Archive | June, 2013

So It Begins

27 Jun

The carpet removal has begun.  On Saturday we ripped off the carpet on the bottom two stairs. I needed to see if there was actually wood under there and if it was salvageable. Check for both!

I wanted to try to sand a step or two to see how long it would take and if it would work. I have a small palm sander that I used and quickly realized it would take me forever to sand everything with it.  The sandpaper kept falling off!

So, my husband loves me and took me to Home Depot and bought me an Orbital Sander. Nothing makes my heart flutter more than power tools. I’m my father’s daughter.

I got the DeWalt 5 inch Random Orbital Sander (This). The sandpaper sticks directly to the pad and makes life a whole lot easier for me. It took me 10 minutes to sand one step, when previously it took me at least 30.

Look how pretty it is.

I took the same stain that is on our floors now and tested a little spot on the stairs.

Big problem with the bottom stair. It stained so much darker than the floors. I put the stain on and wiped it off immediately. It’s still several shades darker and incredibly noticeable.  I’ve read you can water down stain with turpentine. We might do that or pick a lighter shade that is as close of a match as we can get. We’ll see. The rest of the stairs stain exactly like the floor. It’s just the horizontal planks on the bottom step.


No bueno.

Ignore the brown grate. That’s going away. It’s non-functional and dumb.

Because there is something wrong with us and we can’t ever stop at what we had planned for the day – we ripped off the carpet on the landing.

It’s definitely worn. There are definitely a lot of scratches, but nothing was deep. It was all superficial. I love the look of older hardwood too and this has the potential to have the character that I love.

And because I’m an idiot I decided I should sand the whole landing. So I did. For almost 4 hours.

60 grit sandpaper really cuts through the polyurethane.

I was a mess and the house was a mess.  We hung up plastic sheeting to protect the downstairs, but there still was dust all over the place.

And me…

Don’t I look wonderful. Miss America, ladies and gentlemen.

But the floors looked good.


After a lot of vacuuming….

There are still a few places that I need to hit with my Dremel Oscillating Tool. That little guy is great to sand in tough to reach places.

I’m not sure if I’m going to fill the small crack above with stain-able wood putty or not. I’ve heard some not so great things about it so I’m on the fence. That will be a game time decision.

Here’s a good shot of where it was sanded and wasn’t…

I’m going to go over it lightly with 150 grit sandpaper before I stain. Just to make sure everything is smooth.

It’s going to be a crazy weekend.



21 Jun

Just a quick update on this lovely Friday.

The blocks have been placed and the beds have been mulched. The backyard looks like a million bucks.  I’ve been waiting patiently for my hydrangeas to bloom.  I would go outside and check everyday after work.  One day I went out and it was an explosion of color!

My Nikko Blue’s have bloomed and they are gorgeous. I’m just waiting on the white ones to get there now. I think I’m going to fall more in love every year with these plants.

We added a few small stakes into the Nikko Blue’s until the branches are stronger to support the flowers.  They were sagging a bit before, but now they look a lot fuller. I’m hoping I can slowly take them out as they grow.

Now if only my hydrangeas in the front garden beds will bloom. They are SO CLOSE. My huge plant (probably about 4 feet tall) has buds all over it. It’s going to be beautiful when it blooms. It’s looking like it will be fuchsia this year.

I think I am starting to have an unhealthy obsession with these plants.

She’s such a ham.

Happy Friday!

Never Ending Spring Cleaning

12 Jun

I don’t know how we accumulate so much stuff.  Calling it stuff is being nice too. It’s crap.  I try and keep it under control in our main living areas (Nothing makes me happier than throwing things away) but somehow it got out of control in the basement.

Since I’m new to this whole blogging thing, I forgot to take pictures.

Just imagine it looking like this…

Or this…

There was crap everywhere.

A giant pot to fry a turkey in? Got it. (Also inherited from the previous owners)

A large pane of glass? Got it.

A 13″ TV that only works with the closed captioning on? Got it.

Owners manuals to appliances we don’t even own anymore? Got those too!


After four hours we had three full garbage bags and a large pile of other unusable things.


The biggest difference was in the work bench.  I bought a ton of organization things for the peg board and went to work.

A close up:

The miter saw is there temporarily until I get a stand for it.  Same goes for the rubber container filled with glue and caulk. I need to buy a bin for it.

I bought an assortment pack of hooks from Lowes (this one) plus a few baskets (these here) and longer prong hooks to hold the tapes. (see here)  I also bought a pack of assorted hooks from Target  that I ended up liking better. I ended up using almost everything that was purchased.

Lets get closer…

I tried to keep some sort of order with sanding/gluing/spackling/nailing on the left side and mainly tools on the right.

I want to keep the top clear so we can do actual projects on it.

I sorted out screws and nail and put them in different ball jars, making it easy to see what they are and grab what you need quickly.  The other side will be clear once the stand for the miter saw is bought.

Underneath, I kept all paint supplies to the left.

Top shelf: spray paint, drop cloths, pink bin filled with paint samples and rollers, black bin filled with brushes.

Bottom shelf: paint cans from various rooms in the house labeled so we know what is what, paint sprayer with rolling trays on top.

To the right I kept the tools.

Not bad.

The little guy in the middle of the photo is our newest addition – a dehumidifier.

We got the LG 45 Pint Dehumidifier from Home Depot (See it here – also just saw it has terrible reviews – awesome!) The basement has always been sticky and damp, so this was something that we needed to get.  It’s been feeling nice and cool down there so I would say it’s working great.

The rest of the basement is getting there.  We cleaned and straightened up most of it. There are still piles of garbage down there that we have to sporadically put out for trash pickup. If we put it all out at once the garbage men will get mad. Apparently they are moody.

Cleaned up exercise area.

Since it’s clean, I’m now back to using the treadmill. I can wholeheartedly say that I did not miss it.

Also, ignore the paint. It’s half teal half pink down there. It’s like the 80’s in Miami. Plus it’s chipping EVERYWHERE so it’s like the run down 80’s in Miami down there.

The boards and box are garbage. Refrigerator is unplugged and we are undecided on keeping it. It’s old as dirt, but comes in handy sometimes.  Beside that is food and kitchen storage.

We completely cleaned under the stairs out. The pile in front is all trash.

It’s a lot better than it was. Over time we’ll fix the stairs, paint the walls, add more storage, but for right now I’m just glad all the garbage it getting thrown out!