Cozy Cabin’s Wood Revival

The main project is the “Lodge Room”, and refinishing it had its issues.

Bittersweet, these Medford Lakers decide to sell their spectacular cozy lakefront log cabin.

Kind of a cool story, this family picked up and moved to Florida so their daughter could pursue wakeboard greatness. She is on the US Wakeboard Team and competes world wide. With roots in Medford Lakes, lets face it, the lake is no place for her constant training. And after they got settled in Florida, the family has decided they love it there. And have no plans to come back. In fact, even the traditions of camp activities for kids growing up in Medford Lakes is no comparison. The exciting experiences and accomplishments this young athlete is experiencing are monumental and life shaping. (We know because our kids had a similar upbringing. Not on water, but on snow, they were competing in alpine racing and free ride- just like “the flying tomatoe” in the half-pipe!)

Leaving ‘Lake Life’ behind they won’t forget the cabin coziness that made them memories.

Medford Lakes cabin rafters
This cabin has a stunning rustic vibe with commanding views of the Lake- Upper Aetna

It is a prominent cozy cabin with a commanding view, perhaps the best in all of Medford Lakes. Perched high up off the water, and tucked near the woods, it has a camping vibe and or lakefront retreat kind of feel. Life’s definitely ‘a porch swing’ for the lucky buyer willing to shell out for this crown jewel with spectacular views!

Not looking back in their wake, the owners set about getting the cabin ready for sale—

And when asked to tip toe in to look at the floors one thing is certain. The hardwood floors starting in the lodge room, meandering back to the kitchen and about are dated and somewhat tired. Bad splinters in the pine, abandoned copper piping holes, bouncing boards, these and other things needed clean up.

And last but not least, there was loads of can’t get away from it ‘orangy’, amberized and old dated pine that was screaming for help!

The scope is identified.

Mostly the lodge room, kitchen, family room, hall, stairs and master is what will be addressed this go around. (The seller is definitely going to pass our name along to the buyer for the rest of the house.) With other contracting, the house is getting cleaned up nicely.

The repairs got done first.

Our wood tech stabilized a bouncing board in the dining area. Couple of repairs were done to fill abandoned holes where copper pipes once were. Wide gaps in boards were filled. Filling the gaps instead of replacing them was cost effective and time saving. Essentially this cleaned them up without the additional cost of seeking out vintage pine material. There was a major splintered board that was fixed, which was in a prominent traffic area, laying prey to hurt someone.

Medford Lakes uneven pine floor transition
Beside looking ‘wonky,’ this transition corner needs to be leveled before we refinish it.

Then a repair was done upstairs.  Oddly enough there was a board in the master bedroom hall that had peaked on one side that, which could be a trip hazard. The board stood bout 1/4-1/3″ above the other boards on one end. And certainly hitting you as you enter the master, it had interrupted what is a magnificent room overlooking the lake below.

As the sanding began it quickly became ‘dancing contractors’!

With much to do to ready the house we were greeted by Jill, a home stager-interior designer, To check out Jill’s work click here. She told us two painting contractors would be starting soon, one for the kitchen cabinets, the other for the interior walls. As we modified our task schedule to allow for these contractors we also discovered another team was addressing the exterior wood.

DRP was coming in to repair some logs and pressure wash them to clean them up.

For this work we had concern, and so did Everette Abrams, owner of DRP. Turns out there are some really shaggy sections of the logs, mainly near the north master wall. Evidence of moss and water, it was pointed out to us that there might be some leakage thru the chinking and log joints.  From what we could tell it looked as though it may only affect the master walk in closet.

For an in depth account of dodging rain drops, puddles, drips, and buckets click here→ Dueling Wood Jobs.

With all the buzz, we had to protect the sanded floors and lock certain doors to avoid unwelcome foot traffic inside.

What started out as a straightforward job had become tricky. Do the prep in the kitchen, then clear out for the refinishers. Complete the sanding in the lodge room, then move upstairs to the master. With the master kind of off on its own, we could sand there without risking any dust in the kitchen, where the cabinet frames were being refinished.

