Life in Portland Blog

The House That Piet & Keven Built Vol II : Resurrecting The Hardwoods


Some people may consider the fireplace or the kitchen to be the heart of a home. The area in which warmth and life flows. While I agree, I am also of the opinion that lovely wood floors are what can bring a home to life. Bringing a warm glow to all rooms in the home, over the years they remind you of the life you have lived on and around them. Luckily, while it is TON of work, refinishing your floors is totally doable without hiring a professional.


The floors in our little cape code weren’t terrible, but they had quite a bit of damage over the years. You can tell by the nail holes that at some point they were covered with carpet and some areas suffered water damage. We only had two days between getting the keys and moving in, so we decided (with the help of some really amazing friends) to refinish them before we moved in. In hindsight, this was a really good decision, because the task of removing everything from the house to complete the project would be too overwhelming and we would probably have just given up on the idea.


Instead of spelling out all the steps in detail, I will refer you to this great step-by-step on how to refinish floors from This Old House. However I will share some pictures and tips from a long the way!

After cleaning and prepping the floors, we rented floor sanders from our local hardware store. You can rent these from most home improvement stores like Home Depot or Lowes, but we like to support our local merchants as much as we can! You should also pick up a dust mask while you’re there. No one wants to be breathing in old varnish and wood dust…ewww.


Once the floors are sanded, evened, and cleaned, they are ready to be varnished. I wanted a rustic look with very little gloss to it. We used Rust-oleum crystal clear polyurethane.

And then voila! New floors! OK, so its not that easy, but the end results are certainly worth it!