Monday, December 29, 2008

Oy Gevalt

We are racing around the clock to finish hanging a new sheet rocked ceiling, scrape wall paper and dismantle the closet in the guest bedroom. Next Monday we are getting our upstairs floors professionally sanded! We will be doing the guest bedroom, office and hallway. I found the contractor through another blogger on here. His prices are very inexpensive and he's the only person I've met yet who I'd trust in my house without me being there.

It will be nice to walk on the floors without having my feet feel dirty even after I've just washed the floors. We were planning on sanding the floors ourselves but I'm going to leave this one to the pros. We have quite a few repairs that need to be done on the floors and I just want it done correctly. I just don't want another large dreadful project. Luckily he will be able to have the floors done within 3 days.

I also ordered 2 new roller shades for the dining room. Who knew shades could be so expensive? I spent $286 on two of them- custom of course, and that's the best price I found. They are going to look really great! I can't wait to get rid of our smoke yellow shades that currently adorn our windows. I guess we'll just have to get 2 at a time. I'm having trouble finding good colors in for shade fabric. Most manufacturers have limited and boring colors. =(

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Almost Ready For the Holidays

The stair are complete! The trim is back on the baseboards and it all just looks amazing. I am so happy this is complete, and what a great result! We also got our Christmas tree up. It still needs a skirt but I'm having a tough time pay $40 for something that will probably just get peed on. I think we may just use pee pads for a skirt this year ;)
There is a little dust on the stairs from putting the trim back up.
Doesn't it look great? This will be my last post about the stairs I just wanted everyone to see the photos of our victory one last time- complete! Oh yeah, check out my favorite comparison yet.
What a difference!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Getting the homestead ready

We are almost finished with the stairs. The stairs themselves are complete. This weekend we finished the trim that goes right above the base molding. That should be up tonight! We also did alot of cleaning. We have my family Christmas this Saturday and Quentin's over Christmas. We made the guest room functional again so that there is a spare room. I have been soo busy with the house and decorating that I haven't even bought 1 single Christmas gift yet. Yikes- I better get on that.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Does anyone know where I can get quality roman shades in Minneapolis without spending $200 per shade? JC Penneys is supposed to be cheap but they are still about $150 per shade for what we want. Target doesn't have a color selction other than your basic crayola box colors. Grr... After all is said and done I may just open up my own affordable roman shade shop. This is ridiculous.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

they're done- almost

Finally!!! That took up about the last 2 months of my life. But they are done and they look amazing. Just 3 more coats of poly on a few of the stairs. In case you forgot what the stairs looked like before we began here is a refresher.
Why on earth would we ever refinish such beauty, right?
View from the top
View from the landing

Just a few more coats of poly and they are complete. We decided to stain them a little darker just because the stairs had so many imperfections from all of the staples/scratches. I think they look pretty darn amazing!

Thursday, December 4, 2008


The stairs should be done this weekend and I'll have photos for all of you on Monday!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I just couldn't wait

Lucky for me I got my camera back last night. So I thought I would give all of you a sneak peak at the stairs and some of the work we have done around the house. We are not completely finished with the stairs, but we are binished with most of the molding, windows, baseboards, etc. Here is your teaser photo:
It looks sooo much better.
We still have some of the molding to put back up and some painting to touch up but just look at that color and finish on the wood.

We've also been stripping wood with refinsher in in the dining room.
Here is a before and after:

I spray painted the heat grates. They were a lovely brown before and I sort of antiqued them if you will. I didn't want to spray them silver so that they stuck out like a sore thumb yet I didn't want them to blend right into the wood. They almost look brand new.
It's sorta tough to tall but it makes a difference.

And finally- our newly inulated/ sheet rocked guest bedroom:

Monday, November 24, 2008

Almost Done

On Friday I had the day off and decided to finish the stairs. In 4 miserable hours I got the last of the sanding completed on the stairs! We are almost finished polying the side trim/ banisters/ etc. The stairs we are going to do every other stair and riser so that we don't have to lease the house after we put on stain or poly. They look amazing so far and they aren't even finished. I can't believe that the project is almost over- and thank god for that. I'll post photos once it's complete. Unfortunately I still don't have my camera but plan on getting it back this week. Get ready to be impressed.