As DRP began their work water did migrate inside, and on to our already prepped and sanded hardwood floors.

DRP started their work on the detached garage. They wanted to ‘test drive’ what there were doing there first, before moving to the main house. Next they would jump on the pressure washing and repairs near the north master wall. Here they determined they needed to replace a few logs and stabilize the chinking. Above the kitchen on 2 areas around the master there was need for log or chinking replacement. So while we got the master sanded, we have to focus elsewhere until that area was stabilized. And again we had to lock doors and give ‘no shoes’ orders to the workers.

So by Saturday afternoon the traffic quieted down, but Monday was awaiting and we reacted accordingly.

Deciding on what to accomplish next, Marvin decides to prep the stairs. To be specific he needed to remove a grungy runner on the stairs. And by Saturday afternoon he reported that beside removing the carpet off the stairs, he thinks he pulled about 500 staples that were used to secure the runner on the stairs. The cabinets were finished by 2, and Marvin finished his work, cleaned his tools and re-organized them come Monday.

Monday arrived, and we set our sights on the family room.

The family room is located in the south part of the house. It is a large room. With outside wall exposure at the far end of the room, we began sanding there. Along with sanding Marvin prepared some test samples to restore the color. Jill, the stager, wanted to see the end result of the color, to make sure it blended with the wood logs and the wood trim throughout the house.

After a color hiccup we changed stain strategies.

Pine, like some species does not absorb stain evenly. It becomes blotchy. So to avoid that we often skip applying stain (which absorbs into the wood), but we instead used a  pre-amberized (pre-colored) sealer. Then you can also tint the finish coats to migrate the overall color to a more aged state.

Once you sand off the aged finish and get down to raw wood it becomes much lighter in color. So much so, that if you just sealed and finished it the wood would look dramatically different. That would have been fine, but the fact that there is so much aged trim and interior doors, walls, and logs that remained untouched.  So to get it right we had to play with tinting to create a color match that would take years to achieve.

The family room was refinished first.

It was tricky aging color of different generations and types of pine. Playing with color we did apply stain, and tint, so we migrated the color toward what the trim, panel and log color was. And after the pressure washing was done we followed suit with the rest of the cabin. Amongst the tasks were aging the stairs, the master and the kitchen. To see more about the family room and the end result to Click here for more about the color hiccup and how it came out.

The floors survived the pressure washing and we had clear sailing to complete our work.

After water came in through the ceiling in the kitchen, down the walls by the fireplace, the front door, the stairs, and through the casement window in the master, we mitigated it and it became a non issue.

Water leak in Master Bedroom
Thankfully this looks worse than it was, it didn’t damage the wood floor
Water leak log cabin
The arrows show where all the water leaked down the logs above the front door

Note that the water was blasted in as the pressure washing hit the logs at an unusual angle. Mother nature would not replicate this, so there would not be concern to address this isolated cause of water inside the cabin.

Final approvals of color ensued in the lodge room, and we were cleared to complete the finish coats.

It was a tricky balance to add enough tint to “age” the newer pine in the formal dining area so it blended with the older heart pine in the living area in the lodge room. Click here for more about “Love’n for Lodge Room Floors”. To that we had to also add enough tint so it tied in with the log color, the trim color and the paneling color. Picking a happy medium, we insisted the interior designer approve the color in person. (Pictures sent via text did not do it justice, the persuasion of light, flash, or lack there of just threw the color off. Seeing it in person, we got our final approval.)

The cabin lodge room is finished with a cohesiveness in color blend and finish. All dressed up this room has the cabin vibe temptation to offer a lucky buyer!

There is no question that the lodge room is fresh, inviting and gorgeous once again. Adding the staging touches, the room is the focal point in the home and will entice buyers for sure! See how nicely the staging is to attract buyers.


Medford Lakes pine floor refinished with clear coat
All freshened, this pine floor area takes you from the lodge room to the kitchen
Medford Lakes Cabin balcony view staged
All refinished and staged this cabin has stunning views inside and out
Medford Lakes pine floor refinished
Here is a side view of the lodge room staged


With the lodge room and formal dining area are completed, next was the stairs and the master bedroom, followed by the kitchen.

