Friday, July 11, 2014

A Dusty Situation

Sorry about the eery green color of these photos, but I was using Rick's cell phone because I didn't want to ruin my camera.  These are the poor images of the guys sanding the floors.  They opened all the windows, covered all the air vents, taped over all the plugins and anything else that the dust might get into.  All the screens are covered in dust by the way.  

There is so much dust in the air!

I'm not sure if they are discussing whether that's dust on the hearth or a sandy beach.

This is what they were looking at.  It took several days to clean all this mess up and they are putting in new furnace filters pretty often as well.

Want to do this to your house?  Not me!  Thank goodness he did this before moving in.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Refinishing the Hardwood Floors

The past week has been quite an experience for us.  First I must admit that none of us have ever refinished floors.  I have always wanted to have my floors refinished so we thought, hey, we'll learn how to do this on Eric's floors.  This top photo is the shot of how the floors looked before we started.  Notice all the new fresh beige paint on the walls.  These rooms were previously all white.  Now the crown molding is much more noticeable.  Click on the photo to enlarge it and you will see the bad condition of the floors.

In this spot I should have shown you the sanding of the floors in progress.  However, I didn't want to ruin my camera with dust.  I did use Rick's phone to take some pictures of that mess, but he hasn't had the time to download them.  Even though the machine has a bagger don't think for one minute that it helps with the dust issue.  

I did manage to capture the floors in this image as the varnish was being applied on the first coat.  Rick cut the varnish in around the edges while I applied the remainder of the area with a lamb's wool applicator.  We were applying oil base polyurethane because we didn't want to stain and we knew we couldn't work fast enough with the water base varnish.  That evening we returned and were not happy with the looks of the floor after it had dried, but assumed the second coat would look better and we would be applying three coats total.  

Eric was able to come that evening after work and help us apply the second coat.  Here is my advice:
Never apply varnish at night because the lighting is not good enough.  In our defense though the can said that if we didn't apply the second coat within 12 hours we would have to sand again because it would raise the grain.  We did not finish until after midnight.  We had brushed the varnished on in the little office and the spare bedroom so they looked great the next morning.  The two large rooms however  did not.  I did not in anyway like the lambswool applicator.  Trying to find good videos on how to use this properly was next to impossible and when I did find a video it was not much help.  Rick and I decided to get down on our knees and apply the last coat of varnish with a brush.  It took approximately 5 hours for two "old" people to put the final coat on.  We are now very happy that this project is over and done with.

Here is my final tip:  If you want a professional job, call a professional.  Our son is very happy though with his new floors.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Proud American

The other night the sky was an eery shade of green which is not a good sign.  That generally means storms are on the way.  But, I looked out my front door and noticed the flag was framed by a heart shape of foliage and decided to grab my camera.  I'm not that great at photography, but really wanted this image to show my family.  When I was sharing it with my son, Eric, he said, "Mom it's not a heart but the shape of the United States of America."  He's correct!  He pointed out Alaska, Texas, Florida, and the upper east coast.  Do you see it?  What better frame for our beautiful flag!   

I'm a proud American who will be celebrating this 4th of July by working and then enjoying some fireworks.  Are you a proud American?  I know the polls show a sharp decline in the number of Americans who are proud and patriotic.  We may not like what goes on in politics but we can still stand tall and proud of our country!  I love getting up each morning and looking out at this beautiful symbol of our nation.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Dutch Door and Office Remodel

I apologize for the poor quality of these images and don't claim to be a photographer.  I did want to give you an update on Eric's house remodel so you didn't think I disappeared.  We've been very busy working because he now has a move date and we need to get this show on the road.  While the guys have been busy with this project, I've been painting and adding texture to the walls.

This is an interesting and very strange little part of the house.  Eric will be using this narrow room as his office.  I know it looks like an optical illusion, but this room is diagonal to the house.  I love this dutch door!  See that dropped ceiling?  It's gone now.  That thing on the right is a radiator cover.  When they replaced the furnace a few years ago, they left all the radiators.

That English tudor house that you see out this door may have been connected by a tunnel that ran under this room at one time.  That is one story we've been told.  Both houses were built by the same family. This is a prohibition house where liquor was stored in several hiding places that are still there today.  There also is a little room in the basement that is behind a hidden opening in the wall that locks from the inside.  I guess they would hide there if the police showed up.  If these walls could talk I'm sure there would be some great stories to tell!

After tearing out the old ceiling we realized it was going to have to be replaced with something because 
the original ceiling was damaged beyond repair.  Eric decided to go with a plank ceiling.  Here they are white washing it before it goes up.

That last board was pretty tricky because of the angle.  

This is what it looks like now.  They also got the floors sanded and ready to be varnished.
I love seeing my guys working together!

While the guys were busy sanding all the floors I could no longer paint because of the dust.  I decided to remove all the little maple trees that were growing in the hostas and realized on the first tug that it was a vine.  Yes, poison ivy!  I now have what is called a rare form of "black spot poison ivy."  If it's rare, I'll get it.  Lucky for you I won't be sharing pictures of that!