Monday, November 17, 2008

More work complete

Last weekend I finished removing stain and poly (more like old motor oil) from the left side of the dining room trim. Tonight I will be putting the final coat of poly on. It was a long tedious process and I think I'll be taking a small break from refinishing wood. Still much better than sanding! Which reminds me, we need to get back to it this weekend and just get those stairs over with once and for all. It's so dreadful. I might just be making it worse than it is though.

Quentin re insulated the walls in the gues bedroom and installed new sheet rock. It looks so good. Next we will be re sheet rocking the ceiling in there- my favorite least favorite thing to do. Oh and the coolest thing- and by far the easiest/ most fun, would be that I sprayed the heting grates in the living room and dining room. I didn't want them to pop so much so I sprayed them an antiques brown color rather than brushed nickel. They look so amazing. Once I get my camera back I'll post some pictures.

Friday, November 14, 2008

What was I thinking

I thought you had to sand old work work to get it smooth and even. Was I ever wrong. I have antique wood refinisher. You take the refinisher dip some steel wool in it and rub in a circular motion on the wood and the old finish comes right off. Look at one of the floor boards I just redid!
And this only has 1 coat of poly on it. It looks so good with 1 coat that we decided to just use 2 coats of poly on the wood we are refinishing this way. It's amazing. The wood is even smoother than the wood we have been refinishing with a sander. This is the way to go people!

Oh we also have been scraping... ahem, I have been scraping all of the wall paper in the guest bedroom. Here is a not so great photo:
Here are the finished windows above the stairs:
What a difference!

And all the while here is Roscoe enjoying the a fire while we work.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

We just can't stop

Starting new projects that is. Last weekend I made a trip out to Home Depot to grab some stuff. During my trip I got some wood refinisher. You use some steel wool and this product and it takes the old finish right off. Last night we did a stretch of baseboard in the dining room. I already put the 2nd coat of stain on this morning. It looks really good! The wood is already condidition so it's not as raw as it usually is with sanding. I can't wait to show you guys pictures. This is what we are doing on the rest of the house. It's going to go so much faster!

Monday, November 10, 2008

We took a break

We took a break from sanding this weekend. We were both just so sick of inhaling and cleaning dust week after week. We finished all of the stain and poly coats on the windows above the stairs and they look really good! We also began stripping the pink/ purple butterfly wallpaper in what used to be the outdated wood paneling room. We pulled out the old gross insulation and reinsulated as well. This weekend we are going to put up some sheet rock and do some hole/ ceiling repair as well. We will also do a little more sanding. Grr.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

This just infuriates me!

Sorry to bring politics into this blog but I am just really sad today. How on earth could groups of people who have been discriminated against and have been fighting for equality their entire lives vote for prop 8? This is disgusting.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Moving along

Last night we finished sanding the windows above the stairs. We put the 1st coat of stain on last night and I put the 2nd coat on this morning before I went to vote- Ambitious, I know. I forgot how much I hate the smell of stain. We are going to have to do this bits and peices at a time because your hands cramp pretty bad while you put it on. Mine do anyway. Here are the photos of before and after on the stain.

Photobucket Stairs
The stain was wet when I took the photo so it looks like it's on there pretty heavy- but I assure you within 6-8 hours it will be ready for it's 1st coat of poly.

After we are done with this... In like 6 months to a year. We will start refinishing the rest of the wood work

PS. These photos are a little large. Just click on them to view the full photo. Oops.

Monday, November 3, 2008

So close

This is now the 3rd weekend we have spent sanding the stairs. Granted we only sand 1 day out of the weekend. That's about all we can handle. We have the stairs and the baseboard and windows near the stairs sanded with the coarse grit. We even bought a paint scraper with a carbide blade to get the corners of the steps that were unreachable with the sander. Now it's time to go back over them with the fine and very fine sand paper next weekend. Hopefully we will be able to get that done in 1 day. That's definately some wishfull thinking but you never know. We would like to get the 1st coat of poly on everything before we leave for Thanksgiving.

