As for Week 4–well, in short, everything seemed to go wrong last week. By everything, I mean our hardwood floors. We were planning to refinish and re-stain the floors, which I repeatedly said were in good shape. I don’t know if I jinxed myself or was just being overly optimistic, but we found out the very hard and dirty way this week that the floors were not, in fact, in good enough shape.
Here’s how it happened. Friday night, we rented a sander to start refinishing the floors. We sanded all Friday night and most of the day on Saturday. From the beginning, there were signs that the floors weren’t going to turn out quite as planned. For one, the discolored areas where the old walls used to be were not sanding out. Also, the floors had been quite dirty, and when they started to clear, it was evident that the wood was much more blotchy, and in some areas, stained than we had realized. After about 3 hours, I was concerned. After about 6-8 hours, I was doubtful. We should have known then that it just wasn’t going to happen. But we wanted to restore these floors so badly that we forged on. It took over 12 hours to sand, condition, and stain the floors. We wrapped that up Saturday night. On Sunday morning, when I opened the bedroom door and saw the floors “finished” (minus poly) for the first time, I was crushed. Here’s a look at one corner.
I have to admit I had myself a couple pretty good cries on Sunday.
Then I had to remind myself, there’s no crying in the One Room Challenge. You have to keep going. I knew by this point that the only alternative was to paint. At first I thought white would be the way to go, but after putting down primer and getting a sense of how it would look, it felt like one of those dressing room moments when you look in the mirror and say, “It’s pretty, but it’s just not me.” So the floors will be black. High gloss black, because 1) I know from our green floors that polyurethane makes painted floors much easier to clean, 2) since we are going so dark with the color, we need a reflective quality to give back some of that light, and 3) drama.
Here are a few of the rooms that inspired the black paint choice.
via Old Brand New
via Milk Magazine
The black is super chic, right? It can look stark (the pics of the room right now are still a little scary–hopefully I can share some sneek peeks next week), but with a lot of texture and natural elements, it feels cozy and inviting. With our large, colorful rug, plenty of other textiles, warm wood furniture, and a few plants, I think it will suit the room well. Had I known from the start the floors would be black, I might have gone with a straight-up white on the walls, but as it is, we are using a very light, warm gray (SW Icy Avalanche), and it looks good, too.
Possibly the worst news is that the failed stain job set us back about 5 days. Not only did we waste a bunch of time with the marathon sanding, but because we put down oil-based stain, we had to wait 2-3 days, then put down a oil-based primer before we could apply the floor paint. We will polyurethane the floors tonight, then we’ll have to wait a week before furniture can be moved in. It’s going to be down to the wire for us for sure.
Anyway, if you’re still reading this tale of woe, thanks for sticking it out. The design plan is going to stay the same generally, but in a way I feel the vibe of the room is going to be different than I had originally imagined. The wallpaper that everyone generously weighed in on last week (thank you for that!) is pretty much ruled out. I definitely think it would be over the top with the bright rug and dramatic floors.
Hoping to have happy news for next week’s (final–eeeeek!) progress post.
Now head on over to Calling it Home and check out the other participants’ progress. We’re getting close to the end, and I can’t wait to see how all these fab projects are getting on!