Revived Wood Floors

Backing it up a bit, remember way back when we got the drywall done and we were all like “No need for a drop cloth, we’re getting new floors, yay!”?

And then we didn’t get new floors… Yeah that was fun…

So we spent a super fun Sunday night scrubbing the hardwoods like Cinderella with a scratchy sponge, water with a little dish soap and a razor to get off all of the paint and drywall bits all while mumbling that this could have been avoided if we just put down a $5 drop cloth. Once that was done, we still had some projects to do before sealing the floors, so they sat semi-clean for about a week.

Finally, this weekend we felt like we were ready to seal the floors. Before we started, we needed to patch up one area near the basement door. I am assuming the previous owners had some type of area rug or mat in front of the door and used that rug tape to keep it from slipping. Except the rug tape will not budge, so we needed to take more drastic measures, like sanding the floors down and re-staining.

To start, I sanded the 3 lines with my hand sander and 150 grit sandpaper:



Then I just used a paper towel and some Golden Oak stain to fill in the sanded areas:


Not perfect, but definitely better!

We were finally ready to start sealing. We cleared out the room and swept up all loose debris/dog hair. Then we used some basic hardwood floor cleaner and a swiffer to clean the floors really really well. This is what we were left with:


Next, we used this Magical product¬†in High Gloss to seal. You start by making big “S” shapes, and then wipe on using a micro-fiber swiffer/mop head.


I mopped us right out of the house, kept a baby gate up to keep the dog contained, and we went out to lunch. By the time we got back, we applied the second coat. It only needs an hour to dry before walking on and 2 hours before a second coat. Tonight I will start moving furniture back in, but for now, look at these glorious floors:



And just for kicks, a little side by side action:


This week is a short week since we’ll be in NY for Thanksgiving, but was able to paint the crown moulding and door moulding last night. The goal is to be done by this weekend. I am pushing right in to decorating for Christmas, so there will be no real before an after without Christmas decorations, but ’tis the season, so whatever ūüôā


Crown Moulding and Small Projects

In the past week, we have completed a bunch of small projects, one big project and shopped for furniture in the room. I am going to break it up in to 2 posts, one today and one tomorrow! Honestly, we are getting projects done faster than I can write them up, which is obviously great for real life, but not great when you’re trying to document everything!

Starting with the last big project in this room, we installed the crown moulding in the Living Room last Sunday! We use a mitre saw and nail gun which makes crown moulding install go very quickly. We finished this room in about 2 hours.



I was able to caulk it yesterday (Sunday) and will be trying to paint it tonight. Also, we were able to get the moulding around the closet doors and basement door, as you can see partially in the above picture. That needs to be painted too.

Another project that got done was building a column around the light/electrical near the front door. I didn’t take a good before picture, but you can see in the below pic, that there were wires and the light switches for the exterior and interior lights that needed to be enclosed. We decided to go with a wood column.


To build the column, I just cut 3 pieces of wood to size and glued and nailed them together. I did need to rip down one piece to fit as needed and jigsaw a box for the light switches to fit.




I also patched the wood in the floors near the entry from when we demo’d the entry wall a few weeks ago:


Both the floors and the column got stained with Golden Oak and got crown moulding installed at the top.


I still need to grab a piece of moulding to clean up where the column meets the wall.

Picking back up where we left off last week, we grouted the tiled entry way with black grout. Black grout looks great, but is kind of pain since you really need to clean the tiles very well to make sure none of the grout sticks around on the tile or stains any surrounding area. Here’s the tile all done:


I used some 409 to shine up the tiles after about an hour of dry time for the grout. I still need to paint the entry step black (the maroon area at the bottom of the picture), and we are getting a new marble step to fit the full entry. Since we removed the wall to the right of the entry, the current marble step doesn’t fit anymore, it needs to be about 4 inches longer. The new one is on its way!

That’s it for today! I’ll be back to tomorrow to show you the magical product that brought our floors back to life and all the new fun stuff we bought to start making this area livable!


