Friday, April 18, 2014

Bathroom Floor Finished

Earlier this week we had the first coat down of PolyStain on our bathroom floor. During the week we got a second coat down and things were really looking great.



After all our prep, 99.9% of the floor was amazing but we had two little spots that had tape residue on them and so the stain didn't stick. I decided to sand down those two spots to get rid of the residue and restain the spots. It took a couple of coats and some feathering but I'm pretty happy with the results (can you spot the spots?). This also makes me confident that if we do have any scratches or markups in the future, I'll be able to fix them.



There is some variation in the floor color but I think it makes it look a little more natural (the variation doesn't show up as much in person as it does in the above picture). Above is after the second coat of stain. Between each coat, I went over the entire floor with 000 steel wool and wiped down the floor and let it dry. To apply the stain, I found to keep the color fairly consistent it was easiest to apply two boards worth of stain and then use the brush to go the entire length of the first board so there weren't any brush strokes. It took a little more time but it looked a lot better. This is one reason I wouldn't use a brush for this application in the future.


Since we want this to last, we decided to finish off the floor with a couple of coats of Varathane floor finish. We've used this in the past and we really like it. It dries clear (doesn't yellow) and hard.


I prepped the floor with the steel wool again and applied the poly with with a foam brush. This stuff is a little weird when it's wet since it has a purplish haze to it.


But once it dries (which it does very quickly) it's clear and pretty.


And it's a good thing it dries fast because you might have a rouge 1 year old throw a plastic Easter egg into the room and wander in while you're in the middle of taking pictures! (this is 3 hrs after application)


We're really hoping this method holds up over time and we'll keep you all updated on its durability!

And just for fun, here's a before and after:




Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wednesdays with Will: March Phone Pics

As Will gets more mobile, I find myself using my phone a lot more to capture moments with him. I need to find a way to be better organized with this method but for now I'll share with you my favorite pics off of my phone from March. If you want to see more of these during the month, you can follow along on Facebook or Instagram.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Our Bathroom Floor

I think I managed to leave our half baths floor out of most pics when we moved it to the storage room under the stairs a few years ago. This is because at that point we decided to leave the floors as is and live with them. Since this was originally a storage room, these floors in particular were not treated very well and as a result were pretty beat up.




However, since these are the original floors that had been refinished a few (hundred) times, we really didn't think they could handle another real sanding so they have sat as they were for the past two years waiting for us to come up with a solution. We considered ripping them out and putting down tile, but they weren't in that bad of shape plus that's a lot of work and money. Enter PolyShades:



PolyShades has stain mixed in with the poly and can go over existing poly. While this isn't necessarily meant for floors, at under $15 for a small can (which I used less than a quarter of) I was willing to give it a shot to see if it would solve our problems and hold up over time. If it doesn't we're only out a few dollars and we're back to the idea of tile so this was the perfect room to try it out. I got a stain that was a little darker than our current floor to help hide stains and to get rid of the orangy color.

I have read a lot about issues with pain strokes showing and uneven color as well as drying issue and adhesion issues with other people using this on floors. To give this the best chance of working, I spent a lot of time on prep. I used a fine grit of sand paper to rough up the floor and spent quite some time getting up all the pain spots so that it was a clean surface. Even with the time spent, I missed two tape residue spots on the floor but I was able to fix it later.


After sanding, I cleaned the floor really well and let it dry completely. Then I was ready to apply the stain. For the people out there that were having drying issues, I know the problem. You have to mix the stain really well before application and stir periodically during the process. We've learned the hard way in the past so I did not make the same mistake again. I used a brush made for stain to apply the PolyShades although in the future I might used a foam brush or roller or even a rag since you do really have to pay attention to brush strokes.


This was the result immediately after one coat. It was a little humid when I put this down so we let it dry for about 24 hrs and the finish was more matte and hard. Even after the first coat we were loving it sooo much. The floor looked almost brand new and all the stains disappeared. An added bonus is that I love the new stain color so much more than the current floor color. If this ends up working, you may see a lot more floor finishes in the future in this house.

