Those *&%$# hardwood floors

We sanded and sanded and sanded for 12 hours. Then I spent 3 days putting on polyurethane/ stain mixture (which is quite a bit more labor intensive than just a clear poly), each time it took at least 4 hours. In between coats 2 and 3 I noticed some places that were terribly rough on the floors, rough like 60 grit sandpaper rough. Due to not having a car at the house and being all alone without the proper tools I hand sanded 2 of the rooms. And did I mention it was 90 degrees with no air conditioning or fans.

Then after the 3rd coat and before the 4th and final coat (which was determined by the fact that I was leaving on vacation the following day and the whole reason we did the floors this week was so they could sit and cure while we were on vacation) I found many more rough spots and decided that the floors really needed to be buffed out.

So on the day before vacation I rented a buffer and attempted to buff out the floors, really this is better watched than read about:

Sorry about the screenshot of my arse on this video:

And finally Dan showing me how its done. When I called him and said, “how the $#%^ am I supposed to control this thing!” I’m sure he thought I was just being a wimpy little girl. But he still said he was on his way over to help me. He probably planned to school me on how to get it done. Ha!

The moral of this story, I have no idea… But it sure to hell is not that buffing out floors is an easy job! We used the buffer on Beth’s floor and on the office. In the office it took off a lot of the finish that I had spent 3 days putting down but the floors definitely did feel smoother. Dan returned the buffer and I hand sanded the living room and dining room, hand sanding was a breeze compared to that damn buffer. Then I put on the 4th and final coat, which looked fabulous when it was wet. I’ll have to wait until I return after vacation to really see how it all looks. But no matter what we are done with those damn floors! Of course, I still have that hole in the wall to repair.

Speaking of the hole in the wall, when I returned the unused sanding pads the guy behind the counter asked me how it went. Ha! I explained to him exactly how it went and he said, “Yeah, if ya don’t know what you’re doing it’s impossible to use.” Again feeling like my gender was predisposing me to not being able to use this damn machine, I explained that my husband who used to do construction for a living also couldn’t use this stupid buffer and that he even put a hole in the wall. To which the guy laughed and said, “Yeah, that’s the joke if ya don’t know what you’re doing you’ll put a hole in the wall.”


The cost of hardwood floors

I have this unrealistic view of construction projects where I just imagine that any job we can do ourselves will be affordable. How much can it cost to sand and redo the floors? We rented 3 sanders, a drum sander, vibration sander, and edger. That wasn’t terribly expensive 3 sanders for 1 day $145. The hidden cost is all the incredibly expensive sandpaper that you have to buy. Thankfully you can return any sandpaper that you don’t use, so the final invoice for rental and sandpaper was $670. Holy shit that is the most expensive sandpaper I have ever heard of!

before sanding:IMG_4478


partial sanding: IMG_4504 IMG_4503

Dan using the drum sander:IMG_4502

the vibration sander:IMG_4505

after sanding, you can still see all the stains:IMG_4507 IMG_4509 IMG_4510 IMG_4511 This is Beth’s room, her floors looked the best after sanding. This was the color I wanted to keep by using a white wash or pickling stain, but we weren’t able to do that after all, it was gonna add quite a bit to the cost and add extra time, so we had to nix it.IMG_4513

We originally planned on staining all the floors to make them a very dark wood, hoping that would help cover all the pet statins that were left behind even after 12 hours of sanding. But Home Depot didn’t have and dark stain in stock and after talking to the employee she said that the dark stain would actually make the floor stains stand out even more. I also had read online the dangers of staining floors since it accentuates any screw ups in your sanding job, like when you go across the grain or start and stop in the middle of the room.  We had plenty of spots that we would prefer not to accentuate so we went with a clear polyurethane. 5 gallons of poly cost $170 plus another $15 for applicator pads.

Dan and I worked together putting down the first coat of poly, we originally skipped Beth’s room and just did the office, Daniel’s room, hallway, living room and dining room. For Beth’s room I wanted to keep the floors a lighter white wash or pickled look but after a trial and few mistakes we decided to just go with the same poly as the other rooms.

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A day later I went back to put on my second coat and realized I really did NOT like the color of the floors. They were way too golden and the hundreds of stains looked horrible. So I found a gallon a dark walnut stain out in the garage (left over from the previous hoarder/ owners) and added that to the poly for the second coat. Now I love the floors, it was such an improvement and the stains aren’t nearly as noticeable. Another bonus since we put down a coat of poly first instead of just staining the wood it does not accentuate the mistakes made with the sander.

