Poly Poly Princess

Polyurethane, the new key to my heart. After the first coat of stain, I was having my fair share of worries on how this joint was going to look when everything was said and done. Overall, I think that we both liked the color, but the coverage was inconsistent in sheen (i.e. there were shiny spots and dull spots), which made it hard to tell how the whole kit and caboodle was going to look post poly. Here is a shot of our hallway in between the bedrooms, with just the stain (Minwax Dark Walnut).

Dark Walnut Stain on Red Oak

As the first coat of poly was going on, here is how everything was looking in the same hallway. More consistent sheen, although it’s definitely all sorts of shiny 😉

Wood Floor before and after poly

We started out in the Living Room, which overall, was looking pretty good, with minimal inconsistencies in the wood. You can see in the picture above where we tried to touch up the stain in between coats with our sander and got a little too crazy. See that little patch by the door. Oops. I figure if it bothers me enough we can replace that board down the road (like we did with the boards in the kitchen), but for now. Uggh. I’m just over it all.

Before and After Polyurethane

Although the picture above is right after the poly was applied, it gives you a good idea of how the polyurethane interacts with the finish as it goes down. Overall, I think it does lighten up the floors just a bit, and it also helps to spread out the finish and make things look a bit more even. Lighter pieces/sections are still going to pop (even more so a bit, I think), but overall, I was feeling pretty relieved as we applied each coat of poly. One step closer.

Polyurethane on Dark Walnut Stain

The sheen does decrease quite a bit (phew), so that is not how the floors look once they dry completely. All the inconsistencies in sheen though are resolved once the ploy gets applied, although darker and lighter spots will not change.

How to polyurethane floors

Overall, the entire process was very similar to applying the stain, but eons faster, since we didn’t have to come back through and wipe them down after. We just got a new lambswool applicator, dipped it in the stain and applied it in even rows as we went through the house. Toward the end, as the sunlight was fading in the house, it became pretty easy to miss a section of each row, so we had to kind of bend down after each application to make sure that we were not leaving any gaps in the mix. From start to finish, the application took about an hour and a half, for our approximate 800 sq feet of space. Staining, took close to 6 hours (ouch). Sanding, a lot longer. 😉

The floors are still drying, but here is a view after the first coat of poly (shouldn’t change too much aesthetically from here). I think I dig it.

Dark Walnut Floors

Here is a shot of the entry way. MMMMmmm. Delicious 😀

How to Refinish Floors

And just because we love him, here is a picture of the orange tabby, who would (not) so patiently wait for us each night at the top of the basement steps. I think he’s got cabin fever.

Malcolm the Cat

Psst! Want the details on how we refinished the floors and stained the floors? Read about it here!





8 thoughts on “Poly Poly Princess

  1. Pingback: Dark and Dusty FloorsLemon Grove Blog | Lemon Grove Blog
  2. Hi! I’m in the exact same spot as you were with this blog post, I love it! We just stained last night and are considering a 2nd coat (to get it even darker) or going straight to poly. The stain now looks blotchy/spotty in some spots and it’s driving me crazy… I’m really hoping the poly will even it out, maybe? Did you notice if the poly helped make the 1) stain appear darker and 2) help blend the splotchy parts? I’m not talking about just dark/light areas but small sections where it looks like the stain was applied unevenly (but it wasn’t!). Argh..

    1. Sorry Heather – just seeing this! It definitely evens out – you’ve probably found that out by now. We had the same issue where it looked like stain was applied unevenly … so stressful, ha ha! I hope your project turned out!

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