In our previous posts on our newlywed kitchen nightmare we've covered:
We had come so far from our original disaster to a nearly completed project, and the final significant step was to deal with the floor. We had to pull up a fair amount of the flooring along the wall in order to get down to the floor joists for the footers. However, roughly two thirds of the kitchen floor had original heart pine from when the addition was put on the house around 1890-1900. We weren't able to salvage any of the pine from the areas we had pulled up because it had already been cut, damaged, or replaced long before we moved in. But the original wood floor was beautiful and rich with a tight grain pattern. Unfortunately, one third had been damaged, cut, or poorly replaced at some point over the years. It was our job to repair this unsightly situation in as budget friendly of a way as possible. If you're not aware, heart pine is $$expensive$$, and we had close to $0.
Our first step was to pull up the damaged sections, patch in the sub floor where necessary, and find an adequate replacement flooring. We actually got really lucky when we found some wide tongue & groove beadboard at Lowes that was pretty much the perfect width to match our existing flooring. The back side of the beadboard was a simple flat stock material that was exactly what we needed.
We planned on using the yellow pine in the picture with an interesting stain treatment to simulate the look of the heart pine through the rest of the floor, but I was skeptical that we could properly match the color.
After laying the new floor in long lengths without cuts, like the rest of the original floor, we were feeling pretty good about our progress.
When it came time to sand the floor, we decided to rent a large flooring disc sander (think four large random orbit sanders attached to a heavy base) from a local Home Depot with a tool rental store. This was the first time we had ever refinished a floor, so we were pretty nervous about the whole thing. When we brought the sander home we sanded the whole kitchen floor to a consistent height and finish. The results were great but you could easily tell the difference between old and new flooring.
If you're interested in refinishing your own floors, the sander we used is extremely DIY friendly and available at most tool rental places. We'll do a more in depth post on this process later, but I was very surprised at how straight forward it all was. It's as easy as starting with very heavy grit hook & loop sandpaper discs (I believe we started with 40 grit) and working your way to a 220 grit.
After the floor was all sanded, Wendy pre treated the floor with a conditioner to help it evenly accept the stain...
...And then followed that up with our first coat of stain.
It was looking good, but the new yellow pine was a significantly different color than the rest of the floor.
Wendy is quite skilled at recognizing color and mixing stain to establish a color match in almost any situation. She put her skills to work on our floor and applied several additional coats of a stain tint that added far more red to the new yellow pine flooring.
After allowing the newly applied custom color to dry overnight, we were both thrilled with the results.
A couple of coats of polyurethane later, and the entire floor looked great! I couldn't believe how close the new color was to the old boards (but actually I could, because my skepticism had faded due to my confidence in Wendy's beast-like ability to match stain).
After allowing ample dry time and applying the remaining moulding to the walls and a coat of yellow paint, the whole kitchen was finally put back together.
As was the sun porch...just in time for Wendy's birthday cookout.
It may have taken from the dead of winter until the first weekend of May to finish this whole project, and we may have questioned our sanity and what the heck we had gotten ourselves into on more than one occasion, but at long last it was finished. The room was once again a kitchen, only now it was more open and light since the wall had been removed. We still had the rotted exterior siding to deal with, as well as a necessary coat of paint for the sun porch ceiling (it wasn't done yet in the photo above), but we felt great about what we had accomplished.
And if you happen to be wondering why we're talking about our kitchen and sun porch disaster project now, we have an answer for you. We're planning on launching into a little project in the sun porch to give it a much needed breath of fresh air. Stay tuned as we bring you the next phase of this part of our house. It may not be the complete and final phase, so we're going to have a little fun with it.
We hope you've enjoyed the reliving of some of our darkest days as DIYers. The experience really opened our eyes to the potential pitfalls of home ownership, as well as ultimately giving us the confidence boost we needed when it came to home improvement. After this we honestly and truly believe we can handle just about any sort of changes, upgrades, and projects in our house.
We also hope that our project here will inspire some of our readers to move outside of their comfort zones and take on that large project you've always wanted to do but never had the courage. We powered through our experience with the knowledge that we could always call in the pros if things got really bad. Luckily, we never felt like we got to that "really bad" point, though it was touch and go from time to time.
We had a question in the comments about the total cost. We teased the $30k estimate that was presented, and that estimate didn't include anything with electrical or plumbing, the removal of the sun porch ceiling and insulation, or running insane amounts of network and speaker wire. The total for the work we outlined in these four posts came in at about $8,500. That was roughly $7,000 for the structural work, and about $1,500 for the materials and tool rentals that we needed for our part.