Getting Down to the Heart of It

Getting Down to the Heart of It

Cast your mind back several months and you may remember that we decided to turn our under-used dining room into a home library. Well, the project is finally underway!

We used this year’s tax return money to order bookshelves from Ikea. We chose shelves from the Havsta series, in dark brown.  They arrived back in March and have been waiting patiently to be unpacked.

I couldn’t decide what color I wanted the walls in the library to be.  I tried gray, then blue, and several shades of green.

I finally settled on a shade of pale green from Behr called “Positive Energy”. It will really complement the dark brown bookcases.

Two coats of paint brought a fresh, clean look to the entire room, though the photo below doesn’t really do it justice.

The next big challenge was the floor. It was refinished before we moved into the house 16 years ago, but three people and five cats have taken a toll on it over the years. It really needed to be refinished.

I like the color of the current finish, but wasn’t sure what was originally used to stain it. It need to be sanded down to bare wood, restained, and sealed.

We rented a drum sander from Home Depot to tackle the job of sanding down the floors. Here is Bridget, performing her pre-project inspection.

It was pretty easy to use once I got the hang of it. First, we sealed off the room, to keep the cats out and the dust in. We purchased a Zip Wall system, which made short work of closing off the room. It even has a zippered door so I could get in and out.

I made three sanding passes on the floor, the first with 80 grit sandpaper, the second with 100 grit, and the final finishing pass with 120 grit, vacuuming thoroughly between each pass. Before I even finished the first pass, I had begun to reveal the most beautiful floors underneath!

Once we saw the bare floors, we fell in love! We decided to forgo the stain and just finish the floors in their natural state.

Tomorrow, we will return the drum sander, and rent an edger sander. My handheld sander was just not up to the job of doing the edge work unfortunately. Once the edges are done, I will vacuum again, then wipe down the entire floor with mineral spirits. After letting it dry overnight, it will be ready for the finish, but that is for the next post!

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