It is much more difficult to lay the poly/ stain mixture than just the clear poly. Any time you touch the trim you leave a dark smudge and every time you start or stop with the applicator it leaves a line, all that is much more noticeable than it was with the clear. After I finished the first room I thought I was going to quit, it just seemed too difficult. But I took a break to go rent a tiller for the kids to use in the back yard and when I came back the floor I had done dark looked so amazing there was no way I could not do the other floors.

The difference between the natural and the dark:IMG_4533

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Tomorrow I’ll go back and do a 3rd coat again with the stain added to the poly. Once I got in my groove I got much better at laying the stain/ poly mixture so it wasn’t quite so overwhelming. I think a big part of the problem is how toxic smelling it all is and I’m trapped in the closed up house with no fresh air. It’s very stinky!

Total cost to redo the hardwood floors in 5 rooms and a hallway: $855 so far, I have more than enough stain and poly to do at least 2 more coats, so I don’t think there will be any additional expenses. My goodness, I certainly hope not, I didn’t budget this much to redo the floors!

Giant Leap

Today was a huge milestone! We brought home a van load and a truck load of tools. Which means work is winding down at the other house. We had to clear stuff out because tomorrow we start sanding all the hardwood floors. We had planned on that being the last thing we did but with a trip to North Carolina coming up in a week we decided to do the floors now so they would have a week to sit undisturbed while we were out of town.

While we’re polyurethaning the floors next week I’ll still have access to the kitchen so I can get the cupboards painted.

Look at all these empty rooms!

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We also decided to pullout the 2 built in workbenches in the work shop. We just can’t stop the water problem in the basement. This area was really wet and I think moldy too. So Thomas very carefully pulled out this workbench.


And Dan not so carefully dismantled this workbench.IMG_4491

This room really needs a scrub down and some paint.IMG_4492 IMG_4493 IMG_4494

Speaking of Dan he couldn’t resist climbing the phone pole and cutting down some unnecessary wires that were going to our house.This does NOT look safe!

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Antique Trucks

I’ve been wanting an old truck for quite awhile now. I can picture myself driving an awesome old rusty truck going to pick up furniture for my booth or towing my vintage trailer (that I also have been wanting for awhile.)

Well my very sweet husband has been looking for a truck for me and he thought he had found the perfect one. So off to Wapakoneta we headed on Sat morning to test drive it and see if it was everything we hoped it would be. Sadly it was a little too rough for me to drive on a regular basis. And I just don’t think we need another project right now. So we’ll keep looking but maybe for something not quite that old.

But, oh my, she is awfully cute!

1950 Dodge Truck

1950 B series pickup truck

3sp manual
First year of column shift and fluid drive transmission
“Pilot-house” rubber mounted cab with rear quarter windows – rare option for 1950

Runs and drives nice.
Not a rust bucket

What’s Dan been working on?

Dan gets to do all the down and dirty work on the house. Replacing all the electric and plumbing doesn’t make for very exciting pictures but it sure is nice to be able to turn on a light or clean my paint brushes in the utility sink.

Look at that fancy new electric box Dan installed. Much nicer than the old one that was questionable at best.IMG_4448

We’re finally replacing the faucet in the kitchen, this is the last of the plumbing that needs to be replaced.IMG_4438

When Dan was doing the plumbing in the bathroom he debated whether he should remove all the lead pipes or just leave them in. He decided to go ahead and take them out.IMG_4442 And it was a good thing he did because this is what the inside of the pipe looked like. No water was going to get through there, ever! That’s disgusting! IMG_4443 The garage has been very handy for storage and construction. IMG_4444 We’ve almost gotten rid of all the left behind paint cans. I more load to the haz-mat drop off location and we should be done.


Here’s just some of the pipes and wires Dan has taken out of the house that we need to recycle. I can’t wait to see how much money we’ll get for all of it.   IMG_4455


I’m almost done with all the painting. We are hoping to sand the floors this weekend and get several coats of poly on them next week. That will give them time to sit undisturbed while we’re in North Carolina.

The front porch saga…

Besides all the work at the new house we still have plenty of unfinished projects going on at our house. The biggest being the front porch that may never be finished. Last year Dan thought he would pay someone to build our front porch so that it would get done quickly and not be another unfinished project. What is it about us that makes even that fail?

