The hilarious and unfiltered adventures of two sisters

Varathane Floor Refinishing Kit

Varathane Floor Refinishing Kit

My husband and I purchased a new house 8 months ago.  I was pregnant and the housing market was exploding, prices were increasing in the few months we were looking!  So, needless to say we were rushed into buying.  We enjoy some good DIY projects so when we found our current house in a nice neighborhood, despite the outdated finishes, we jumped on it!

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The first thing I noticed about the house were the dirty floors!  I couldn’t believe that someone who was trying to sell their house would leave the floors so dirty! Even though people were still living in the house, our real estate agent suggested we all keep our shoes on!  When we took ownership, the first thing I did was bring a mop over to clean the floors.  So we mopped… but they still looked dirty.  Then we steam cleaned them… still dirty.  I bought numerous cleaning products but no matter what I used, the floors still looked dirty!  This was horrifying! My first impression of the house was dirty floors, so I felt everytime someone came into my house, all they seen was dirty floors!


This weekend I decided it was time to do something about it!  Since we have a 4 month old baby, we wanted something that didn’t require sanding, and didn’t have strong fumes.  So we purchased Varathane’s floor refinishing kit for $125 at Home Depot.  US click here, it’s only $69.95 for you! This includes a chemical to remove the current topcoat and then a new topcoat to apply. The kit also includes a spongy thing to apply the top coat and a scrubbing pad for the chemical application.  I also purchased a small can of Minwax stain at Home Depot for $8.50 (US click here) that matched the floor color so I could touch up some scratches.

Kit I purchased…

In the box…

Since the instructions say light traffic is ok after 2 hours, our plan was to do just the kitchen and dining rooms first, that way we could still navigate the rest of the house and hang out in the living room while we were waiting for the finish to dry.  So here is what actually happened…

We applied the chemical etching and wiped it off as directed.  It didn’t make any difference in the look of our floor, my theory as to why is because there was no top coat originally to be removed (when we do the rest of the floors I may actually skip this step).  The odor of the chemical was slightly strong, but we kept the windows open and the kitchen fan running and it aired out pretty quickly (I kept the baby napping in a separate room with the door closed).

Next, I started applying stain to some scratches with an artist brush.  Well, this made such an awesome difference, we decided to stain the whole floor!  However, we did not account for the drying time of the stain in our plan?!? It turned out the minimum dry time was 8 hours… and the next day (16+ hours later) it still wasn’t dry enough to walk on!!!  Also, the smell of the stain was very strong so once the baby woke up I took him out for a walk while hubby finished staining the kitchen.  If I had my time back, I would have made my dear husband take the baby out and finished the stain myself, since he was not as meticulous and left uneven spots which will drive me crazy for the rest of my time living here, but I digress.

Stain I used…

After the stain….

Next day, we follow the instructions of the kit, clean the dust off the floor and apply the topcoat.  This was not difficult at all.  The topcoat was low odor as promised.  And the floor was able to be walked on in about 2-3 hours.  The only issues we had were that there are some spots that didn’t dry clear (stayed cloudy) and the brush lost some of its fur in the kitchen, which is now permanently embedded in the topcoat.  After reading the reasons for the topcoat staying cloudy in the instructions, I determined it was probably due to the stain not being dry enough before applying the topcoat.


Conclusion… the finished result is 100 times improvement in our floors, and for the first time since we moved in, it looks clean!

Our next step will be to sand the areas that still look cloudy before applying a second coat.  I will also contact the company to complain about the fur their application pad left in my floor!