We’ve just finished sanding and staining our wooden floors!
Now THIS was a project I was looking forward to tackling! We’d never done this before and we only had a slight notion of what to do from watching YouTube’s DIY videos.
We could have hired someone, they would have done a good job and the floors would have looked great. But where’s the fun in that? (Plus we’re trying to save some major cash). We’re really happy that we decided to do it ourselves and we got to learn a few new skills.
I had sourced the Macrocarpa flooring from a man on Trademe as he was offering it at such a great price. The quality of the floor was pretty good thankfully, but it must have been a little bit wet when we laid it, as there are now a few gaps that have formed due to the boards shrinking. So we started researching into what our options were with filling the gaps. We could leave them as they were but then we run the risk of any dirt or drinks spilled on the floor leaking onto to the insulation below. So we decided to fill them. We used a new product from Selleys called Selleys No More Gaps, timber floor filler. The filler colour matched the flooring perfectly, it was easy to apply and we could stain over it. Although they say it is a flexible filler, it may need re-filling after the trailer has been on the road due to all of the movement, but we shall see. It looks great and I am glad we decided to fill it.
Like everything else, there are so many different tips out there for sanding wooden floors. The most challenging thing we found was deciding on what sander to use. We were so put off using a barrel or belt sander after hearing horror stories about them ruining peoples floors that we decided to sand our whole house with small electric hand sanders! Now I’m not sure if that was the dumb thing to do or not? It took us forever! We had about 24sqm to sand, including the loft areas, and by the end I was glad there wasn’t even 1cm more! We borrowed a bunch of friend and family’s sanders for the weekend so we could pick which one worked best for the job. We went through about 5 different sanders: (square ones, round ones, rectangle ones, expensive ones, cheap ones) before we found out which one worked the best. (The round ‘orbital sander’) was the clear winner. Seeing it remove all the dirt, paint and marks was so satisfying!
Once we got the hang of it, it was pretty easy. Going over the floors with 3 different grades of sandpaper sounds so excessive but it was really worth it! The smoothness after the final sand was awesome!
After we had had finished sanding, we vacuumed and wiped the ENTIRE house down with a damp cloth to get rid of all the dust and then got to work thinking about how we would apply the stain.
The colour we chose was Colourwood Walnut by Resene – it is a lovely medium shade between the raw wood and the dark stains. It looks great and compliments our cedar ceiling so well! I also have a piece of artwork that has a similar wood in it so I really wanted our floors to match that. The stain is very easy to apply, using either a SpeedBrush or a paintbrush and then you just wipe off the excess with a cloth. For a darker stain, leave it on longer before wiping off, or you can apply a second coat. It gave the floors a great even colour. Easy peazy!
Once the stain was done we came back the following weekend to apply the urethane floor finish. For this, Resene suggested a product called Resene Qristal ClearFloor which is a tough durable finish formulated especially for floors. A few coats of this and our floors were shining! After leaving it to cure over the next week we were able to come back and start putting some of our cabinetry back into the Tiny House. The floors look stunning! They bring such warmth to the space and I love the colour!