Monday, August 31, 2015

FLOORS ARE DONE, NOW WE WAIT...

Hallelujah, the floors are DONE!!!  Now we just have to wait for 5 days for them to cure before we can move back in.  We finished up Saturday night at around midnight. I can definitely tell you this project was a true LABOR of love.  It was VERY laborious and our bodies are feeling it for sure but I am so glad to finally have them done.  We do have to buff them out yet but we have to wait for them to cure first.  We figure we will be moving the furniture back in over the long weekend coming up.  I can't wait!

Now I will tell you before I show you a few (not very good) pictures that they are not perfect by any means.  We were dealing with 76 year old wood that had a LOT of imperfections and stains to begin with; so, keeping that in mind, I think they turned out really good. I'm sure they would have turned out much better had we hired the professionals to come in and do them but we saved ourselves thousands of dollars by doing them ourselves. Our philosophy was why waste money on the professionals if the floors weren't going to end up perfect anyway.

So without further ado...and pay no mind to my lousy photography skills...here are a couple shots of how the living and dining rooms look right now...keep in mind they still have to be buffed...








They look GREAT don't they?  Like I said, they're not perfect but I am truly happy with them. At least all the floors in the house match now.  There's no more patchwork quilt wood floors going on here. YAY!!!



Thursday, August 27, 2015

PROGRESS ON EBONIZING THE HARDWOOD FLOORS...

Hey!  How's y'alls week been going?  Mine, good but I'm ooooh so very SORE.  We've been stripping and sanding 1300 sq. ft. of hardwood floors and cleaning up dust for the past three days but I'm glad to say we are now DONE with the hard part.  Though I feel like I have been beaten twice with a big lead pipe and ran over by a Mack truck too, I am thrilled with the progress we have made and how everything is turning out.

Another thing I am glad about is that we now have matching floors throughout the entire house. Before they were kind of a hodge podge patchwork.  The bedrooms were all an orangey color, the living room and dining room were a darker walnuty color and the area in front of the main floor bathroom (which you could see from the living room and the front door) was painted with brown porch and floor paint. Needless to say it was not pretty!!

This shows you a few images of the floors before...















 Besides all the different colors and finishes, they all had stains, watermarks, and bare and rough patches that desperately needed attention...









Those stains and watermarks are the reason we decided to ebonize the floors with a vinegar and steelwool (iron oxide) solution.







Recipe:  1 gallon white distilled vinegar and 5 #0000 grade steelwool pads, washed and dried, steeped in a 1 gallon glass pitcher for 3-4 days.  Strain with cheesecloth before use.



Watermarks in wood will not stain over with a colored stain no matter how dark the color because they cannot soak up the stain.  The wood in those spots is pretty much petrified and will not accept any liquid.  I figured ebonizing the floors with the natural Iron oxide solution will help everything to blend and the spots not be noticed as much. You know, black stains and black floors. Make sense?

Anyway, the stripping and sanding went really good for the most part.  We did have some trouble with the rooms on the main floor though.  We just couldn't get all the finish off in some places as you can see by the spots here...





I guess the floors on the main level had been refinished more often throughout their 76 years of life than the others and there was a super strong build up of varnish on them.  We sanded them over and over again with the harshest grit paper we could get and I even palm sanded each and every plank but that finish was just not going to budge. In the end we decided to just leave it be.

I knew the ebonizing solution would not work on those areas but since ebonizing leaves a variegated finish anyway, I didn't figure it would be too big a problem so we moved forward with applying the solution....








Once the solution is applied the floor continues to darken until the solution reacts with all the tannins in the wood. So, the lighter areas in the above picture where the solution was just mopped on turned a deep rich black to match the rest of the floor you see there in just a few minutes. The other beauty of working with the iron oxide solution instead of stain is that there is never a danger of having any overlapping issues.  You can overlap the iron oxide as many times as you want and it will not get any darker than there are tannins. It was the perfect solution for our stained up 76 year old hardwoods.

It only took about an hour to ebonize the floors throughout the entire house....Super FAST and EASY!!




