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Lesson(s) Learned

I recently learned lots about refinishing hardwood floors. I love projects, and this one would challenge me in many ways. I followed typical project execution methods - creating a plan; researching processes, tools, skills; setting dates; gather supplies and labor; allowing for a little cushion; then executing.

Here is my original plan:

  • ​Move everything off of the wooden floors

  • Rent an orbital sander

  • Purchase sealer & finish

  • Go

  • Day 1 - sand and sealer coat

  • Day 2 - two coats of finish

  • Day 3 - final coat of finish --> Voila!

And here is how it went:

  • Everything was moved by wife, in-laws, friends and me

  • Bought water-based Bono products and got immensely helpful tips from A+ Flooring in Hyannis

  • My Dad came down the night before to get an early start

  • Day 1

  • Rented sander - no problem

  • Dad and my Father-In-Law were my laborers on sanding day --> ALL OF US ROOKIES

  • Orbital sander was NOT very effective, especially since 1 out of 4 pads was not in floor contact

  • Two trips to hardware store for sander tips and grittier sand paper. Store asked for sander back.

  • Store let us take sander back home, but it still wasn't sanding off the finish

  • Started emailing & calling friends and lumber stores to find someone that can sand

  • at 5:30 spoke with a curling friend's floor man Paul Kirsch, who came over in 20 minutes to provide a quote to sand. --> HIRED!

  • Day 2:

  • Paul & his son show up and sand like madmen for 4 hours

  • Day 3:

  • Paul & his son show up and sand like madmen for 4 hours. They edge, they clean, the tap nails in and smooth out divets, larger gaps. They leave the floor in a beautiful condition.

  • Day 4:

  • Seal in the morning, finish in the evening

  • Day 5

  • Finish in the morning, finish in the evening. Wait & hope that the finish hardens up. It does, and our floors are gorgeous.

As you can tell, it did not go as planned. I learned that orbital sanders do not work on pre-finished wood floors. I also learned that experts are expert for a reason. I learned that rookies have enthusiasm, which can overcome much but not everything.

The most important lesson I learned? I can accomplish whatever I set out to do! With help, of course.

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