Stain and Finish the Guest Room

We finally had a nice weekend where we would actually be home so we planned to finish our work on the guest room floor. After running out to get some supplies early Saturday morning, Tina and I began applying the whitewash stain to the floor. The stain went on easily, and the low-VOC formula was quite pleasant to work with:

While we were giving that time to dry, we turned our attention to the yard, which had largely been ignored since we bought the house.  There were tons of leaves to be raked and lots of things in the gardens to be trimmed.  After a couple of hours, the floor was ready for the first coat of polyurethane.  I dragged myself back inside to prepare for the first coat of finish.  The first thing I did was to change in to some clean clothes.  Then, I gave the room a thorough vacuuming.  After I was certain that I’d sucked up every last animal hair and bit of dust, I began applying the finish.  This is also a low-VOC product and it wasn’t bad to work in the room at all.  There was none of the eye-burning, dizzying off-gassing that we experienced with the polymerized tung oil that we applied to the hickory.  I removed a few stray dog hairs that appeared as I worked may way across the room, but otherwise, the first coat went on without a problem.  When I was done, I closed the door and gently pressed a towel up against the bottom to prevent any contaminants from entering the room that way.  When we checked on the floor a few hours later (you can re-coat in 2-3 hours), we were very pleased with what we saw.  The first coat was streaky and uneven, just as we expected, but where the finish had started to build, it looked fantastic:

After a nice long walk this morning with Lilly, I headed back into the room to prepare for the second coat.  I went over the whole floor with a 3M maroon pad to ensure cleanliness and good adhesion.  While I was doing that, I noticed many more embedded contaminants than I had seen while I was applying the finish.  I’m sure they made their way in through the heating system (even though it was turned off) and settled in to the floor as it was drying.  I did my best to remove as many as I could without damaging the floor.  After the light buffing, I vacuumed and wiped the floor with a damp rag.  For the second coat, I applied the finish to two boards at a time, and then vacuumed the next few again before applying the finish to them.  I was hoping this would reduce the amount of pet hair that was somehow finding its way in to the room.  That technique seemed to work pretty well, so I repeated the obsessive vacuuming when I applied the third coat a few hours later.  This is how it looked when it was finished:

Now we just have to wait 7 days for the floor to fully cure and we can get to work on replacing the baseboard trim. We’re really happy with how this came out!

One Response to “Stain and Finish the Guest Room”

  1. Nikki says:

    I happened to stumble upon this site and started to read. It’s very interesting and descriptive. I found myself submerged into your stories. Just wanted to say “Keep up the good work , you place looks great!”

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