saying the guys who put it down must have been paid by the nail. There was literally a nail every inch around those boards. And not just little nailgun nails that are much easier to pull up. These were big nails.

It was a job getting all those boards up. We used hammers, sledgehammers, and cat's paws. We used a mattock until it broke. Then our friends at our new local hardware store lent us a tool they called the Beast. We were wishing we'd had that thing from the beginning. It made the last row of boards come up much quicker.

Gideon decided to help take some pictures. Thanks, Buddy.

We were so relieved to find the floor in good shape underneath the plywood. It looked beautiful, even though it had so many nail holes and some dents and scratches in it. Then it was time to sand it. Most of the original finish was gone, so the sanding really wasn't too bad. We borrowed a floor sander and went over the floor with 36 grit paper a few times, and then 60 grit couple of times, and, finally, a 100 grit once. Jeremy let me sand for a few minutes, but mostly he wanted to be in charge of it. I was fine with that, I'm sure I'll have other floors to sand, and it made my ears itch. During this process, we started debating about how we were going to refinish it.

I had read something years ago about using tung oil instead of polyurethane to finish the floors. The article was so positive about it, that it stuck with me. Tung oil seals wood differently than polyurethane. It's not a layer on top of the wood, it's an oil that sinks into the wood and hardens the wood. Tung oil is also a more natural product than polyurethane, which is of course right up my ally. But what really sold me was how easy that article said it was to fix scratches.

Living with four children in a house full of hardwood floor, scratches are going to happen. And when polyurethane is scratched, you can't fix it until you refinish the entire floor. With a tung oil finish, you can spot treat. Jeremy is very particular about keeping things nice, and I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but I didn't want to live in a house that I had to constantly yell at the kids about. So I was sold on the tung oil, but I had to convince Jeremy.

I read the first article so long ago that I didn't remember where it was, so I had to go to the Google for some help. A video from the Real Milk Paint Co. popped up in my search. Thank goodness too, because videos go a lot further in convincing Jeremy than articles do. He watched it once, was convinced, and we ordered the solution from Real Milk Paint Co. (But we actually found it on Amazon so we got free shipping.) We ordered two gallons of the Dark Half so that we wouldn't have to worry about staining the floor.

It was super easy to put this stuff down. I vacuumed the room, walls, and trim beforehand because the sanding dust was everywhere. And I put up some tape on the bottom of the walls to keep it from getting on the walls. Jeremy bought a foam roller, and then we went to town. We just rolled it on and brushed it along the walls. We put the first coat down, then waited for about 40 minutes before doing the next. Jeremy ruined a pair of his socks. After another 40 minutes, we used an old t-shirt (and Jeremy's socks) to wipe up the excess. The first coat took a lot of the solution, and the second coat finished off the first gallon.

We gave those two coats a day to dry, and then did two more coats. Those two coats didn't use up the second gallon, so the first coat takes a lot but the subsequent coats take less and less. After the second coat, we waited about 40 minutes and wiped up any excess with an old t-shirt. Now we just wait. We can start moving furniture onto it in a week.

It's beautiful. But it is a little redder than I was hoping for. Not enough to make me want to change it. If I had time to test a patch, I probably would have done something a little different, but I think it will be fine especially when the rest of the house is done. The original floors are very brown, and that makes the new finish look even redder.

It's something I can live with, though, just because they really are beautiful. Now we need to get some quarter round for the floor trim, touch up a few spots, and this room will be done!


  1. You guys are rocking this!! The floors looks awesome and that picture of you with the smile speaks volumes.. ."I love that comment, "Pad by the nail" often thought the same thing. Keep up the good work..

  2. Three years later . . . how are you liking the tung oil finish? Have you touched it up?


I have affiliate links on this blog! This means if you click on one and make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This does not affect the price of your purchase, but it is a wonderful way to support my family and me through this blog and to keep this blog up and running. So we thank you!