Home Improvement

Renovation Station, part 2

When I last left you in March, my house was in complete disarray after opening the wall between be kitchen and my dining room.

Wall_After_k

Even when the wall project was complete, our renovation was not. We decided to go for it and rip up all of the carpet in our house to refinish the hardwood flooring underneath. We had hardwoods underneath all of the carpet on the upper two levels of our house, except for in our coat closet. In two weeks, Brian and I tore up all of the carpet, tack strips and staples before we had a company come in to do the rest of the work for us.

RippingUpCarpet2

It was a lot of work, but we saved about $1,000 doing it ourselves. The payoff was pretty immediate.

RippingUpCarpet1

Look at those hardwoods!

rippingupcarpet3

We got pretty lucky. For being covered up for who knows how many years the floors were in pretty good shape. We had some major scratching in our office that sanded out, much to our surprise.

ScaryScratches

We effectively moved out of our house for a week while the floor guys came in to do their handy work.

First they sanded down a few spots to do a stain test. Our goal was to match our laminate flooring as close as possible.

Staintest1

We ended up choosing the stain on the right corner of the step.

Staintest2

It is Minwax’s Provincial, and it was a tough choice! We really liked the darkest color but I didn’t want to pick a color that would immediately make all dirt specs visible. Especially with a light-haired dog — it seemed like a big mistake.

Here’s our bedroom before:

bedroombefore

After they sanded it down:

bedroomsanded

And from a different angle, with Minwax Provincial stain:

bedroomstained

OH MY GOSH SO PRETTY. Here’s the stairs after being stained:

stairssanded

And here they are stained:

stairscomplete

The stain color we chose matched really nicely with the laminate flooring we’d laid in our basement a few years ago. It was a great pick!

Here’s our living room floors before:

LivingRoom

You can see here a lot of dark staining on the floors. The flooring guys actually tore out those boards to fix the problem! How cool does this look?

patching

And you’d never know they had to remove anything:

Floorscomplete

We are really happy with how the floors came out. I’ll share photos of the entire renovation soon. Stay tuned!

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Furniture

Pedestal Table (again)

Last summer I turned a rickety old plant stand into a side table using a silver tray. Well, I’m here to tell you guys that while it turned out adorably, not the best choice if you don’t want to constantly remove tarnish from your furniture haha. Oh well, I had the best intentions.

{A Smith of All Trades} Metalic Pedestal Side Table

I was perusing the aisles of Home Depot and found a round piece of wood that would make the perfect table top — who knew Home Depot was so useful?! OK, OK, I did.

I purchased it with the intention of re-redoing the plant stand.

TAble Top

 

First, I sanded the table, which was mostly smooth, minus the edges.

I didn’t want to repaint the base of the table, so I opted for a fun color of stain. I used a mint green, water-based stain from Minwax. I pretreated the wood first, using Minwaxs wood conditioner. Then I applied two coats of stain.

I sealed the top with some poly and let it dry before attaching it to the table base.

Mint Green PEdestal Table

It’s different and I like it, but it doesn’t look so good next to my blue chair. Whoops.

TAble and chair

All in all, this table redo took me about an hour total, not including dry times. Not to bad for the second time around!

 

 

Christmas, Craft Projects, Holiday

Christmas Eve Craft: Wooden Tree

Last year, err 2012, my dad and I did a craft on Christmas Eve. It was one of the highlights of my Christmas break and I was looking forward to doing one again this holiday season. My family loves traditions, and when you do something awesome, why not do it every year?!

meanddad

Well, turns out my dad scheduled carpal tunnel surgery the Thursday before Christmas Eve. ON BOTH HANDS! He is crazy, and tough, and did I mention crazy?

If I had asked him to Christmas craft with me on Christmas Eve, he probably would have said yes. So I didn’t ask. Sometimes the kid has to play parent.

Instead, I set out to make a craft as a final Christmas gift for him.

When we made our Christmas Tree craft in 2012, we cut out one extra base for this year — we had grand plans to make a light up tree!

Tree stencil

With the base already cut, I got out my supplies for my craft: shims, paint sticks, Minwax stain cloths, wood glue and battery operated lights.

First, I cut off the “tree stand” from the tree we created last year. Basically, I trimmed down the tree so it was a triangle with an itty bitty rectangle stump.

Then, I lined my shims and paint sticks in rows to see how many I had and if I wanted to cut any down to size.

Christmas Craft Shims

I definitely had a few to trim and sand, but first I got to staining.

Speaking of stain, I was fortunate to receive a few Minwax goodies before the holidays. One of the goodies I got was a new product I hadn’t heard about. Minwax now makes stain cloth wipes! They look kinda gross (OK, really gross), but they are awesome.

Christmas Craft Shims minwax wipes

I wanted two different tones of wood on the tree, so I opened both pouches. Each wipe is soaked in stain and each pouch comes with a handy set of gloves (it’s like they know I won’t wear gloves if they aren’t taped to the package!)… use a wipe, toss wipe, toss gloves, you are clean! I am pretty sure this product was designed for me…

Christmas Craft minwax wipesAwesome, huh?

Christmas Craft Shims stained dark

I let the stained shims dry for about an hour before moving on with the project.

Christmas Craft Shims Stained

Dry stain meant time to get moving. I was doing all of this on Christmas Eve after all. I used wood glue to adhere the shims to the tree base (after trimming down a few here and there with a hand saw). When all of the shims and paint sticks were in place, I smushed the entire tree under a heavy bin to put pressure on the shims to help them stay in place.

Christmas Craft Assembly

With the three dried and holding up well, I moved onto the lights. I bought battery-operated LED lights from Target. The strand had 18 itty bitty lights on it, so 18 itty bitty holes I drilled. I taped all of the wired down against the back of the tree and added the battery pack to the back with velcro command strips. Last, I drilled a hole in the top and wove a ribbon through the top.

Unfortunately, this next picture doesn’t do the tree justice. But in the hustle and bustle of the holiday, I didn’t really care to get the perfect picture. Forgive me?

Christmas Craft Complete

 

 

 

 

 

All that really matters is that my dad loved the tree. He hung it up immediately 🙂 In 2014, we are definitely crafting together though. That was just better, even if my tree is pretty darn cool.

Did I mention the lights twinkle, too? Light-up tree? Mission accomplished!