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  • Writer's pictureWendy Elizabeth

Four Dollar Floor Fix

This week, I was going to try and refinish my hardwood floors myself. When we first moved in, over twenty years ago, there was carpet everywhere, but after three cats and numerous spills, the warm, loopy beige concoction turned into a smelly nightmare, and it was time to go. 

When I pulled the carpet up (which took weeks, and a couple of near safety misses with my toddler) I was delighted with the hardwood floors that we found underneath. Barely sealed, we loved them, and made do with an occasional polish until the last few years (we have a dog who has literally licked wide, white circles onto it, and a cat who behaves less than well when we are not paying him enough attention).

So, I decided to take the job on myself, and researched the best DIY product for unfinished, hardwood floors. The ideas run the gamut, from full on renting a sander and days of polyurethane, to products that will clean and seal at the same time. Determined to get it done (when you are almost embarrassed to have people over, it’s a problem) I wandered one night into the complete DIY Internet community; finding out far more than I ever needed to know, as I realized my floors were made really well, but were literally dried out, and thirsty for some nourishment.

That something, according to the experts, could be as complicated as a three-step chemical sealer, or as simple as mixing up some olive oil, vinegar and lemon oil in your kitchen. As it was around 8pm, and I don’t like olive oil (and didn’t have lemon oil) I decided to drizzle some safflower oil onto a corner in my Living Room. It started to soak in almost immediately, so I buffed it around with a soft cloth, then left it for a few minutes to see what would happen.

When I tell you, it looked amazing, I am not fibbing. Within an hour, I had drizzled and buffed safflower oil all over my Living Room floor. Five days later, it still looks good, I am thrilled with the results, and I am planning to do the rest of my house.

Here are the results, and a few extra notes:

* Just an additional note – my floors are well over fifty years old, are solid hardwood (red oak?) and had no polyurethane or finish on them at all. 

For more by Wendy and the Blue Giraffe, go to:

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