I am so happy this project is almost over. We have so much motivation this time compared to when we sanded and stained the buffett. Now we know what we were getting ourselves into and know that the best thing you can possibly do is just keep pushing yourself until the job is done. If you wait and take weekends off you only make the job more dreadful for yourself. That's why alot of people have unfinished projects. I won't be one of those people! I'll have photos of progess for you tomorrow. Get ready to be amazed!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Faster than I thought

After devoting 2 of my entire weekends to sanding the stairs I think we are almost done. We are offically done with the 40 grit sandpaper on the steps and just have a little bit of 60 grit left to do on the trim. In the middle of sanding this weekend my Ryobi sander died on me. I took it into Home Depot and they gave me a new one. Apparently my drive belt broke. I press a little hard on the sander to get more off in less time. I had to break the new one in for an hour or so to get it back up to my standards of sanding =)

Here is what the stairs look like now:

Top of stairs looking down:

Next we'll sand a medium grit, then fine, then very fine. The great thing about the other sand paper is that you're no longer trying to get rid of any imperfections so it goes pretty quick. In fact we might be able to get it all done this coming weekend.

Oh yeah... I'm soooo sick of dust!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fun With Sanding...

So I'm sure you remember the long tedious process in which we recently sanded our massive Buffet. This weekend we just began another awful sanding project- the stairs. I have been dreading this for soooo long. The time has finally to just get them done and over with. This weekend I began working on the stairs and probably put a good 6 or 7 hours in of sanding. The worst part of sanding, besides vibrating hands, dried out sinuses and nausea, is the clean up. I have about 5 stairs left to go so I am almost done with the 40 coarse sand. After I am done with that I'll switch to medium, then fine, then very fine. I am hoping the have the stairs done within 2 more weekends of working on them. The worst part is using the course sand because you and sanding out all of the imperfections/ old stain and you spend about 1/2 hour or so on each step. The good news is that all of the other sand paper we use goes pretty quick!

So our plan is to sand the floors throughout the house with sanding machine before we stain and poly the stairs. Poly for stairs smells so awful that I would prefer to just knock out the entire house over the course of a weekend. Since you can't walk on it and all... Here are the photos of what the stairs use to look like- in case you forgot. I'll post updates tomorrow.
Not only do I have to sand these steps, but I also have to sand the landing and more steps to the right of that. *sigh

Monday, October 13, 2008

Workin it.

Last weekend we got quite a bit done on our front sun porch. We finished sanding the front door. We stained it pretty dark (ebony). We wanted it darker than our interior stain so that the front door really sticks out, on the exterior. We also sanded, and decided to just paint, the door frame and the window frame. It looks really good. All of the paint stripping really paid off. Although it was pretty tedious and time consuming. We still have alot of paint stripping to do around the windows and of course the bead board ceiling, which I will be staining- not painting. That should be a blast.

I didn't get a chance to take these until last night so they are a little dark. What do you think?
Otherwise we rehung pictures in the dining room and it made a huge difference. I got a really cool plant that fills some space in there too. Now I just need to get a center peice for the dining room table and some window treatments and blinds and we're all set.
I can't wait for Christmas. I can wait for the cold though.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

New dining chairs

We didn't really have too much time for any projects this weekend. We went up to the cabin this weekend to take out the dock. All weekend I have been dreaming about these great dining room chairs that I saw last week. After going to check them out again we realized that the chairs I liked might be better accent chairs. The previous chairs we had were your basic Ikea chair- completely uncomfortable. We went to Odds and Ends and found these slingback chairs for $79/ chair- that's a steal. I'm not 109% sure of them- just like everything else that I paint or buy. I just really wish that I was 100% sure of them.

What do you guys think?


Here is the view where I think they just look really big- Almost like mad hatter chairs. Am I crazy? I might be obsessing a bit.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Here are the photos of the almost completely wood paneling free guest room. There is a lovely lavendar butterfly wallpaper that covers the walls. The other wall near the window has no sheet rock but is insulated which is good. I'm wondering if we should bother to reinsulate the walls?


Although it looks a little scary it feels so much bigger. I think the wood panleing was just a little bit scarier than this. Now people won't be so afraid to sleep in this room once we get a few minor things done.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I'm offically beat!

Last weekend we were very productive. Maybe too productive if there is such a thing. We started our weekend off by sanding the front door and starting to sand the trim around the windows (this is on the front sun porch). I started caulking around windows to prepare for this extremely cold winter that we are being told about (can't wait!). Then, on Sunday, we decided it was time to start gutting the guest bedroom. We are redoing the hard wood floors and I just really want the major demolition to be finished before so that we aren't dragging this stuff through the house.

