Hardwood Floor Renovation, Part 2

The house is on its way to becoming our cozy little home.

To get there, we’ve had to overcome some nasty 90s colored floors, what-were-they-thinking (?!) old [smelly] carpet, and a bucket full of setbacks. Despite the depleted bank accounts and major (may I re-emphasize major?) headaches because of the floors, I am proud to reveal the before and afters of our hardwood floor project!

I promise you this is the same house. No gimmicks. Just a lot of hard work, investment, seeing the potential, and faith that it will all work out.

In case you missed it in Part I, we had moved into the house with hardwood floors throughout the main floor. They are oak and were stained the standard 1990s blonde color but were significantly scratched in some places. The previous owners had even drilled holes in other spots (WHY on earth, I do not know).

Four-inch black scratch mark on hardwood floor
No, that’s not a scuff mark. That’s a huge black scratch in the floors. Even the hardwood floor guys said they’d never seen a scratch like that.

Even if we liked the color, the scratches and holes still needed to be repaired, so we needed to sand, restain, and seal the floors. It worked out well as an opportunity to update the house with a more modern stain color.

But then there was the upstairs flooring. Ohhhhhhh, the upstairs. I cannot wrap my head around the thought process (maybe none?) behind some of these decorating decisions.

I won’t say more; I’ll just let these pictures speak their “1,000 words” for themselves:

Master Bedroom - electric blue walls and casino carpet
Everyone, meet the master bedroom

Yes, that’s real life.

extremely outdated stairs carpet before hardwood renovation

I’m crying all of the tears on behalf of every decorator in the world.

Needless to say, it all needed to GO. We would have loved hardwood floors upstairs but assumed carpet would be a more cost effective option. Amazingly, after a lot of work to find multiple contractors and collect bids, we found that the cost of installing hardwood floors wasn’t much more than putting in carpet. It was an easy decision for us: install hardwood floors upstairs too!

Downstairs, the floors are oak. We chose stain in Red Mahogany by Dura Seal.

Upstairs, the contractors installed a slightly wider plank of Red Oak. The stain is the same as downstairs, and there is no noticeable difference in the final product between upstairs and downstairs.

Master Bedroom

I am so sooooooooo happy with how this turned out. The floors are so rich. I love the calming color of the blue. The white trim breaks up the wall and floor colors perfectly.


Sorry if I ruined your moment of enjoying the after photos, but I HAD to remind you what this looked like before.

What. Is. This Carpet???

No, that’s not a runner carpet on hardwood. It’s a runner carpet on hardwood-colored carpet. Our theory is that the previous owners were trying to give the appearance of a carpet runner on wood stairs. Instead of real wood underneath, brown “wood colored” carpet on the edge would obviously give the same effect, right?

extremely outdated stairs carpet before hardwood renovation

hardwood stairs renovation with white riser - before stain

hardwood stairs renovation with white riser - after stain

Do you feel relief when you look at the last photo? Yeah, me too.

Living Room

I adored the beautiful, high ceilings in our living room and the open layout to the dining room, which then flows in to the kitchen. Because there are no good breaks in the walls to change color, the ENTIRE main floor and upstairs hallway are all the same color.

The previous owners chose yellow.

They must have liked it because they put it in a bathroom as well.

Besides doing the floors, we obviously freshened the paint on the walls, trim, doors, and fireplace. We picked Revere Pewter (by Benjamin Moore but color matched through Sherwin Williams) as a nice light, bright neutral that we were comfortable running through 80% of the house.

hardwood floors refinish before and after

Finished floors, still buttercup yellow paint.. so this is an “in progress” or “during” picture

Another “before”:


What do you think?

We still have to start decorating. The walls are quite bare, but the big furniture is in. So it’s a lovely, livable space.

We absolutely adore it. It’s an amazing feeling to walk in and see how your hard work has paid off.

Ugly House, you haven’t defeated us yet.

I am so glad I finally got this out to you all. I hope it was worth the wait.

Do you have any questions about any part of our project? If so, I’ll answer in the comments or, for more involved answers, I’ll write a brutally honest response post about the experience. 🙂

How are your latest projects going? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy renovating, lovelies.

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