Tile for Days

Last week and this weekend we were able to get so much done. I can really see the finish line on this Living Room! We still have a few more days of work ahead of us, but we should be moving furniture in by the end of this week!

Today’s post we can review all of the tile from last week! There were 2 areas that needed tiling, the fireplace surround and the entry way floor. We used the same method for both tile jobs. Since we were installing small, mosaic tiles, we could use the same tools and grout, saving some money on both projects.

We started with the fireplace. We had already framed the surround area to allow for the gas insert to fit based on the spec sheet. The first step was to measure and cut backer board that will act as the base for the tile. Collin cut the backer board with a razor. Once he was done, we secured the backer board to the framing.


Next, we used a notched trowel to apply pre-mixed mortar to the backer board. We made sure to apply to small areas so that we could mount the tile without it drying out.


(Check out that sweet cut off Petco tee – ¬†I’m basically a fashion designer too)¬†

We used this tool as needed to cut any tile to fit the edges. It took about an hour to finish the fireplace surround. Here is what it looked like before grout:


We came back to that area Thursday night to grout. We mixed the black grout and applied it using a grout float. After a few minutes, we used a sponge to wipe it off and clean the tile. Here is the end result:


Saturday, it was back to more tile. We decided to use small hexagon tiles for the entry way to keep with the age of the home. The house was built in 1905, so it was important that the entry tile reflected that. BUT, we wanted to modernize it a little to go with the rest of the house. I picked up a few sheets of the Hex tile and played around for a few days to get the pattern I wanted. Once I decided I loved it, I used the same method as above to tile the entry way floor. Since the tile there was stable, not chipped and flat, we could lay the new tile right over top.


I removed the white tiles from the sheet where I wanted to add black tiles. Here are some final pictures of the tile being laid. We still need to grout, hoping to finish that today.




Later this week I’ll have updates on the column we built, crown molding install and patching and sealing the floors.

Mantel Love and Flooring Update

We went to New York for a few days this past weekend for Collin’s birthday. Although driving back and forth to NY multiple times a year gets a little tiring, we have found that we basically make all major life decisions in the car. And while Collin would love to just listen to the radio and zone out, I whip out a notepad and can plan anything from annual finances to house reno in the 4 hour trip (#TypeA).

On this particular trip, we were chatting about the next house steps and other major projects coming up. Initially, we were planning on replacing all of the floors throughout the first floor to make the whole house consistent. We would be going from wood floors in pretty good condition, but not the color we like, to wood floors in great condition. After calculating the costs and seeing that it would push purchasing furniture and bathroom reno’s out a few months, we decided to hold off on the new floors for now.

This causes a new issue: we didn’t put down any drop cloths during drywall since we were planning on replacing the floors <– Major Fail! Here is the floors as of last week:


That is a mixture of drywall, fallen ceiling paint and dust.

When we got back to Baltimore Sunday night, we decided to take an hour and see if we could clean the floors up to being presentable again. With just some soap, water and a scrubby sponge we were able to get the majority of the gunk up. We also went in with a razor to scrape up any paint drips or stubborn drywall. I finished by using a hardwood floor cleaner to clean the floors. This weekend, after we do more work, we will reseal the floors using this product. We have used it before with great results.

Yesterday, I headed over to Second Chance. It is a local warehouse that sells reclaimed wood, furniture, appliances, pretty much anything you can think of, but second-hand. I knew they would have a great piece of wood I could turn in to a mantel.

After 10 minutes, this beauty was all mine:


Here it is all mounted:


Close Up:


They did require that I purchase the whole piece (12 Feet), so I have another 6 feet that I can find something to do with. But this was probably the best $38 I ever spent.

I have finally started ordering some things for the room (rug, chandelier, blinds) and this weekend will be jam packed with projects.

I’ll leave you with my to-do list to get this room complete:

– Baseboards

–¬†Crown Moulding

–¬†Tile Entryway

–¬†Tile Around Fireplace

–¬†New Column near door to enclose light switches

–¬†Closet and Basement Door Moulding

– Furniture!