Smoothing it out

After completing our tile backsplash project, there was one more project in the kitchen that Nick and I wanted to tackle: our hardwood floors.

I’m not sure if the previous owners ran out of time or money, but it appeared they never sanded and finished the beautiful real wood floors they installed after completing the kitchen addition. It sounds like a minor complaint, but it made vacuuming and scrubbing the kitchen floors a pain.

Another frustration that I had was that our dining room chairs didn’t slide nicely across the floor; if I was sitting down, I’d sometimes have to stand up to pull my chair out from under the table if the chair legs got caught on the uneven floor boards. Anyone who has ever been stuck under a table and unable to slide back knows what I’m talking about!

Below is a photo I took one morning when sunlight was streaming into the kitchen; look at those uneven boards!


Like our tile backsplash project, we hired this one out…to the same company that did the tile work, just a different crew!

A few days after the backsplash was completed (to allow time for the grout and sealant to dry), we did some heavy lifting and emptied the kitchen of the remaining furniture and appliances.


We are lucky to have a wet bar with a sink, mini refrigerator and dishwasher on our home’s lower level, so we set up a mini kitchen downstairs for a few days, and the rest ended up in our dining room (our formal dining room table finally got some use – ha!).


The crew did a great job sealing off the kitchen from the adjoining dining and living rooms, there was very little dust after the sanding, and they even papered over our new tile backsplash to ensure it was protected during the work.

Since the space is so small the crew was able to sand, stain and seal the entire kitchen floor in one day. Since they used a water-based polyurethane, we were able to walk on the floors after 12 hours, but we waited two days to let it fully cure.

As a reminder, here is what the floors looked like before…


And the same area after is below – what a difference! Nick and I were really happy with how the floors turned out, since you can still see a lot of the color variation between boards (we were hoping that wouldn’t be sanded away).


The floor crew had to remove our quarter round trim to sand the floor; it didn’t come off cleanly, so they had to reinstall unpainted trim after the work was done. Once the floors were dry, Nick tackled the job of priming and repainting the trim around the entire room. While he looks pretty comfortable laying there on the floor, the painting took a long time and and was a real pain in the neck (and shoulder :)).


Since we had the kitchen emptied, we decided to repaint the room as well, from the original beige to light grey – a much more modern neutral. We painted the room the same color as the adjoining dining room, Toasted White from Martha Stewart.

The color change is subtle, but I’m much more fond of the new cool grey shade than the previous warmer beige.

Here’s a shot of the eat-in kitchen table before…


and the after…


And a before picture of the other side of the room…

galleybackAnd the after…

SideBafter Nick and I are so pleased with how the kitchen projects turned out. The tile backsplash adds more pattern and texture to the room and the paint color change makes the room feel lighter and brighter.

Vacuuming and mopping the floors is also much easier, and we no longer have to be worried about water or spills absorbing into the cracks.

All-in-all, I’d call this project a win!


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