On Thursday I finally became fed up with my disgusting berber carpet in my dining room. It was so stained and gross and I never ever liked it even when it was new. While lifting the floor register when we first moved in I noticed that there was hardwood underneath. It had always been a fantasy of mine to pull up the carpet and refinish the floors but since the carpet was brand new at the time I couldn't bring myself to do it. Six years and six hundred stains later, I waned.
It was so sudden. I announced I was going to do it then took out a box cutter and 15 minutes later it was gone. All of this I did completely ALONE. I wanted it to be a surprise when Brian got home from work and I started after I came back from a Zumba class at the gym. So don't feel like you can't do this if you're a single gal. I did and I did it in just a few hours. When I had finally pulled up the carpet and the "stinky" pad what I found underneath was not....pretty (which I was totally prepared for). I had seen a lot of white paint spatters on the floor by the heating register. I didn't know if they covered the ENTIRE floor so that fact that it only ran along the walls (including a giant spill in the center of the room) actually gave me some relief.
The hardest part was pulling up the carpet tacking along the walls. Oh my gosh! They really wanted those to stay in place. I thought a hammer and screw driver would suffice but I had to go onto YouTube and look up the proper way to remove carpet tack with a chisel. Also, there were tiny staples all over the floor with disgusting old carpet padding stuck to them. After about 3 hours I was done! I stepped back to look at my hard work. Not very encouraging I must say. But I had hope!
After I picked the girls up from school. I ran down to the Home Depot to rent an orbital sander. I know a drum sander would have been best but I didn't know if I could handle one of those on my own. And judging from how unruly the orbital sander was I think I made the right choice. I also bought a jug of water based polyurethane (to hasten dry time), heating grates, wood transition strips and quarter round moulding.
Fortunately Brian had to work late so I got home and immediately began sanding. I was hoping to get this project 90% complete before he got home so the shock wouldn't kill him. After about 30 minutes of sanding I was done. It wasn't a perfect finish but I was exhausted, covered in an inch of dust and figured it would have to do. Anyway ANYTHING would look better than the old carpet.
I cleaned the surface with about three rolls of paper towels and water, let dry, then applied one coat of the water based polyurethane. Surprisingly it was good enough to walk on within two hours. I was then able to measure out the moulding and cut accordingly.
By the time Brian got home the floor had one coat of poly, new heating grates, moulding cut and placed in front of the baseboards (though not yet nailed in). The next day I put on two more layers of poly, (one every four hours) nailed the moulding in place, stained and screwed in the transition strips. Here is the finished look! To treat myself for all my hard work I also bought a new pendant lamp bought here from Lowes that I had been eyeing for YEARS. For mostly a days work I think I'm satisfied. It's not perfect but I kind of like how it looks a little rustic and flawed. And I think anyone can agree that it looks so much better than the stained, smelly, ugly carpet that resided here prior. I only wish I had taken before photos of that mess. Now I feel proud having guests see it as the first thing when they walk through my door.