our white stained wood floors

white stained floors

I was sitting in my living room with a friend talking about how our wood floors needed to be refinished. With 5 kids and lots of their friends running in and out on them, they had taken a beating. I was asking her for advice on a few minor updates I was hoping to do in the living room. She looked at me and said, “You aren’t really going to be happy until your floors are whiter.” And that was all it took…one other person that recognized I wanted white floors and affirmed it! Much appreciated Lori.

Thankfully, Chris is usually supportive of any of my house ideas. He knows I spend the majority of my days in our home and he wants it to be a place that I can express myself, as well as, be a refuge for our family and others.

The original plan was for us to refinish the floors ourselves because that is just how I operate. If there is remote chance I can do it myself, then I am going to do it. Chris, well, he feels the opposite. If it can be hired, we should hire pros. I feel like most DIY people marry another DIY person. That is not the case for us.

For our anniversary, we gave each other the perfect gifts. I got white stained floors and he got professionals to tackle the project. We hired Floors By George. It is a local company owned by Chris’ lifelong friends. When the crew arrived and began sanding, Chris and I both were grinning. Best anniversary presents ever. We are so romantic.

I can’t give you details on HOW we did the floors since we didn’t do them. The white oak floors were sanded and then a white stain was brushed on, then rubbed off. There were 3 coats of an incredibly durable water-based polyurethane finishing it off. Originally, I thought I wanted more white, but I am so happy we did not go any whiter. The wood grain really shows and dirt doesn’t.

6.12floors-01We’ve been talking about updating our floor and door trim. Since we were refinishing the floors, it was a perfect time to start tackling that project too. We did get an estimate from another company to do it for us, but it was SO MUCH more than what could do ourselves.

We spent $140 (we were quoted over $1000). We started with the living room and kitchen. We’ll slowly go through the rest of the house updating trim.

For our trim we used:

  • 1×6 primed mdf boards for baseboards
  • 1×4 primed mdf boards for the door trim (top board has a 1 inch overhang on each side)

It is incredible what a difference updating the trim made to the whole room. I can’t wait to tackle the rest of the house now.

Before & After

6.12floors-026.12floors-056.12floors-06The biggest thing I would hear from others when I mentioned wanting light floors was related to cleaning. I sweep our kitchen/living room a couple times a day. We don’t live in a massive house and basically spend the majority of our days in a 500 sq ft space (the kitchen and living room). The lighter floors have not changed how often I sweep or how dirty our floors look. I am SO THRILLED with them. Our house is brighter and they just make me happy to look at. I can’t say enough good about Floors by George and my new pretty white stained floors!




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  • Carol - Your floors are perfect. Floors by George did a great job and also great job on our floors!

  • Ashley - They are BEAUTIFUL!!! And I had to laugh at your comment about most DIYers marrying DIYers… definitely isn’t the case in our home either ha! It took awhile for me to wrap my head around WHY my husband wasn’t as excited about painting walls as I was?!

  • AnnMarie - Your floors look lovely! And I’m impressed that you sweep them several times a day – our house is lucky if it gets swept once a week! (Yes, we’re animals, but we’re four busy personal women sharing a house so I suppose it was inevitable.)

    And the picture of your daughter reading The Name Jar caught my eye – that book is great! I lived for several years in Korea and I love finding books that have any connection to Korea at all, even a tenuous one. And that one has such a good message. 🙂

  • Debbie C - I LOVE your new floors! Just the right amount of whitening. And wider trim makes such a difference! We are in the process of changing out our trim too, going from 2-inch brown trim to 5-inch white. SO much better!

  • Jenny - I’m a DIY person, and my husband isn’t, so I totally fell you on that one! I think HGTV has messed with our heads. It drives me crazy sometimes, but overall he’s a keeper. And I love your floor!

  • M J Penner - Dear A,
    You ABSOLUTELY NEED a Shop Vac (or equivalent with an extension cord)! It will do a much faster and more thorough job and they are relatively cheap. A simple comparison to what you are doing now is like digging a big hole with a stick instead of a properly sharpened shovel… everyday! Once in a magazine, I think it was “This Old House” they asked, “If your house was burning, what tool would you grab on your way out?” Hands down my shop vac! LOVE IT!
    GBY, MJ

  • Emily - That looks great! I love the thicker trim and the lighter floors!

