Tuesday, April 22, 2014


This is where we started…the before picture of our dining room.  Yes, this is the house that after 80 some odd people went running out the front door after viewing it, I feel in love with even before I got inside.

Ok, so maybe "fell in love" is a bit strong, but I definitely saw the potential.

Now this is the dining room that I had just moved away from. I LOVED this home. I put months and my heart into designing every square inch of this house. I was sad.

Looooonnnnnngggg story short (it was too much money), we decided the smartest thing was to sell and downsize.

Although I sometimes long for a new, pretty and FINISHED house, I still know this was absolutely the best decision for our family.


I knew that we would be eventually getting hardwood throughout the entire house but that was many months away and I had been dying to try this for years.  We had to put a subfloor down anyway so this would not only fix my need to try this project, it would also look better than the nasty carpet and it didn't need to be removed when we went to lay the "real live" flooring.

Carpet ripped up and a million staples removed.

I choose the nicest and least expensive ply I could find in the thickness that was needed for the sub.

I had Lowes rip it all down into 5" stripes for me.  I'm pretty sure the employees go running when they see me coming to the lumber department.  I take FULL advantage of the fact that they can cut pieces for me when I can:)

I also did some stain testing on scrape pieces to pick my stain.

I believe I went with Minwax English Chestnut.

 We layed it like any other hardwood, staggering the seams and cutting pieces down when necessary.

I did good sanding before applying stain as well as after the first coat of stain because that first coat will raise the grain slightly.

I applied 2 coats of stain and 2-3 coats of a waterbased poly.

This was after 1 coat of the stain, looks a bit blotchy but after the second coat and then the clear, it looked beautiful.  Unfortunately you are going to have to take my word for it because this is my "after" picture.

I have no right, NO RIGHT AT ALL, being a blogger because my after pictures of this project suck!

I am so ashamed.  I am embarrassed.  I am sorry.

But in my defense, I had not started blogging yet. I have been DIY'ing and working on projects all day, every day, for the past 15 years. Wish I knew...

But here is a close up of the floor taken by my then 8 year old of a tootsie roll as she worked on her photography skills.

Looks pretty, huh?!?!

I would definitely do this again as a budget DIY update to a space.

My tips would be to

  • purchase the best ply that you can afford (as there are different grades) 
  • use an oil base clear coat if you wanted this to last a long time
  • glue (like we did) before nailing
  • do NOT glue if this is a temporary, "get you by till you win the lotto" project

1 comment:

  1. nice work, Julie! I would never have thought to do that. We did refinished our oak floors a couple of years ago. It is such a rewarding project!