If only all of it was that easy. Hehehe.  

Now all we have left to do is lightly sand everything smooth to close the grain, tack it all to remove any dust and then apply 3-4 layers of sealer. After about a week of letting everything dry and cure we will be ready to move back in. YAY!!!

I will be so relieved to finally be able to put this job behind us.  It's one we have been seriously dreading and have put off for nearly five years but it feels really good to be nearing the finish line.  I can't wait!

See you soon (in a week or so, hopefully) with the big reveal.



Wednesday, August 19, 2015

BUBS' ROOM...THE LAST FRONTIER...

Howsa everyone!!  I got the chance to snap a few pics over the past few days so I decided to share with you today what I have been up to this week.

Mainly I have been tackling the last frontier in our house...the Bubs' room. Dun, dun, dun!! It's a room that I have needed to do something with for a LONG time.  We painted it in our school colors (black and gold) shortly after moving in...at the bubs' request, of course...








But that's as far as it got, mainly because we I really didn't have a solid design plan for it then, and other things took precedence. You know how that goes, right? Besides, I really didn't care for how it was turning out...can anyone say BRIGHT...(plus the Little Tikes car bed from his old room was so not doing it for me here...hehehe) so I just decided to ignore it for a while (for like almost 5 years)....you know, hoping that it would all go away because I really didn't feel like messing with it at that point.  Huh, now you see a side of me I have never shown you before...that I don't care, I'm not dealing with it anymore side!!

Anyway, since we are going to be refinishing the floors starting this weekend, I wanted to get all the painting in the house done as I don't want to take the chance of dripping any paint on the new floors...cause you know how messy a painter I am.  Hahaha.  Needless to say I have been painting pretty much non stop for the past few weeks.  Ceilings, crown, window frames, door jams, etc., etc. The one place left to tackle was bubs' room.  Oh dread!!!  Basically ever surface, doors, trim, everything needed a fresh coat of paint but I needed a design plan so I could decide what color everything needed to be.  The bubs wanted blue but I was not about to let him pick his own colors again!!  So, I turned to Google and Pinterest for inspiration because I know I can always find something I love like these gorgeous boys rooms...




































After looking around I decided that I wanted to go with a vintage industrial feel to the room (as if you couldn't tell) and I also want to add in some of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball stuff that bubs wants. Something like this...








Once all that was decided I picked my paint colors.  White for the trim, which I already had, and Mindful Gray (Sherwin Williams) for the walls.  I tackled the trim, doors and black stripes first with primer and then paint but I'm thinking I should've started with the walls.













My edger was sloppy and I had to do a lot of fussing with everything...UGH... but I got it all done and it looks great...











With that, we are now ready to start tackling the floors.  Once they are done I can get started on the fun part of doing this room...THE DECOR.  As you can see, bubs already has a three drawer chest of drawers that I will be transforming for the space and I also found a few things at a local flea market for it the other day...




Now I just need to find a bed, a desk, light fixture.....Can't wait!!

So that's where we are.  We will be starting to move all the furniture out of the house tomorrow night so that the floors can be cleared and cleaned for sanding to begin on Monday. I hope to be able to get a few moments to take pictures to keep you all up-to-date on our progress but I don't know if that will be possible. We will be living in my SIL's camper until everything is done.

PLEASE pray for us that we can do this job and do it well. Any kind of screw up will cost us a lot of money we don't have to fix and truthfully I am pretty worried about it. This will be the biggest, hardest and most expensive job to date, besides painting the exterior of the house, that we have ever attempted. We seriously need your prayers.  Thanks!!!



Thursday, August 13, 2015

WE'RE (SLOWLY) MAKING PROGRESS...

Well hello. I bet you didn't think you would hear from me so soon since I told you I was going to be taking a little blogging break so that we could practically repaint everything in the entire house and give the hardwood floors an overhaul.  So yes, I am posting a lot sooner than I thought I would...not because we are done with everything...but because I stole a moment to take a couple pictures.  Not very good pictures mind you...but pictures just the same.  Besides, I wanted to do a short post just to share what I have gotten accomplished in the last week or so...and so you don't feel like I've completely abandoned you through this whole process.