  • Anna - When I moved into our house with white cabinets, I was sure they’d look dirty all the time. When my husband wanted to buy a white car I felt the same way. But now, oddly, I feel white actually hides dirt pretty well. When it is dirty, it just looks less white. A lot of dirty things really show up more noticeably on dark brown than on light/white. I am still skeptical about a white sofa, however. Love your floors, and the new trim looks amazing! It really does update the whole look of the house!

  • Whitney - Wow! I love this look!! What a great update, what is your trim and wall color?

  • Jenny B. - Yay! They look beautiful, and I love the new door trim. Our floors are a medium/light oak (pergo, though, not real wood), and I think they always look fairly clean, even when they’re really not. My husband’s parents installed dark wood floors in their house, and they show every speck of dust. So, I think light floors are easier to keep clean-looking than dark (unless they are solid white – that might be a pain). 😉 Happy belated anniversary! 🙂

  • Maggie - I love your floors! I would be the one telling you to get white floors too! We are moving to a house with 10″ pine floors and are going to refinish them with white too. I just can’t handle brown floors anymore.

  • Ingrid - SO BEAUTIFUL!! I love it 🙂

  • Carla - I love how your floors look 🙂 We ripped up carpet and installed vinyl plank flooring last June in a very similar colour to your new floors. Yes, I sweep it a lot but I would anyways with three kids underfoot. It’s actually a fabulous colour to work with as it hides dirt well. It also lightens and brightens our whole space and looks like it is doing the same for you too!! Great choice.

  • Kimberly Dial - Your floors are beautiful!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Oh, they look amazing! Don’t laugh – I received a Roomba, and I turn it on every time I leave – and it is my new bestest friend. That might help, too 🙂

  • Diane - Hi Ashley,
    Wondered if you know of a company where I can sponsor (want to use my Etsy income) a hungry child in our country? All of the bloggers I read use Compassion but all of the kids are from other countries. My husband wants the money to stay within the US to help someone? I know you have to be careful about all the funds going to “administrative and advertising” and not to the child, so I want to choose carefully! Thanks! if you know~

  • AshleyAnn - Kate – Laugh?! I’m jealous!

  • AshleyAnn - Thank you Kimberly!

  • AshleyAnn - Whitney – it is called Clean and Crisp. Not sure the original brand, I’ve had it mixed so many times. With white walls and trims I have to touch up paint ever so often…with everything being the same color it is much easier!

  • AshleyAnn - Anna – I tried white slipcovers for a time. Needless to say, I do not have those anymore. Even though I could wash them, they always looked dirty to me.

  • AshleyAnn - MJ – Do you have a special attachment? We have shop vac, but it just has a hose. That seems like it would take a while. Fill me in!

  • AshleyAnn - Diane – I do not know of a specific organization. We work with local non-profits and individuals, but I am not aware of a national organization. I am sure there must be one though! I know in my area several churches offer meals on the weekends and summer breaks to children. Sorry I am not much help! Let me know if you find a national organization.

  • Grace - Hi Ashley,
    I absolutely loved the picture of your daughter reading in the chair. The hanging legs, the stripes, the book, the dog, and the white floors! But where did you get the beautiful painting of the flowers?!

  • AshleyAnn - Grace – thank you! It was a gift from my friend Ruth. You can see here work (and purchase prints, canvases, etc) here: http://www.gracelaced.com/

  • Jaime - Love this! Do you know if your wood floors were pre-finished when they were originally installed? We asked a floor guy if he could sand and put a white stain on our floors and he suggested that we couldn’t because our floors were pre-stained (that honey color) and he said even after sanding down the top finish, there would be light yellow honey-colored lines between the boards. I guess I’m just wondering if that is true or if they would even be noticeable. Do you notice that at all on your floors? Thanks!

  • AshleyAnn - Jaime – When they sanded the floors down it didn’t seem like there were any stain on them, they looked pretty natural to me.