Thursday, January 31, 2013

Topcoat Choices

For the polyurethane topcoat-

Satin or Semi-gloss?

Oil-based or Water-based?

I am almost 100 percent sure I want satin for the finish. I don't really want a super shiny surface. I want it to be closer to how wood looks naturally.

I found some pictures online. These are obviously different kinds of wood flooring and different color stain.

Satin Polyurethane

Semi-gloss Polyurethane
I've read a lot about both products. Semi-gloss has a nice smooth feel, but shows any wear very easily.
Satin is a lot better about hiding dents and dirt. That was the clencher for me.

I am still hung up about which type to use- oil-based or water-based.

Oil-based would make the color a little darker, a little more amber. And it would continue to darken some through the years. But the smell and fumes are horrendous. But it is much cheaper and dries very hard.

Water-based is less toxic to smell and dries a lot quicker. You are supposed to be able to do all the coats fairly close together to get the job done faster. That does sounds appealing to me. But it is much more expensive. I think it is around $10 more for a gallon. When you are buying multiple cans that adds up. It dries very clear and does not change the color of the floors at all.

I'm still unsure which to go with it.

What do you guys think? Do you have an opinion or experience with either?
I'd love to here it if you do. I can't seem to make up my mind.
Here is a picture of a sample piece of wood that I put two coats of stain on and three coats of OIL-based polyurethane.

What do you think and what would you choose?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Second Coat Progress

We are in the middle of putting our second coat of stain on our pine plank flooring.

The first coat looked good, but I am liking this even better. I think it didn't make it too much darker, but just a richer color.

The upstairs is done and part of the main floors are done also. We should be finished by this weekend.

My arms are screaming at me. And shoulders. And back.

But no more complaining. We are on the home stretch.

Here are the pictures-

And a side by side comparison-
One coat

Two Coats

One Coat

Two Coats

Of course the lighting is hard to get exactly the same in both pictures. But I am loving the two coats color.

Time for a massage.

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Happy Birthday Noah!

My guy is turning seven today. Noah has been a joy since he came into my life. Sometimes he can test my patience. He's one of the most stubborn kids I know. But he's also one of the sweetest. It has always been hard to discipline him when all I really want to do is laugh. He is a lonely boy with his older two brothers at school all day. But I doubt he will ever want to go. He loves to be home, which for now, I love.

He takes the silliest pictures of all my boys.


The posing for our last photo shoot we had in the fall was ALL HIM. I gave him no direction at all. I should put them all on here so you could see the things he did. He is a natural!

Happy Birthday Noah! Love you so much.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Ladies Retreat

I had a blast this weekend!

It was busy but awesome.

The ladies retreat was unbelievable. We had an excellent speaker. The breakout sessions were fun. My session went pretty good. I was very nervous but warmed up halfway through. The food was delicious and the fellowship even better.

Here is the "love"ly craft we made in Trisha's session. You can find her at I love how mine turned out!

Some pictures I used in my session-

Those are before shots just in case you were wondering.

The church was decorated beautifully!

It was a great weekend. I can't believe all of the hard work that must have went into putting this together. All who attended are extremely thankful.

Now to get started on the house again!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, January 25, 2013


I don't know if anyone noticed, but I missed a post yesterday.
I made it a whole year without missing a day during the week until yesterday.

I'm pretty bummed.

I sat straight up in bed when I realized it. It was 11:59pm. I tried to hurry and post something....anything. But the clock turned to midnight before it published.

I'm trying not to beat myself up too much. I had a post started and sitting open on my laptop. I had every intention of getting one done. But I was just too busy. Busy with plans for the retreat this weekend. Busy with kids. Busy with house stuff.

I will just try to make sure it doesn't happen very often and move on from there.

I realized, during one of my posts earlier this week, that I skipped some of the details of things I did around the house. So today I am catching you up.

I got the entire kitchen primed. Not painted. I decided I am waiting to paint until we get further along in our progress of the kitchen. There is no need to waste paint, time, energy if it is just going to be covered up.

So here is a more neutral kitchen. An empty canvas waiting to be filled.

This was before staining the floors obviously.

We also put the decorative nails in before staining the floors. This was HARD. Scott had to get them in with a sledgehammer. I went along the rows and put them in the drilled holes and hammered them in enough to start them. Then Scott came behind me and pounded them in. We decided not to do these in any of the bedrooms. We were thankful for that decision later!

We then sanded. We rented this square sander from Home Depot. I wish we still had a Home Depot near us :(

I got the black paint for the doors a while ago. It was sitting there taunting me. So I grabbed a roller to shut it up. I had decided to wait to paint the doors until after the floors were done. But maybe just one door to see what it looked like. This was not wise.

Here is what a couple of doors look with just one coat.

But then this happened. Of course.

I tried to wipe it up with a wet cloth. It was still pretty dark. The wood was like a sponge. So I grabbed my block of sandpaper.

That helped. Almost undetectable :) But I kind of liked it because I want my floors to looked aged and worn anyways. I also walked around with a hammer before we stained. I made some dents and scratches. If was fun! I love how the stain settled in those little dents and made it darker.

We have a busy weekend. At some point we will be putting a second coat of stain on our floors. Hopefully.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


I am keeping most of the lights that came with our house.
I love that they are a brushed or antiqued gold. I'm not really a big fan of silver. I don't think it fits my style. I also plan on bringing in some antique bronze. I think the two will mix together very well.

I have a spot for a light above where my kitchen sink will go. I wasn't able to put a recessed light there because a beam ran straight down down the middle. But my electrician (aka Brian) told me I could hang a pendant there and jimmy it so it looked centered.

That's what the wire is for sticking out of the ceiling towards the right side in this picture-

And here is the fixture I bought to go there-

Love it!

I really like this chandelier but I'm not crazy about the shades. I have bought two different shades from different stores only to have to return them. They were too big and didn't fit into the opening. You would think I would have learned after the first time and brought an old one with me to get the right size. But no. I might try some fabric shades that clamp onto the bulb next.

I really like this light too. It has an opal-like quality to the glass. But I'm not crazy about the location. For some reason they stuck this light in the corner. It is operated by the light switch as you enter from the mud room.

This ceiling fan is not too far from the pendant light. It. is. hideous.
I'm not a fan. I will replace this when the funds are available.

 I really like this fixture in the hallway.

But the light in the bathroom needs to be replaced. It's a little too retro to be cool.

Pretty much all the fixtures upstairs need to be replaced. There is overhead light fixtures in only two of the four bedrooms. The other two have a switch that operates an outlet.

The handles all look like this and I want to try to keep them or at least something similar-

I think they will look much better with black doors! :)

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Floors Stained- Minwax Early American

I wasn't planning on showing this yet.

I wanted to wait until the floors were completely finished.

But I need your opinion.

We went through one gallon of stain on the entire house. That's it. We used wood conditioner before we started staining in most of the rooms. To be honest, I think it was a waste of time and money. The floors look pretty similar where we used it to where we didn't.

But I'm not sure about the color. I wonder if we should put down one more coat.

What do you think? I'm kind of thinking another coat would be best but my wrist and fingers say the floors are perfect the way they are.

Leave it or another coat?