Today I’d like to share with you a project that we did several years ago in one of our flip houses. Every time we remodel a house, we try to get the best possible look for the least possible price. Honestly, you would think that everyone would want to do this, but I have found that is not always the case. There are many flippers that just throw in the cheapest carpet they can find and basic builder oak kitchen and call it a day.
That is not what we do.
While it might take a little longer to accomplish, we like to diy everything ourselves. Doing the work ourselves saves us a TON of money and assures the attention to detail is kept to our exacting standards.
So instead of putting down cheap laminate or carpet, we decided to DIY hardwood floors which would really increase the value of the house. However, being the
cheap frugal people we are, we also wanted to find the very best deal we possibly could.
If you’ve ever shopped for hardwood flooring before, you know that it is not cheap. I personally love the look of wide planks too (4 inches wide or more) and those are even more expensive! Prices for this sized hardwood flooring easily run $5-$10+ per sq. ft which was way out of our budget. So after scouring the interwebs and local stores, I finally stumbled upon these from Lumber Liquidators:
And the best thing was they were only $0.99 / sq ft! The price has since gone up to $1.29/ sq ft but that is still an awesome deal for REAL HARDWOOD FLOORS!
But wait they’re unfinished and I don’t know how to finish floors, you might be saying… well guess what? It’s really not hard at all and you can absolutely do it yourself if you’re willing to put in a little time and effort.
Hubby has installed lots of flooring before so he knew what to do, but if you have never done it before check out this tutorial: how to install pine floors. One thing to note, he chose to install them by screwing them down on the face of the board, rather than nailing into the tongue. He was worried about the boards not having tongues on the ends (I’m not sure if they have since changed this but check your boards prior to installation and determine which method you prefer.)
Here they are all screwed down:
Next, we filled the screw holes with wood putty. Then after the putty dried we gave everything a thorough sanding with our belt & orbital sanders (find a similar belt sander here and a similar orbital sander here. ) We installed approximately 700 sq ft of this floor, but if you’re doing a larger amount you might want to rent a floor sander. We chose not to – due in most part to our
cheapness thrifty nature. 😉
I decided I wanted to give the floors a driftwood / gray appearance and after a few test runs on sample boards, I finally found the right formula: Minwax Dark Walnut + watered down leftover wall paint.
The wall paint we used was Moth Gray by Pittsburgh Paints but honestly, I think you could use any gray, beige, or white color you have lying around (just try it out on a sample board first!).
So after you’ve sanded your floor and wiped them clean, start staining with the Minwax Dark Walnut.
Doesn’t look too good at this point, does it? Don’t worry – it will get better!
Finish staining and let the floors dry overnight.
Dilute your paint with water at about a 3 parts water & 1 part paint ratio. You want it to be more of a stain consistency and not as thick as paint. Begin rolling on your paint/water mixture. Do about a 4 foot section at a time and then take an old cloth and wipe it off! Remember, this is not a painted floor – this is a type of stain so you want to wipe it off just like you would a stain. Continue on rolling and wiping off.
step back and marvel at your progress:
SO much better! If your back starts hurting just remind yourself that you are saving hundreds (probably thousands) of dollars by doing this yourself! Run to the nearest convenient store (or Casey’s if you’re in small town mid-America like me) and get yourself a Mountain Dew and Slim Jim – you deserve it!
Now that you’re all refreshed, it’s time to finish up!
The final step is to apply several coats of poly for durability and to make your floors easier to clean. I prefer water based poly because it remains clear and doesn’t give your new floors that yellow haze that oil based polys sometimes create. Wait at least 48 hours before moving furniture onto your newly poly’d floors.
Stand back and admire your new super inexpensive REAL DIY HARDWOOD FLOORS!
UPDATE: the full reveal of this house is posted here. Just shield your eyes from the lovely red and brown kitchen before pics – don’t say I didn’t warn you 😉
If you want more DIY tips and awesome home decorating ideas follow me on Pinterest.
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