Monthly Archives: May 2015

Refinishing Hardwood Floors

Make the Most of What You Already Have

Part 3:  Refinishing Your Hardwood Floors

We purchased a 1970’s home in 2011.  What does a 1970’s home have a lot of?  Oak . . . Oak cabinets in the kitchen and baths, oak banisters in the dinning and stairwell and of course oak floors.  The good news is these floors have a lot going for them.  They are real wood, good quality, thick and hearty, hardwood floors.

So, I couldn’t just tear them out and replace with my hearts desire.  But, in order to stay, they needed to be refinished!

My advice to you. . . hire a professional.  Sure you could save money doing it yourself but on this one it is worth hiring out.  The dustless hardwood refinishing guys are wonderful and that dustless vacuum sander is worth it.  I was pregnant during the process and smells and dust bothered me.  I had no issues with the dust when refinishing the floors, the stain fumes was another thing but not something you can get around.  We had a nice little stay-cation in our RV parked right in the driveway that made it easy, and very safe for pregnancy.

Other pros for hiring:

Time – Your time is cut in half with a professional – it will take you at least double the time or more to diy.

Cost – I was actually surprised at the professional cost.  Do your homework and get more than one quote.  This will save you money.  Also consider that your DIY time is also money and factor that in to the professional price.  Is what you might save worth the time and aggravation you will spend on the project?  Take into account trips to Home Depot or Lowe’s, errors and fix ups.  And factor in your chances of in the end, needing a professional to fix any errors or finish the job.

Look – When researching a DIY floor refinishing project I was told again and again to go light instead of dark.  It is said that the lighter look is easier to pull off by yourself vs a rich dark color.  Well, I wanted dark, I got dark.  And it looks awesome!

Odor – This also falls into the time category.  I was pregnant while we refinished our floors.  We had to be out of the house while they were finished.  If we had done the floors ourselves, we would have had to be out of the house for a longer period of time and I would have been exposed to harmful fumes while pregnant.  It was a quick and easy two night stay in our RV while the professional handled all the work and fumes.

Equipment – Chances are you don’t have all the equipment at your disposal and chances are you don’t have the knowledge or comfortability around the needed equipment.  There will be a fee for the rental of the equipment but there is also a chance that you may actually damage your floors with the equipment.  If you leave the drum sander in one area too long it can quickly create a dip in your flooring.  A professional knows and uses this equipment to make their living.

Dust – What I haven’t covered with dust yet is the fact that it will be everywhere if you DIY.  I have been told that even when you rent the vacuums, DIY’RS still end up with a lot of dust.

All in all, whether you go with a professional or do it yourself, refinishing your current hardwood adds value to your home and updates the look for prospective buyers, making it well worth your time and money!


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Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets

Make the Most of What You Already Have

Part 2: Refinishing Cabinets

We refinished our hardwood floors and loved how much it transformed the feel of the home.  It brought a warmth to the place that we loved, but the dark wood next to our original honey oak cabinets looked odd.  The oak cabinets are good quality solid wood and the interior were upgraded with custom slide-outs and just like the floor I couldn’t justify pulling them out just because I didn’t like the “look”.  So began the search for just what to do with the cabinets.

The options of paint are endless and you would be surprised, how much refinishing kitchen cabinets, can update the look of your current kitchen, thus adding value to your home.  This Old House states:  “Often, minor improvements can yield major dividends. According to Remodeling magazine’s annual analysis of cost versus value, a kitchen “face-lift” — painting, refinishing surfaces, and upgrading appliances — will return more than a full redesign. The key to spending less is spending it wisely. “If you take $20,000 and spend it judiciously on a kitchen, you can make it look a million times better,” says Remodeling senior editor Jim Cory, who supervises the survey. “The design and product selection are key.””

This lead us to the decision to refinish the kitchen cabinets with paint and glaze.  We took it a step further and removed one of the cabinets to create a more current, open space, that flowed easily from kitchen to family room.

Our kitchen also has never had hardware on the cabinets.  Adding some custom hardware helped to finish the look and bring it all together and was a quick and low cost way to add value.


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We love how it turned out and look forward to replacing the countertops!