Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Floor is done!!!

I was beginning to feel like we'd never be able to set aside a weekend to sand and shellac the family room floor. But I whined to my husband enough that we managed to clear our schedules and rent the sanders to work on it. Refinishing is not fun. But it is so very nice to move the furniture back into a room after so long. I might not have felt that same elation if we had gone from project conception to completion in 3 days. (Okay, I might be rationalizing a little here. I'm pretty good with the rationalizations-- I like to stay with my strengths).

Here's the floor before we started the sanding. I had stripped most of the old carpet adhesive off the floor prior to this weekend, as I really didn't want anyone breathing 20-yr-old adhesive dust. I'm glad I did that step. Even so, it was a giant mess. Our shop vac got a real workout. Thank the heavens for 3 mil. plastic and tape. At least I was able to spare the rest of the house from the dust by sealing off the doorways.
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This is my husband, doing the first pass with the sander. We started with a 45-degree angle, as the boards were cupped in spots. Not too bad, though, considering the floor spent its first few years as a porch (we think). It was clear, however that there was never any varnish on this floor. No one gots pictures of me working the edge sander or the belt sander ot the sanding block-on-a-pole, but I did lots of sanding too. We were both thoroughly sore after all that.
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After all the sanding was done, there were still several dark spots and stains. I assume those were courtesy of the pets who have called this place home over the years. I tried bleaching one of the spots, but it was pretty obvious that the stains weren't going to go without a hell of a fight. So we decided to call them "provenance" and leave them. The room will be filled with furniture anyway -- so we'll just plop things on top of the worst spots. I like to cheat like that.
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And here is the "after" shot. We covered it with 2 coats of 2-lb. cut of amber shellac, then a third coat of 3-lb. clear. I am in love with the color that the shellac gave the pine.
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Why shellac you ask? Well, I didn't want to use polyurethane--it's too toxic, and I also wanted something renewable. So, inspired by This Old Crackhouse and Life in the Prairie Box, I decided to give it a whirl. I'm rather in love with it. I hope it is durable enough for our family. It's a pretty "rustic" floor, so absolute perfection isn't really expected (or needed, either).

I learned lots of things about floors and floor machines and shellac through this process. I'll try to get to those lessons very soon. Right now, I need to go move everything backinto the room. Our reupholstered furniture is coming home on Thursday, so I have lots to do to be ready.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Next step, window treatments

I finally finished the wallpaper in the dining room, but now am stuck for curtain ideas. The window seat will be recovered with a coordinating fabric in the very near future.
It's a South-facing window, so I probably need some way to block sunlight in the afternoons, but in general I prefer to let the light stream in as much as possible. I am not a fan of miniblinds (is anyone actually fond of them, I wonder), but they do seem to be the most readily available these days. I love the look of the bamboo matchstick blinds, but in my experience they still let a lot of eye-blinding light through on super-sunny winter afternoons. I'm toying with the idea of a valance and cafe curtains, but maybe full-length sheers might be nice too. Too many options, and I'm horribly picky. If you are reading this and have an idea, please let me hear it!
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Monday, October 09, 2006

My name is Robin, and I am addicted to

mistinted paint. I just love that table piled with cans of "oops" paint that employees screwed up, or that customers did not want. I have a basement full of it. Sure I have projects lined up for almost all of it, but who know when I'll get to any of those.

But I can really justify yesterday's score. I found a gallon of exterior house and trim paint that is almost exactly my planned color for my front door. For $5, I coudn't not buy it, right? It's a good thing that I was still carrying around that batch of paint chips in my purse, huh? (My messy purse is a topic for another time and blog.) I might not got to the door until spring, but I am ready for the task when the mood strikes me.