Monday, September 17, 2012


I am a junk fanatic.  I'm horrible about dragging junk into our house.  I am constantly filling our garage, basement and front porch with junk. 
The amazing thing is my husband keeps the complaining about this to a minimum.  As long as he is not hitting his shins off of something, he's okay with this.  In our 10 years of marriage we have purchased about five items from a furniture store new; two sofas, an ottoman and three mattress and box spring sets if you'd like to know.  So I think this helps to influence his acceptance of my junk collecting.
I get junk from all over. 
My work is one great place to score good junk.  While my children were very small they destroyed the first furniture store purchased sofa during nap time by falling asleep and wetting through diapers.  After having to throw away that sofa (it was a clearance sofa sleeper - complete score for only $200) I became frustrated and decided I would just bring ugly old couches home from work until we were out of this stage before I would buy new again.  We went through 4 of them. 
Goodwill is always a great place to score great items but I just don't make it there all that much anymore. 
Auctions are fabulous and so is Craigslist.  Even better is that I can get my husband to make the trips and do all of the dirty work for me.
I am also not afraid to pull something out of someones trash.  Ummm... okay, I'm not afraid to ask my mom to go pull something out of someones trash. 
But I think my favorite place to go is flea markets. 
And this weekend, that is where I was.  My mother-in-law loaded up early and were off to a giant bi-annual flea market near my home.  It was a fabulous day spent with great company doing something that both of us love.
My morning had been going a little slow until I found my dream booth.  A friendly, fun fella named Dave who was willing to deal on everything he had.  Dave had great junk and I found several large pieces I wanted but the best one I found was a large, mustard yellow, jelly cupboard.  When I saw it I immediately had a million ideas for this cabinet.  It would be awesome in a bathroom for towels or the upstairs hallway for extra bed linens and blankets or... my kitchen!
Yes, my kitchen, my ity bitty kitchen with very little cabinet or counter space and bags of groceries sitting next to the fridge because there is no room left in the cabinets. 
At the end of our galley kitchen there is a small eat-in area that is the only wall without windows or doors. 

It was the only logical place for the cabinet to go.
I'm still unsure if my window chalkboard will be staying or going.
But I do believe I have the perfect space for my junk cabinet.

Friday, September 14, 2012

DIY Floor Refinishing

I had mentioned that our dining room floor was a nightmare. 
After removing this icky carpet...
I found this...

And quickly went into a panic.
It is typical in my house for me to announce I am going to do something and for my husband to tell me what a horrible idea he thinks it is.  This happens to be one of those such things.
However, I did have reasonable expectations that this would go okay.  I had removed all of the rest of the carpeting from the house and the wood was fine.  Not perfect but certainly better than someone else's dirty old carpet.
I tried everything to remove this black padding that was glued to the floor.
I scrubbed.
I Googled.
And scrubbed.
And Googled.
I tried to remove it with a putty knife.
Nothing worked and my Google searches were coming up empty!
And finally after two days of sitting in the middle of this stinky filth... it dawned on me.
How had I not thought of this sooner?!
So I loaded up and headed to the hardware store.
(Admittedly, this should have been my first stop.)
While I was there looking for furniture stripper, I found this...
And rented this...
Really, why didn't I come here first?!
When I got home I liberally applied the adhesive remover to the entire floor.  The black padding and adhesive started to bubble immediately and was all removed within a half hour.
Really... I sat there for two days, and this was all it took.
After letting the floor dry I began sanding and within a few hours was finished.
I had thought long and hard about 15 min. while I was in the store about how I wanted to finish the floor. 
The floor is the original to the home, small planked, oak wood floor.  Normally,  you do not see these types of floors stained.  But... I really do not care for oak all that much.  So I decided I was going to stain my floor.
I chose a dark redish color and began applying with old rags.
After the first coat I decided I needed to go a little darker so I applied a second.
After the second coat of stain it was time to begin sealing the floor.
I applied 4 coats of floor polyurethane over several days to the floor, gently sanding the floor in between coats with steal wool and cleaning with a tac cloth to remove any debris.
(Each coat of polyurethane must dry for 8 hours before the next coat can be applied.)
The final result... a beautiful restored wood floor.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My Dining Room

Do you ever roam aimlessly from one room to the next in your house starting projects and leaving a wake of half completed rooms in the process?
This is my problem.  I constantly do this.  But, in a house that needs EVERYTHING one thing flows to the next and the next and nothing ever seems to get completed.
Recently I started working in my dining room (again), that then lead me to the living room, swapping bedrooms around and now a home office.   Funny how painting one little room created such havoc.
This is how our dining room looked when we first moved in. 
I painted over this color right away and removed the carpet expecting to find a matching hardwood floor to the living room.
Well, sorta wrong.  The floor was under there but first I needed to remove the very old and smelly black padding that was glued to the floor to get to it.
Anyway, the floor is a whole 'nother post.
My first paint color choice for this room was an epic fail.  It took me several months to find what direction I wanted to go in there.  I kept trying for blues and grays but realized, they do not work for me.  I love them, just not in this house.
So the dining room sat.
And sat.
And sat.
For a year.
All the while I had been collecting things here or there when I spotted a good deal or saw something I liked.
I found these chairs along the way.
And this buffet.
So after a year of the dining room being nothing more than a great room to practice your Ninja moves without worry of bumping into anything... I got started.
I painted, I cleaned, I got rid of crap I dropped in the room because I just didn't know what to do with it, but... then I found something I can't just get rid of... my husband! 
We have a very large computer armoire that sits in the dining room that he spends hours at working or doing homework for his Master's Degree.
That's a dilemma.
I needed to find somewhere else to stick him.
So, that is how we come to swapping bedrooms and working on a home office. 
All of that because I wanted to paint the dining room and make it into a useful space.
So, I still can't complete the dining room until I evict my tenant in the corner.  But, today the dining room is looking something like this...