“We Are Better Than the Last Eight Years”

30 08 2008



What I Did On My Summer Vacation – A Timeline in Pictures

17 08 2008

Before and After:

What I Did On My Summer Vacation Volume Whatever – or Happiness

17 08 2008

The last few days has been spent watching paint dry. 

Between each coat of polyurethane I sanded and then reapplied.  There is nothing more disturbing than sanding a floor that is finally all pretty and shiny.  But it has to be done.  The first coat of finish really pulled up the grain of the wood, so although the pictures looked gorgeous, it ended up dulling the finish a bit and feeling rough.  After sanding and reapplication, though, it was right back to perfect.

I think I’m done. 

The weather has been sweltering for the Northwest and it is taking a bit longer for the finish to cure…but I don’t care.  My furniture can sit patiently outside while I do a dance of victory on my new floor.

What I Did On My Summer Vacation Volume 4 – or What Was I Complaining About?

13 08 2008

This morning was spent wiping down walls, windows and floors – trying to rid the living room of offending dust.  The Shop Vac was used more than once.  And Tack Cloth.  Lots of Tack Cloth.  I am amazed at this stuff.  Basically it is just sticky cheesecloth, but it picks up minute particles of dust like nobody’s business.

I then spent a few hours trying to find things to do other than putting the first l coat of polyurethane on.  This step scared me.  After all that work, what if I did something wrong?  Is the floor clean enough?  Could it ever be clean enough?  Should I invest in more tack cloth?

Finally, I decided to just jump in and do it. 

And check this out…..

Does anyone else hear angels singing?

I have at least two more coats tomorrow.  Hopefully one in the early morning and then the final sanding followed by another coat tomorrow evening.


What I Did On My Summer Vacation Volume 3 – or Waiting for the Dust to Settle

12 08 2008

I finally finished the first sanding at noon.  It took forever.  The followup sandings were relatively uneventful.

That is if you call bruising my knees through the constuction kneepads unevenful.  At one point I was hand sanding the floor, bent over from the waist – trying to save my sad and decrepit knees from any more time spent directly on them.  Now my hamstrings hurt.

This is some serious work, but I do think I’m on the downhill side.  The worst part will be the waiting between coats of varathane now.  I chose the oil base varathane so it would be more durable and prettier.  Yes prettier, dammit.  It’s important.

By the end of day three….voila!

If you aren’t completely amazed please scroll down to the post with the “before picture”.  If you are still not amazed….well…I think I might hate you.

Good night.

What I Did On My Summer Vacation Volume 2 – or This Was a Stupid Idea

11 08 2008

If refinishing floors could be correlated to giving birth, I would be dilated to a seven and begging for my epidural.

So.  I am halfway done with sanding.  I can see a big difference, but amazingly I don’t care.  I would rather just live in the tent than to continue.  Maybe that isn’t really true.  Only tomorrow will tell. 

We spent last night, and I’m sure many nights to come, sleeping outside in the tent in the front yard.  The girls think it’s fun.  I think it’s practical.  A win-win.  Let me tell you, I am just sitting here waiting patiently for the damnable sun to set so that I can go to sleep.

Here are the progress pictures:

Just imagine a whole me as dusty as my feet.  Now that I’m a sandpaper expert, I would guess that I was about a 60 grit by the end of the day.  I also love the picture that captures the floating dust motes. You can’t even imagine how dusty it is.

If I can actually get out of the tent tomorrow AND decide to care…there will be another update by the end of the day.


What I Did On My Summer Vacation Volume 1 – or How I Became A Stripper

10 08 2008

I have taken this next week off work.  I will not be taking an exotic vacation in Hawaii, backpacking across Europe or even camping at a local campground.  Oh no.  That would be entirely too much fun.

I am refinishing my wood floors.

This spring, after a bout of neverending sickness I decided (high on sinus medication, mind you) that all my illness was coming from the gross and dusty grey carpeting in my living room.  I ripped it up to find…

I actually liked it.  I felt like I was living in some sort of Bohemian art studio.  Plus, it was less dusty than the disgusting carpet.  I did, however, understand that I would have to address the carpet staples and paint at some point in the future.  These things normally bother people.  I was unperturbed – informed the girls to wear some sort of shoes at all times – and continued to patiently watch my vacation accruals build through the spring and summer.

I shopped for supplies at Home Depot earlier this week and did a couple of test strips with the paint stipper I chose.  I picked up some “Citristrip” – a less harmful concoction than normal paint stripper.  It apparently takes longer, but I can actually stand to be in my home when using it.  And?  It smells like oranges.  I did choose to use a ventilator after the first hour when I started to get a headache.  I have lost enough brain cells and just can’t be too careful in my older age.  The ventilator makes my face all sweaty and gross, but the upside is I can do a totally killer imitation of Darth Vader.

I’m on my second day of stripping (bow, chicka, bow, bow) and things are going well:

I am actually much farther along than this, but I am tired and need pizza before I can venture to take more pictures. 

Can I just mention here that people who staple down carpet are spawned directly from the devil?  Curse you carpet pad staplers!  A pox on you and your families!

Check back.  If I ever get these damn staples all removed I will soon be moving on to sanding!  (Aren’t you thrilled?  Just on the edge of your seat?)