The floors are finally finished! The guys managed the mammoth task in under two weeks, so it wasn’t really that bad – just very disruptive. If you can, it’s worth thinking about moving out for a few days – at least while half the house is being done. We didn’t have that luxury, so instead camped out in the kitchen along with the rest of the downstairs furniture. Then moved everything into one bedroom upstairs while the other two were being done. I’m going to do a separate post on the people who we ended up hiring for the job – they were fab. But thought I’d share a few snaps and thoughts here.

As you can see, the stain we ended up with is a light white-washing that still lets the wood shine through. It actually took three coats to get to this stage, and we were panicking on the first one. We didn’t want to go full white, as we wanted to retain the character of the boards. In some lights, the final result looks really white – in others it has a soft bleached-wood glow. We can’t wait to see it with perfect walls and bright white skirting boards.

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Some thoughts on the actual process – first of all, it is time consuming, dusty, and filled with debris. After hoovering three times, I think I finally got up all the errant staples. We originally had someone booked to come in and give the house a full clean halfway through the project, but the guys ended up working on the Saturday so we had to cancel her in the end. I’m glad we did, as I don’t think she would’ve managed to do much with the house in such disarray.

Second – expect surprises. And surprises mean delays. Especially if you’re working with original floorboards. Ours needed a LOT of repairs, and we also found out (on the supposed last day of work) that our master bedroom was missing them all together. They’d been removed and replaced with thick squares of wood to even out the floor for carpet. Not a nice surprise to have when you think you’re on the home stretch. Luckily I left a two week gap between the floors being finished and our decorator coming in. Otherwise I would have had to try and move him back.

Third – it’s going to look worse before it looks better. Liam and I were feeling a bit disheartened at the end because the lovely floors just highlight how bad everything else is. Our walls are in serious need of some love, and the skirting boards are pretty bashed up, as you can see from the photos. I think we were both expecting a huge transformation and instead it just feels like the house is having a serious personality crisis. Not helped by my splashes of paint all over the place to test colours. But one project down, and many to go…

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