Drumroll Please…

Here it is. The big reveal. After a week of teasing you guys silly, we’re here to announce the major home improvement project that whipped through Casa Petersik like a tornado. No, we didn’t blow out a wall (although we’re nuts about open living, we blew out all the walls that we could last year- which you can read about here and here). And we’re not adding a second story or an addition- we already have two bedrooms that we don’t use so more space is currently out of the question. And although a super huge closet, a remodeled master bathroom or bedroom, and exposed beam ceilings sound super fantastico, that’s not what we were up to either. Oh and about that nursery rumor, well, no dice.

But we did GET OUR WOOD FLOORS REFINISHED! Yup, we took down our Christmas tree a week early, painstakingly cleared out the guest bedroom (along with our other two bedrooms and the living room), froze our little buns off (the windows were constantly open to air out the house), hung a curtain to shield ourselves from sanding dust and lived in utter chaos, relegated only to the den and the kitchen (which were packed with all the furniture from the rest of the house!) all in the name of glossy new mocha floors.

A few of our diehard readers guessed this right on the nose from the very first clue. Our orange 50-year-old hardwood floors have bothered us for a while, especially because the new mocha hardwood that we had installed in the kitchen, den, laundry nook and half bath looked so clashy against the original yellowy-gold flooring in the living room, hallway, guest bedrooms and master bedroom. Here’s a visual:


See… yucky. So although it meant moving more than half of our house into two rooms and losing access to our only full bathroom for a whole week, we jumped at the chance to refinish the yellowed flooring- especially when we got a killer estimate that was simply too good to pass up. In New York the average floor refinishing price is around $5 per square foot, and here in Richmond it runs about $2.50. But thanks to a few of our favorite negotiation techniques, we locked in a fabulous $1.50/square foot rate and got 600 square feet completely sanded, stained, and polyurethaned (four days of work!) for a mere 900 clams. Score.

We were actually originally quoted $1200 which included new shoe molding to match the deeper stained floors, but after mentioning that we’d love to come in under 1K our refinisher suggested that instead of putting $300 of that estimate towards the purchase of new shoe molding he could refinish our existing stuff (by scraping it and restaining it)- which ended up looking flawless and saved us a bundle to boot. Here’s a bit of scraped molding along with the mostly sanded floor mid-project:


Here are the floors all stripped. Blonder than a Swedish baby, eh? You may notice that we covered the vents with plastic during the sanding step to avoid serious dust spreadage (but we removed the plastic coverings before the stain and the poly went down since blasting the heat is an important step when it comes to speeding up the drying time).


As a reminder, here’s what the hallway looked like before Project Refinish Those Orange Floors. And check out that stain that we inherited from the previous owners in the bottom left hand corner of the pic:


Here’s the yummy after shot. The stain is gone and mocha deliciousness replaced those orange eyesores. Swoon:


And here’s the guest bedroom all gussied up with tasty chocolate flooring:


And the living room wearing a rich brown tone that perfectly complements the new hardwood that we laid in the adjoining kitchen and den:


We especially love how seamless the entire house feels thanks to cohesive dark wood flooring. In fact, every single room in our house now boasts mocha hardwood floors except for our master bathroom, whose vintage tiles look super fab against the authentic deep brown wood in the hallway:


And speaking of thresholds, here’s what the prefinished oak hardwood floor (snagged on clearance from Lumber Liquidators last year) looks like next to our newly refinished 50 year old oak flooring (on the right). When it comes to matching prefinished oak with refinished oak it doesn’t get much closer than that, in fact our wonderful floor guy mixed three batches of stain to come up with the perfect color. The main difference between factory prefinished oak flooring and refinished-on-site oak flooring is that the knots and veins in the wood are a bit more distinct in the sanded and stained refinished floors. But we’re absolutely thrilled with the match-job, it really looks a million times more cohesive and consistent from the moment you step in the door.


And speaking of our fabulous floor guy, he came highly recommended by more than one person, so we knew he was trustworthy and positively meticulous (which is always a good thing when it comes to matching existing flooring). For all you locals we’ll pass along his info: his name is (fittingly) Mr. Charles Sanders and here’s his site. You can give him a ring at 804.921.6916. Tell him John and Sherry from Bon Air sent you.

For more floor refinishing tips and tricks (how to find a reputable floor guy, what to ask, what to expect, and even how to do it yourself) stay tuned for more details later in the week.


  1. Laura says

    Nice! Waaay better than the orange! Your house is even more beautiful than before.

    I wish Charles lived in my area.
    We’ve been working on our floors for a while now (a long while) and we should’ve just hired it out. Oh well, Live and learn!

  2. heather says

    Looks great! I’m not a fan of stained quarter round (I prefer for it to be the same color as the baseboards to make the baseboards look more grand than they are) but you did a great job negotiating the trim work!

  3. DJ says


    When we bought our house, we were lucky to find a great company to refinish the floors in one day, before we moved anything into the house.

    I can’t imagine the nuisance involved in re-doing floors while living in the home. Hurrah for you

  4. says

    ok, that is so much better!
    we are definitely putting in a call to mr. sanders when the time comes to refinish our century old floors!

    my guess was an addition of sorts…had my fingers crossed for a nursery! :)

  5. says

    The floors look absolutely fantastic!

    I feel you about the different colors of wood clashing. That’s an ongoing problem we have, and is definitely going to make picking out hardwood come February VERY difficult.

  6. says

    I have been dreaming of pulling up the old cream carpet and refinishing the wood underneath to a beautiful mocha ever since we have moved in. We pulled out blue and red shag carpets and refinshed the bedrooms before we moved in but I didn’t stain them. I am amazed at home much the orange bugs me. Feeling jealous that I don’t live near this Charles fellow. There is a reason why this project hasn’t been done yet.

  7. Sara says

    I knew it! I love the new floors. Now I really want to redo ours, but that would consist of us literally moving out for a week! Can’t wait to see updated pics with all the furniture back in place!