When we last left the floors we had gotten most of the sanding done, but there was still some problematic areas over by the picture window. We've been working on sanding more and more and more and more. We finally came to the conclusion, that well, that area but the picture window really isn't going to get much better. Whether it is indeed damage by the sun, crappier wood, or just not great sanding by us (but we tried and tired and tried) that's just how it's just going to have to be
So we moved on and started tackling more things we had to get done before we were even close to stain ready.
Like all of the little crevices and corners we couldn't get the finish sander or our palm sander into
And the stairs
And now those stairs look mighty pretty
We also had to replace a piece of wood in front of the fireplace. The old one had split so we carefully removed it a little while ago. We measured for fit and then found that our new wood would be installed a bit proud of the old wood. The subfloor is a little wonky here so I think it's a combination of it being a high spot and also our new wood being slightly thicker
Good thing we have a planer! :) It made things a lot easier. If we didn't have one we would have had to take the belt sander to it over and over and over again, but with the planer we were able to slide it through little by little to take a completely uniform amount off and get it just about perfectly level with the old floor. Once we got that right, we slid it into place and hammered it in with finish nails (we could have used the nail gun, but we wanted round holes like the rest of the floor)
Then we went around the whole room looking for bare metal showing from old nail heads. We used a counter sink to nail them down below the top surface of the wood so our wood filler would cover it up and once all the floor was finished you wouldn't be able to see any sparkle of visible nail heads (I forgot to take a picture).
Then came time to screen it which involves using a screen-like sandpaper...
...and attaching it to a pole and running it over all of your floors. This fine gritted screen helps smooth the transitions between the different sanding methods used on your floors (between the field area and the corners and borders)
Then finally we were ready for the wood filler, hooray! (after vacuuming of course). We opted to use Woodwise Full-Trowel Filler on the floors. Instead of patching holes here and there you pour out a workable amount of the wood filler onto your floors and then use a grout float to spread it out all over. This fills all your nail holes, gaps between wood, gouges in the wood, you name it. It helps give a nice, clean, even surface across the entire floor. We hopped to it
It took the two of us maybe 45 minutes to get it all done, which is actually probably faster (and a lot less annoying) than it would have been to hunt around for every nail hole and putty it over. Once we got to the edge of the room and our butts started colliding I jumped out and Chris finished it up
We were hoping to be able to sand that same day so we brought in a fan to try to dry things out quicker
But things were still taking a bit longer to fully dry everywhere and while we were pretty sure it wouldn't take too long to get it all sanded, we didn't want to push our luck and have it take hours longer and be sanding at 10pm (no fun), so we resolved that we'd sand it this weekend. It's looking oh so inviting now though!