I won't lie, progress has been SLOWWWW.  Besides going to work and church and open house at bub's school, you know the normal things, we have had a few extra things come up that have kind of hindered us from making the kind of progress we would like to have made...things like the motor on the central air unit going out (we had no air conditioning for 2 days...thank God it was only in the mid 80's those days), the battery on the riding lawn mower gave up the ghost and the main electrical breaker on the house went bad...yeah, that ALL happened in the past week and a half...All those things had to be fixed or given attention to before we could go on with anything else...OHHH HAPPY DAYS and OHHH MY ACHING POCKET BOOK!!!

Nevertheless, we did manage to get a few of things checked off our list and it's looking like we will be able to stay on schedule.  The hubs is still working on getting the basement cleaned up, coated and sealed.  He should be done by the end of next week with all that...I HOPE!!  It seems he's a lot slower than I am on these types of things...hehehe!

In the meantime, I have painted FIVE ceilings (and made repairs to two of them), painted crown molding in the living room and dining room, primed and painted the fireplace mantel and primed all the trim and a door by the back entryway.  WHEW!  Did I say I was tired?  Oh yes, I am very tired, and SORE, and the good news...I have a ton more painting to do.

Here's a few side by side comparisons so you can see the difference that the fresh white ceiling and trim paint has made in the living room and dining room.






It looks so much brighter and cleaner, doesn't it? The power of paint never ceases to amaze me!!







Next up, I will be putting two coats of paint on the trim by the back entryway, priming and painting the walls, doors and trim in bubs' room, and the window at the top of the stairs...then we can start clearing out the furniture...in the ENTIRE house...so we can refinish the hardwood floors throughout...Did I mention I was ALREADY tired?  Oh my goodness, PLEASE pray for me!!!

Until next time, enjoy life and don't work as hard as I am....save your pennies and HIRE A CONTRACTOR to do it all for you!!! Hehehehe.



Tuesday, August 4, 2015

THE YARDSALE WAS A TOTAL SUCCESS...AND WHAT'S COMING NEXT...

Hello. If you missed my last post then you missed seeing how much of a hoarder I have become.  I had pile(s) of stuff everywhere that was going into a yard sale. The good news, all those piles sold on Saturday!  Seriously we nearly sold out!! I just have a few items left that I am going to be putting in my SIL's yard sale this coming Saturday.  I'm so thrilled to be RID of all that stuff.

In other news, I am sad to say that I will probably be taking a little blogging break. We (the hubs and I) will be working on some pretty MAJOR projects over the next month or so and I just don't think I will get the time to take any in process pictures. We are scraping, sealing and coating the basement...the WHOLE thang.  I know...BORING...but it has to be done!  I will be painting ceilings, crown molding, another 40 miles of trim, the fireplace and bubs' room...the painting never ends here...SHEESH.  I am also giving our downstairs bathroom somewhat of a makeover with yet more paint and this Tapis Gray faux grasscloth wallpaper...







So sophisticated!! It's the perfect shade of gray for my house and I think I am going to use it to line the back of our built-in bookshelves in the living room too...

AND, the BIGGEST project of all and one that we will be tackling in the next couple of weeks, is refinishing the hardwood floors...in the ENTIRE house...Ohhhh my aching body!!!!

We are going to have to sand everything down to bare wood. Since there are a few water stains in the wood that will not be able to be removed and especially since I don't want to mess with stain because of the issue of overlapping marks, we will be ebonizing the wood with a steel wool and vinegar solution.  I hope our floors turn out as good as Sara's from Handmade Sanctuary did...

Here's hers...




GORGEOUS, right?  Wish me luck and say a few MANY prayers for us.  We have never tackled a job like this before.

You might ask why we are doing all of this so quickly.  I will tell you why later but the main reason is because the hubs is ready for it to happen and I am not about to stop progress.  Hahaha.

I hope we can get all of it done lightning quick so I can get back to posting soon. You know I will share pictures as soon as I can!!



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