4th of July Weekend Work

Thankfully, it was a rainy 4th of July Weekend, or I would have felt guilty that we did nothing 4th of July related. At this point, 3 day weekends are the most valuable for getting things done around the house. So, we made some major changes Sunday and Monday.

Last post (Saturday, 7/2), we left off with the room sanded and ready for paint. Going out Saturday night was super fun, we were sluggish to say the least on Sunday morning, but the show must go on… Sunday Collin finally had off. We started with our usual trip to Home Depot for paint and closet doors.

1st up, Closet Doors! I wanted French Style doors, but didn’t want to pay the price for custom size. So after a bit of googling, I figured out we can make Bi-fold doors in to French Doors!

To start, take regular Bi-fold doors that are the size of your opening (in our case – 36″). Remove the Hinges in the middle that make them fold. and install using hinges on the outside:







There was one door that was a little snug, so Collin used a Planer to shave a bit of the edge off:



(I swear – he does OWN shirts)

The end Result:


Next Up: Paint!

I took exactly zero picture of us painting, but the general gist was Collin rolls the ceiling while I watch and supply drinks. Then I use the brush to cut in on the edges of the walls and corners while Collin rolls the wall paint.

We were done by 5 PM Sunday with paint, cleaned up a bit and (you guessed it), went out to dinner, again. The eating out thing is getting old, but I am too exhausted to cook and clean…

Monday Collin had work, so I decided I was perfectly capable of re-doing the floors on my own.

Before I could start the project, I needed to decide on stain color. I had bought some samples, so I sanded down an area of the floor that I knew would be under the bed, and tested some colors. I’m so glad I did, because I ended up choosing a different one then originally wanted. Here are the samples:


I ended up choosing the middle one (English Chestnut). It is almost identical to the far left (Provincial) but a little more red. I though that would go with the character and time period of this 1901 home better.

After I was set with color, I started the day with my morning trip to Home Depot for supplies and to rent an Orbital Floor Sander.

To sand the floors, you start with a really low grit paper (40 Grit) on the orbital sander. This will take off the majority of the current finish and stain:


The orbital sander is heavy and is a crazy ab workout, but once you get the hang of it you can move quickly.

Don’t forge the edges:


All Done:

IMG_0772 (1)

You need to repeat this process 2 more times, moving up in Grit of Sandpaper (60 Grit, 100 Grit).

Once finished, employ your bestie to come over and help 🙂

Next step is pre-stain. Supposedly, pre-stain opens the pours of the wood to accept stain more evenly. I have not tested this theory, but I am too scared not to use it.

One person can do the edges and the other rolls on the pre-stain.


Don’t forget the booties (no Dust or lint allowed in the room!)


Pre-Stain done!

It looks nice, but it will dry in to the wood, so don’t be fooled it will stay like this!

A half an hour later, you can start with the stain. When you apply the stain, it is going to go on darker and glossier then expected. Apply small areas at one time, start with edges and wipe on stain. Wait 10 minutes then use a clean rag to wipe off:


Apply, then wipe off:


Remember to only work at arms length, you will need to be able to reach to wipe off.

All Done:


Now, it needed time to dry before the Polyurethane Coat, so, dinner and drinks it is.

We got home around 8 PM and had to get back in to work mode to finish the first coat of Poly. The process is the same as the stain, first edge then roll, except you do not wipe off during Poly. Just apply and ensure it is not streaky or bubbly. It should have a nice smooth finish.

Collin and I were able to get this done by 9 and watch the Fort McHenry fireworks out the window of the guest room by 9:30.

Collin didn’t have work until later in the day Tuesday morning, so he got up early, returned the rented sander and applied a second coat of Poly.

The plan is for me to apply the final coat tonight after work – Sanding with a 300 grit sandpaper in between coats to get rid of air bubbles, then wiping with a tack cloth to make sure their is NO dust in the room or on the floors.

Once the final coat is on, the floor needs 3 days to cure before we put furniture on it, so the waiting game begins!




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