Some color was added to tint the stairs. And with a close up, the soon to be installed new runner would likely calm down the permanent stain in the stair corner. Again, with our hyper focus on all areas of the wood, the runner completely took the focus (for us), off the water migration damage.

And as we set our sights on the master bedroom, the stabilized and traumatized entryall but settled down as we tinted and aged the color with the finish coats. Kind of nestled as if it has a “tree house” vibe, the master is now a cozy retreat awaiting the lucky owners who will call it home.

The last coats were applied to the kitchen, and our job was about done (after another hiccup)!

On the home stretch, we finished the last of our tasks, in the kitchen. The tint was added to tie in the color with both the family room (of a different generation of pine), and where it touched the newer pine in the lodge room formal dining area.

Only thing left was installing some protective Ramboard™ across the main areas in the lodge room and in the downstairs hall leading up from the “turtle room” out clear to the front entry. Fearing a potential disaster while extracting the turtle and turtle pond in the downstairs bedroom, our precaution served us and our client well.

Disaster was averted with careful planning.

After all we had been through doing damage control with the pressure washing, and the other contracting within the cabin, we did protect the floor. Hearing about an inevitable “turtle extraction” we had great concern. Removing a turtle pond located in the downstairs bedroom was necessary, but poorly timed. But it had to be removed to make it buyer friendly.

The turtle would move on to a new home, and the turtle pond liner and perch had to be disassembled and removed. Knowing it would not fit going out the window, we feared that water might spill from the pond liner on our newly finished and vulnerable floors. As we feared, if left unprotected, the main traffic lane in the lodge room would have been damaged.

But the Ramboard™ took the hit of the water spill, and the floor was unphased!

Despite reassurance that the turtle extraction would go off without a hitch, it did not. Click here to read about the turtle extraction. There was a spill of water left on the Ramboard™ covered floor. Spilling it directly on the newly finished floor would have damaged the wood unless it was  cleaned up immediately. And allowing it to sit overnight, well the damage would be certain. So not leaving anything to chance we covered the floor and kept our fingers crossed.

water spill on hardwood, moving damage avoided on hardwood floor, precaution to avoid hardwood floor damage
Precisely what I was afraid of, we avoided damage to our newly finished hardwood floor, this water spill would have resulted in a $500-$700 damage repair!

I peered through the window and saw a major puddle on the Ramboard™. I gasped as we opened the door.

Solely on the protective board, but square right in the main entry traffic lane was a substantial puddle that had absorbed into the board. Much had gathered and laid on top. We carefully removed it, and found a scant film of moisture on the wood that laid on top of the finish. It did not impede the finish, and merely wiped dry with the movement of our sock.

There for our final coat of the kitchen area, we replaced the soaked Ramboard™ with a fresh piece. We covered the master and the kitchen, so that all rooms that were to be painted had protection on the floor.

Done! The cohesiveness flows nicely across the wood floors throughout the house.

Now that our work was done we were very pleased that we restored the old, dated, faded, stale and damaged hardwood. The color and finish now flowed from room to room, and the trauma the floors experienced was all fixed.

Although a few rooms were left as is, it is the hope that the buyer will swoop in and have us revitalize the remaining rooms. On the final list would be the turtle room, the upstairs hallway and 2 upstairs bedrooms.

Bowing off the floors, we handed them confidentially back to Jill, the designer to work her staging magic!

Time to pass the baton to the painters who were returning to finish the painting upstairs. We also checked with Jill who be last in to stage it. A new kitchen light and comfy and cozy furniture was the final task.

We are certain this transformation will get the attention of a lucky buyer who will cough up the dough!

This job was a pleasure to be a part of! Fingers crosses we get to refinish the rest of the floors for the new owner!

Is your cabin in need of hardwood repair, removal the dreaded yellowing with refinishing or updating?  Call 609.953.0472 or Contact Us on line and we will reach out to you!