The next step after sanding the floors was to scrape the remaining finish from around the door jams and corners. My mom did this step while I sanded around the edges with a palm sander, to take out some of the scratches and grooves left from the edger. Next we needed to screen the floors.
At first we didn't know if this step was necessary but were very glad we did. In the end it made a huge difference in the texture/smoothness of the floor. We used a 100 grit screen and then 120 grit next. This step was much easier than sanding, the machine was easier to handle. I'm not sure which type of buffer we used, but the guy at Jeffco recommended it because it was more user friendly than the 'other' option, whatever that was. Sadly I did not take any pictures of the buffer (or this day) because in true blogger fail, I forgot my camera. Boo. But it was the one with a rectangle bottom, not the round.
After screening the floors we started sweeping. sweeping. a little bit more sweeping. and then sweeping again.
On the first round we swept the very fine sawdust into piles and used the shop vac to vacuum the large piles up. We then stopped using the shop vac because with fine dust, it picks up about as much as it blows out. They offered the option of renting a better vacuum but we just didn't want to spend the money on that, especially since we had just bought the shop vac for this very project!
We used, per Jeffco advice, microfiber 'mops' to pick up the dust. They worked well but I think we still walked in and out of the house shaking them off at least 100 times. We would dust a room, take the microfiber pad outside and blow it off, repeat. Over and over. And then some more. Until there was 'no' more dust on the floor. We went until we were crazy and then decided to move on.
We picked a stain called Nutmeg made by ____<--(I'll get back to you on this one. I'd like to say I knew in my brain the name, but I don't. I just listened when he said "you should use this, its the best" and I said "Okay how many do I need") They told us that this brand was MUCH better than Minwax. It is made for floors and more commercial use. Plus we wanted to avoid any problems that they told us often happened with Minwax, like stain pealing up. Yikes! We wanted this puppy to stay for good. We were deciding between Early American and Nutmeg. You can see a little bit less grain with the Nutmeg, and I liked the name better, which is probably why I really picked it!
Laying the stain was pretty fun! We were really happy with the color!
To stain the floors my mom went first and rubbed it on, we let it sit a bit, then I followed rubbing it off.