That's right, we devised a plan, put it into action and improved the terrible stains, splotchy-ness and water drops that freckled our front room floor.
Let us be reminded of our shortcut inducing ugliness
We had a few ideas lined up for our plan of attack and although we tackled it apprehensively (and maybe not with the greatest attitude), attack we did.
First, we tried to sponge the floor to open up the grain
But damn that Zar stain. It was impenetrable. Stupid stain doing its job. Damnit!
Next up, SANDING
Now, of course sanding is necessary between coats, but we really sanded
We sanded over everything, but really tried to sand down the dark, splotchy areas and got things down a bit more bare in the hopes of evening things out.
When we were done sanding we broke out the sponges and sponged EVERYWHERE
Once the floor was dry we came back into the room with the screen and knocked down all the raised grain. Then it was time to tack cloth to get all the dust and sanding particles off. And finally, we were ready for round two of staining with the hopes of evening things out and the fear that somehow we were going to make things worse
Again, I've got no pictures of us doing the in progress staining as we didn't really have free hands, but just like last time we pressed that stain in and worked on 10-20 sq. ft. at a time. On this second round however we tried to wipe clean the darker areas a bit quicker and not let the stain soak in as much. As we wiped the excess stain off we also tried to pay really close attention to areas that were darker than the rest and we tried to wipe a bit harder to get some of the saturation out to make things more even.
When we were done, things looked OH MY GOD A LOT BETTER. The really stained area (previous stains on the floor we're guessing from peeing past animals that lived in the house) isn't invisible, but it's an improvement
But the rest of the floor? SO MUCH BETTER (the color is reading more orangy-red than it is in real life)
Chris and I were immediately relieved. It is not perfect by any means, but it is SO MUCH FUCKING BETTER (we may sand and stain one more time on two of the stairs, but that's super minor). We've had the windows open and the fan going to air things out, and as the color really soaks in, it's looking better and better
It is such a fucking relief, I cannot tell you. Chris and I were loathing this step all along the way, and after things looked like crap after this past weekend it really took the wind out of our sails. But after all the wonderful, nice things you guys all said, it definitely spurred us on and we feel so much better better now.
We're a little nervous about doing the poly this weekend because there is still room for error so we're not out of the woods yet, but we've definitely improved, so that makes us feel a lot better. PHEW!