Here’s a recap of the porch since last Oct, yes, 6 months ago, no wait that was 8 months ago…

In October Dan and the boys started tearing off the front porch in anticipation of the builders coming to build our new porch. We had hoped to have the porch built and house sided before winter.


Nov. 6 the frame was started…


Then Nov. 25 a little more was added on…


That was a long day of work. I think at this point we were optimistic that it would still be done before winter set in.


Dec. 4 must have warmed up just enough for a little bit more framing to be completed.


But then it all stalled. The bitterly cold weather rolled in and didn’t leave for many months. In Jan. we finally had our metal roof delivered. Sadly it just sat there for a few more months.


We did have to add a tarp to the porch since Dan was worried about the weather warping all the exposed framing. That tarp was the noisiest thing ever, on a  windy night, right outside our bedroom windows.


At least the snow and below freezing weather kept the mud pit that was our side yard at bay. Once everything melted we had to jump though the mud whenever we were coming or going because, of course, we could not use our front door.


Finally in March Dan couldn’t take the tarp any more and he put up tar paper instead. We also added a few sheets of plywood to the porch so we could use the front door again.


It is now June 5 and the guys have finally returned, hopefully to finish this job. They’ll at least get the floor boards down because we have all the supplies for that. We bought a bunch of great smelling cedar and we even got it all clear coated. They left halfway through but I’m hopeful they’ll return tomorrow!



We’re rounding a corner

After leaving the house the other day Thomas stated rather incredibly, “we’re almost done.” While that’s not quite true I did find it inspiring that we were at a point where that statement could even be made. I’ve been saying for while that this house is killing me. It has been a lot of work, a lot more than I thought it would be in the beginning. And it has been less than helpful for Dan and mine’s relationship. Having 2 houses under construction is a little more than we can handle apparently. I am really looking forward to having my life back. We did not meet our self imposed deadline of the end of May. Hopefully, we will make our new deadline of being done by the time we go to North Carolina. That gives us a little less than 3 weeks! Yikes!

All of the rooms are done being painted minus the kitchen, bath, basement stairwell and Beth’s ceiling. After painting 3 coats of paint on Daniel’s bedroom ceiling he mentioned that he would really like the ceiling to be dark blue. Argh! But I decided to go ahead and do 2 more coats on the ceiling so he could have what he wanted. Did I mention how much I dislike painting ceilings? I also decided to use Frog Tape’s shape tape, to get this zig-zag line. I like the way it looks but what a pain in the butt.

IMG_4366I don’t really love the colors, but I couldn’t stand to paint the room again so this is how it’s staying.IMG_4367 IMG_4365This is the original antique light fixture that was in the room. We took it down, replaced the electrical parts and cleaned it up with just soap and water but oh boy did that change it dramatically! It was brown before the cleaning (I assume from all the nicotine) now it is a really pretty silver.IMG_4368Here’s a before and after of the light fixture:IMG_4313 I also finished the living room and hallway. I love the light gray color. It is hard to find a good gray that doesn’t look too blue.IMG_4361t’s hard to tell with the shadows but it looks really nice witht eh light yellow dining room.

IMG_4360 IMG_4359This is the light that I found at the Springfield antique sale, just a little bit of paint on the base and it looks better than new. I think it looks great in the living room.

IMG_4371This is the hallway closet. I’m so jealous of all the closets in this house. They’re really just  a normal amount of closets but since my house doesn’t have even one closet it seems like a lot.IMG_4370 IMG_4369

Dan has been working hard finishing up all the electric and plumbing and getting the kitchen and bathroom drywalled. I’ll go in today to sand then it will be time to start painting those rooms.  IMG_4372We kept the original tub it just has to be shined up a little bit.

IMG_4363  IMG_4362We’ve also finished power washing the basement and have started painting on the waterproofing paint. The first coat went on yesterday, I wonder how its working against todays rain. Thomas is going to help me pick up another 5 gallons (literally, that stuff is heavy!) of the waterproofing stuff and he’s going to paint a coat on today. After that goes on we should be done with the basement. I had big plans for painting all the walls and floors but I think I’ll just leave the paint and tools and let the kids do it after they move in.IMG_4379 IMG_4376Thomas was right, we are almost done. Thank goodness!