Alright, so there's been some major progress on the house this past week. All of the floors are sanded, and the 3 main rooms (all of the OLD floor) is done, which was 4 coats of varnish total. The floors went from a delightful sanded "blond" wood colour to a surprisingly deep/rich cherry colour. Some spots with damage have blotches which appear almost black, while some of the boards near the edges of the room, or which stayed for a very long period of time under furniture are more of a light yellow to light orange colour. At minimum I'd say that there are about 6 colours within the floor. The heavily traveled areas are more or less dark pinkish orange. All of this with just a simple clear coat (or 4).
I still haven't figured out what to do regarding photos for this blog. I may just use the default Google Photos "upload" option. Here's a preview that shows you an idea of the "sanded" VS clear coat. The difference in colour is jaw-dropping. EDIT: Actually if this photo works, I may just edit this whole post and add a whole bunch of other photos.
Edit: Okay so I'm not happy with the posted image. For whatever reason, the posted image that's been resized to 800x600 to fit the blog now appears really blurry and grainy. If you click full sized then it looks fine, but I don't understand why it looks so crappy. I'd expect this quality loss if I was trying to increase the image size, not shrink it.
Edit 2: Okay so I had manually resized the image from the default size option, which had not worked properly. Google Images through Blogger gives me unspecified size options. I switched it to "Xtra Large" which turns out to be only 640x480 (WTF?) Past this size is "Original Size" which will be way too large to display properly. I think I will just save my blog images at 800x600 and just have them be posted at "Original Size" to save headaches.
Today I managed to mix a "close enough" colour match, which was a mix of 3 different stains (2 types, 2 brands, 3 colours). I applied it earlier this afternoon and it's now drying. It's by far not a perfect match, but since the old floor has such a huge variety of colours in it, it should look fine. This colour will be on the main hallway and the staircase (treads and risers).
So now I'm letting that dry, and I will see if I can put the first coat of varnish on the hallway tonight. I'm so sick of the smell of varnish in the house, you can't even imagine. For most of this past week I've been sanding and varnishing the rooms one at a time. I'd do one before work, come home from work and do a second one. The next day before work I'd do the third room. That night I'd sand and recoat the first room, ad nauseam. I had originally planned to varnish everything in one shot (stain the hallway and varnish everything all together) but when I did a test of the clear coat on a scrap of the old hardwood and saw the colour shift, I knew there would be trouble, so I decided to do all the old floors FIRST, and then do the colour match. I'm really glad I did, because my colour would have been COMPLETELY different.
Oh, speaking of varnish, there was a bit of an issue there. I had been planning for YEARS now to use Spar Varnish (Helmsman) to varnish the floor, since it's beautiful, dries quickly, is waterproof, and has UV protection, BUT, when I actually went and bought the cans, and I was reviewing the label info, it specifically stated: Not recommended for floors. :( So instead I got Minwax Super Fast-Drying Polyurethane for Floors (oil based). It did dry fairly quickly -within 8 hours as stated, and id did sand nicely with just 250 grit paper by hand, so no major complaints. I used the satin sheen, and it truly is a satin, which is nice. I do want some gloss, but not a ton, so it's perfect. If I had one small gripe, it's that it didn't quite smooth-out and flow as nicely as some other varnishes. I did the entire floor by hand with a 4" brush, BTW.
So once the hallway is done (which will take several more days), then all the hardwood flooring will be done. At that point I can install and paint all the baseboards, and touch-up the office and living room (they are already painted, just not at the bottom), and then I can ALSO paint the front hall (blue), and the dining room, which I've decided will go the same light grey as the stairwell. This will mean that pretty much ALL of the main rooms in the house will be done except for the kitchen, and the upstairs spare room!