Out with the Old, In with the New!

It is thrilling to stop all the de-constructing and tossing, and finally add something of our own. It is fresh, new and clean. It is ours.

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Okay. It’s just subfloor. But I want to dance all over it. Stand back, y’all. But that’s not all we’ve accomplished on this 4 day “vacation” of ours. We also removed some hardwood in the living room to make space for our future seating nook.

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Bold. Bold to remove the hardwood. After that, we rented an electric stapler with 1″ staples to lay down our first subfloor. My dad supplied an air compressor. While Kevin cut subfloor to size, I stayed inside and stapled everything down. 1,700 staples later, that floor isn’t going anywhere.

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Fun drinking game: take a shot every time our Rigid Wet/Dry Vac photobombs. What’s next? The trim on the windows needs to get a healthy dose of paint. We have to spackle up some damaged areas first though.

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I have an extreme distaste for badly stained wood. I simply CANNOT wait.

Knock on Wood…

…because we now have about 800 square feet of it sanded, cleaned, and polyurethaned. And it only took a month! Phew, don’t ask us to that again anytime soon!

It started off as a dark, spotty, orange-colored floor and we FINALLY have the much lighter result. There are wood floors in the living room, hallway and both bedrooms. Here’s a before (in the living room):

And an after!

Keep in mind, this photo is very much “in progress”. The layout is not even close to how we want it, we’ve just been tossing furniture and computers wherever for the time being. We also have to install new trim, finish spray-painting the windows white, get some new vent covers, buy a new ceiling fan and find some art to hang up on those naked walls. And that’s just the beginning of our growing list. Onto the story of the floors.

On July 23, we closed on this home sweet home and the very first thing we did (after laughing like crazy people repeating “We bought a house! We actually did it!”) was roll up to the house with our new keys, a toolbox and some snacks. After snapping some photos, we grabbed a few crowbars started tearing that trim off the wall, often taking plaster with it. Oops. Disappointment #1.

The old trim was not up to the task of being pried off the wall either. It cracked and snapped in far too many areas to be reused. We ended up hammering down the exposed nails and storing it in the garage to be safely disposed of at another time. Disappointment #2. We still had our happy faces on though. There is very little that can kill the buzz of buying your first home! Finishing up the trim took about 2 days. And then we cleaned.

Once that was finished and out of the way, we figured we would go ahead and rent a drum sander to (hopefully!) pull up that ugly color on the floors. So, we Kevin hauled it into our car and we got it home and plugged it in. The noise it made was something like this: GGGGZZZZZZZZZZZCCCCCCHHHHH-bang! We had it running for all of 4 seconds, and it broke. I caught an amazing picture of Kevin giving it the first try while a piece of sandpaper flew off the drum and hit the wall.

Disappointment #3. We gave it a few more tries and then gave up. The local hardware store that we rented it from looked it over and told us the sad news that a rather important piece inside the machine was bent. They offered us a different machine, but unfortunately we had wasted too much of the day to get anything else done (which was a real bummer because we had both requested off work to get everything complete that day). After I had a mini-meltdown, the store gave us a full refund, but the ordeal halted our project for about a week until we had another full day to work on it. Disappointment #4.

Once things started back up again, we jumped back into action and got a new sander. It went much more smoothly. We spent the weekend finishing up EVERY SINGLE PLANK of wood in the house. Because of the age of the wood (and quality of installation all those years ago) there were quite a few spots that need to be sanded by hand or with a belt sander. Oh, if you ever do this yourself, definitely where a mask and turn off your air system. You will have wood dust everywhere, and I mean everywhere. But just LOOK at that beautiful blonde result. Simply stunning… I don’t know why you would ever stain over it!

We finished touching up the problem areas that weekend and started working on our “Oops” moment. The plaster! We bought a few buckets of drywall compound (which is the consistency of sticky, wet sand) and used a trowel to patch over where the old trim had been.

After it had sufficient dry time, we hand-sanded it down the level of the walls. Then we vacuumed (we sure got some use out of that new Shop Vac!). After this point, my camera got lost in the shuffle of moving and I missed the opportunity to capture us putting down 4 coats of water-based polyurethane (a protective finish). We elected to NOT use stain on the floors because we were so in love with the natural color, and we are so happy we went with our instincts. It’s perfect!

Okay, time to sign off for the evening. I’ll be back with more fun projects soon!

xo,

Char