We got up at daybreak, still feeling absolutely exhausted! But we were excited to begin our home project. We went to Home Depot, Lowes and WalMart. We bought painting supplies, picked out our paint colors for the living room, dining room and kitchen, and got tons of other stuff. I began preparing the walls for painting. It took well over an hour just to scrub the large living room wall. The walls have dirty fingerprints and spills that are years old, and nails and screws hanging everywhere. The nasty looking blinds came down, too.
Then we had a conversation about floors vs. paint.
Joe's dad laid wood floors for a living, so he learned how to put in and refinish a floor as a teenager. Floor people always want to do the floors last, so they don't get paint on them. But if you put new paint up, it will be subject to all of the dust from sanding. We compromised by deciding to sand and seal the floors first, then paint, (I promise to be careful!) and then put the final polyurethane on the floor last.
At 6 pm we rented a drum sander from Home Depot, and our floor adventure began! First, all of the nails had to be pounded deep down into the board with a nail set. Then both floors were sanded with a 36 grit paper. I had to get on my hands and knees with a hand sander and do the edges. It was exhausting! We had to stop about 9pm because the light fixtures in the living room do not work. Plus, we didn't want to be an annoyance to the neighbors. Those things are LOUD.
We knew that the floor was in bad shape. As we sanded, we found many problems. Some boards had missing pieces out of them. Many had cracks. At one place, someone had nailed down the floor with large headed nails that could not be removed or pushed down. We couldn't go over these with the sander. There were stains on the floor that smelled like dog pee when run over with the sander. There were numerous scuffs and scrapes. About 90% of the area had been worn down to the bare wood. Along one wall, the floor had been caulked very inexpertly. This is what the floor looked like before:
Seriously, this does not even do justice to how bad it looked. Here's another spot:
See how it is worn down to the bare floor? Notice the cracked board and the nails sticking out!
We had rented the drum sander for 4 hours. But if you rent it after 6 pm you get to keep it till 9 the next morning. We thought if we got up early tomorrow we could finish the sanding...