Things we learned: unfinished wood gets stained very easily. Next time, no shoes, no bare feet, not dirty tools – just clean socks when you must be on the platform. Oh well, it’s a rustic look, those are “rustic” sneaker prints.
The wood also got yellower the longer it was in the sun and we decided we liked the look of the lighter wood better. So, after sweeping and mopping (and trying to scrub the shoe prints out with powdered detergent – stained the wood grey in splotches, don’t try it.), I painted the floor with hydrogen peroxide to lighten it. It didn’t erase the stains, but the wood went back to a prettier, lighter shade.
Next, Polyurethane. (We decided not to stain it.)
Went on differently than I expected, but I got the hang of it about half-way through. One thing we did right was to start on the back side of the yurt – the side that will be a bedroom, so by the time we worked our way over to the main open area we knew what we were doing, somewhat.
After some research into slightly more environmentally friendly products, we decided on Polywhey Floor from Vermont Natural Coatings. I bought a lambswool pad and broomstick to spread it and a dishpan to hold the Polywhey. Just dipped and ran – that stuff dries FAST! The wind didn’t help slow it down any either. Granted we were outdoors, but I didn’t notice any smell. Once inside we noticed a faint odor on my clothes, but it wasn’t strong. I think the first coat went on in about an hour and it took about 1 1/4 gallons to cover the ~700 square feet of unfinished wood with a thin coat.
(Paul’s enjoying the change in labor and trying out Otto’s napping spot…briefly)
Next I hand sanded the first coat of poly and cleaned floor again with a damp rag.
Paul got to spend his day underneath the platform working on the insulation – boy I got the better end of these jobs, poor thing! He came out with gap sealer and grass and rocks stuck in his hair.
The second coat of poly went on a bit faster and only took a gallon. I used the same floor pad, but I flipped it over so the cleaner edge was my main edge.
The third coat was very challenging. It went quickly and took less than a gallon, but I couldn’t see where I had painted and were I hadn’t. I had Paul stand down on the ground and help make sure I didn’t miss any spots, but I still missed a whole board in the middle! We noticed this morning when the dew beaded differently down it than the rest of the floor – hopefully two coats will be enough right there.
I tried to reuse the same floor pad for the third coat (washed well), but it started leaving little pieces of old poly that looked like bubbles, so I switched to a new one and flew through the rest of the floor – so much faster with a fresh clean floor pad!
Paul also cleaned up the worksite for us!
And here is our beautiful new floor!
Next Weekend…up goes the YURT! Anyone want to help?