After sanding, we crawled around to look for holes and gaps that needed to be filled in. This is where all the bags of saw dust comes in handy! We took some of the left over saw dust and mixed it with plain wood glue to make a paste. We filled all holes and big gaps with the paste and it dried to the exact color of the natural wood. We smoothed out the filled holes with a palm sander. After cleaning up all the dust for what seemed like years we finally started to stain! We chose Minwax stain in Dark Walnut to match with all of the original trim.
We started from the top of the stairs and worked our way down to the first floor. We wore latex gloves and used terry cloth type staining sponges to apply the stain. We applied the stain on the wood planks in rows of 2 or 3 and wiped up any excess after letting it sit a few minutes.
I love the way the floor took the stain in the dining room! It took a day to stain the floors. Can you believe it only took a gallon of stain to finish the floors! We bought six gallons thinking they would just soak up every drop but they didn't! We let them dry for a week, we could have started the polyurethane sooner but since we only had weekends to do projects we had to wait.
We used a fluffy "sheep wool" attachment to apply the polyurethane. Since it was in the middle of December opening the windows weren't an option. So we wore respirator masks because polyurethane is STINKY and put large fans in the doorways to keep air moving.
After two coats of polly we were finished! It took three weekends to finish the floors. After renting sanders, buying stain, sealer, and supplies we spent under $300 dollars. It was hard work but so worth it! We saved thousands doing it ourselves and it looks great! We refinished the floors before we moved our furniture in the house and I highly recommend it if you have that option.
We are so happy with the floors. I cant wait to show you complete decorated rooms one day!