So here are the only before photos I could find. These are from the day we got our keys to the place:

Don't you love those great built in dressers? Hahah. I think wood paneling was the cheap easy way for guys to 'refinish' a room back in the 70's.

here is another random:

All of the wood paneling and dropped ceiling along with tiles are now gone. I have to take some photos tonight when I get home and I'll post them tomorrow. The room looks soooo much better. Even gutted. Sad.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. We also bought a new light for the office and changed out all of the ourlets so they are clean and white. Well now there is a short somewhere and half the lights are out upstairs. What a friggen mess. TG for my maintenance guy. He's going to stop by tonight.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A little excited.

We had a fun visit with some friends last night, who are also fellow house rehabbers/ bloggers. We had been planning on paying someone to sand and redo our hardwood floors. The upstairs hall and office alone was going to cost $825. A little pricey but it needed to be done. I've never really wanted to tackle a sanding project because I've always been warned I would sand too deep and could really mess up my hard wood. After speaking with them it sounds like this is actually a project that we are going to take on. Not only will we be sanding the office and hall... We will also be resanding the living room and dining room. How ambitious, right?

The only problem is that we won't be able to put the furniture on the floors for about 7 days after sanding, which isn't much of a problem. We'll just have to fins a place to stay for a week. This is going to be a big- FUN- project. I'm excited! The hand sanding of our stairs starts either this weekend or next weekend.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hall paint

The paint in the hall is pretty much done. Just a few touch- ups left here and there. What a long tedious project. I have to take long breaks in between painting rooms. Everything is a mess until it's finished. Here's what the hall looks like now.
PhotobucketSorry- these photos were taken at night time. It's a wee bit dark.

This is where the closet was ripped out:
The color is a continuation from the living room/ hall. I could have picked something sooo much cooler but I really have a tough time with picking colors. I think it looks pretty good. The floors are just driving me nuts now. We have these great finished walls and these ugly paint splatted, worn floors. November or early December they WILL be done. That means we start sanding the stairs next week. Yay- Can't wait (a little sarcastic).

We stripped paint off the porch windows this weekend. I've come to find that citrus stripper works so much better and faster than a heat gun. It's alot safer on or around glass as well. We'll hopefully sand that area while we work on the stairs. Who know- maybe not.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Office paint

The office paint is complete. I'm not a huge fan of the color. It's a little hard to tell from these photos, but it's a light gray with a hint of blue to it. What I really need now is some color in this room and black accents. I'm torn on what color to do in here. Maybe rust? I need to get to work with my colored pencils and play with a few different ideas.


Now I'm not complaining by an means. This color is soooo much better than the electric jean blue that used to cover the walls. The floors are next on the list to redo so I am excited about that being right around the corner! Can you imagine this color with some light natural smooth flooring. I'm excited.


We'll soon be building a new desk. I really don't even like the desk in this location, however, this is about the only spot for it. This room has all of the furniture I'm not too fond of. Eventually everything in this room is going to be replaced and upgraded.


The new desk will be built over this weird hump next to the window. It's the ceiling of the stairwell beneath it. Then the room and space will be more functional. Somebody please sign me up for a room makeover show.

I'll have some photos of the upstairs hallway once we are finsihed cutting in this weekend. I'll be happy to be done with this project. Whew~!

Monday, September 15, 2008

The speed of light

Not only did we prime the walls in the office last weekend, we also got both coats of semi gloss paint on the trim, the office painted and the hallway painted. We just have 1 more coat to do on the hall. I can't wait to post the photos- it looks amazing!

Once we are finished with this we are going to start sanding the stairs. We're both dreading this project. There is something about working with a sander that drys out your sinuses, eyes and makes you feel a little crummy over all. It's called saw dust. I'm just so happy that the steps will be done soon and we can enjoy them rather than dread them. We have come so far!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

This project seems to be going on forever

Last night I worked on the hallway and office from 5:30pm to 9:30pm. Did I mention I went home on my lunch break to roll out the first coat of paint on the ceilings? Ha ha ha. I just want this project finished so bad. It will bring some normalcy back to our lifes. I'm tired of looking at those walls and having dust and paint all over my feet every time I walk down them.

Last night I primed the hall walls as well. No more yellow glue walls! I also got ambitious and started painting the woodwork semi gloss white. The wood work was already painted and wasn't worth stripping. Maybe the next person will be ambitious enough to strip them.

Here is our progress:
Photobucket Image Hosting

Photobucket Image Hosting

Photobucket Image Hosting
Photobucket Image Hosting
Here are the painteds ceilings in the office. Not as overwhelming as the floor to ceiling blue. We should have the hall painted by this weekend and the office should be primed.