We did run into an issue (the missed tape residue spots) so I'll leave you with is pretty picture and come back later this week with our fix, the technique that I found that worked the best, and the final few steps.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Little Boxes

We have about a million different projects going right now all at semi-finished stages so today I'm sharing a simple solution for our bathroom. Since our full bathroom is so close to Will's bedroom, we tend to brush our teeth and get ready for bed in our half bath. Since this is also our main bathroom that any of our guests use, I don't like the idea of our toothbrushes and such just hanging out. 


To hide our various things, I picked up this little box at Target. It is long enough to hold toothbrushes and fits on the windowsill perfectly. I also love that it brings a little more wood tone into this room. We've been using this solution for about a month now and I love it (and I have had the Weeds theme song "little boxes" stuck in my head for almost as long). It keeps this small bathroom uncluttered and the box is so much nicer to look at than our bedtime necessities.


We've actually been doing quite a bit of work in this little room so we'll be able to share more of that later this week! Yay for getting things done!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Our English Roll Arm Sofa

Our new sofa has arrived and is now resting comfortably in it's new spot. 


It is super comfortable and is much easier on the eyes than our old brown couch. If it looks pushed into the corner that's because it is. Will is super climber right now so this couch is usually surrounded by soft objects and is positioned so he can't fall too far nor climb onto any nearby tables. He definitely approves of his new jungle gym.


I managed to snag a couple of poufs from Target at basically 50% off a few weeks back that really go nicely with the couch and lighten things up a bit. I was a little concerned about the red curtains clashing with the couch but there is a red undertone to the couch that actually really connects the two.


My two favorite details of this couch (besides the comfort factor) are the arms and the feet. They are both so pretty and curvy.


So we've officially added one more "grown up" piece of furniture to our home. It still is crazy to me the difference slightly higher quality furniture can make on our home's comfort level.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

One Year Old!

This past Sunday Will turned one! We had a Sunday brunch party for him at a local park and we all had so much fun. The party was themed after Will's most favorite cow... his lovie... so we had food like pigs in a blanket, cow chow and egg muffins as well as mint oreos, black and white donut holes and granny smith apples. For drinks we had water, milk and limeade to keep with the green, white, black and grey theme. I got Will's awesome shirt from Etsy and they were so great about working with me to get exactly the shirt I wanted. Also, one of Nate's former students is really into Culinary arts and made Will an amazing lovie cake... it was super impressive. A bunch of our friends made Will feel super special on his big day and Nate's cousin even came down from Gainesville for the day! 


Right now I'm:

  • Getting a couple of teeth in
  • Over my first ear infection
  • Going through a pretty bad separation anxiety phase
  • Waving hi and bye (and sometimes saying it too)
  • Clapping anytime I'm excited... or if someone else claps
  • Starting whole milk
  • Walking more steadily alone and with ease while holding mommy or daddy's hand
  • Sleeping through the night consistently and down to one nap a day
  • 30 in tall (57%), 21 lbs 11 oz (56%), have a head circumference of 18.5 in (76%) and have HUGE feet!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Let's Talk Baby Gates {Part I}

When you have a baby and you like design, baby gates can be a real pain in the... decor. You want something that looks nice but functions well. We currently have five baby gates and they happen to be all different because of the different needs of all the openings. Our little product tester has been using and abusing these things for a few months now so I thought it would be the perfect time to give you the pros and cons of each gate. I'm splitting this into two posts since it is overwhelmingly long as one!

1. Carlson 0930PW Extra-Wide Walk-Thru Gate with Pet Door, White $38.99: This gate goes out to the sunroom which is the dogs area so we wanted a way to get back there on their own. When we found a baby gate with a doggy door, we were sold. We installed this so that one of our french doors has to remain shut and we do not use the extra panel to make it extra-wide.


Pros:

  • Really sturdy (even installed the way we have it)
  • Dog door with lock so we can keep the dogs in this room if we want to.
  • Extra handle lock (red thing)
  • Easy opened with one hand if not fully locked
  • Opening and closing the dog door serves as hours of entertainment for Will.
Cons:
  • Will figured out how to get through the dog door about two seconds after he could crawl. Placing the ottoman like we have below makes it impossible for him to get through though so it's only a half con
  • Will recently figured out how to open this gate if it isn't fully latched with the red lock.
  • It takes two hands to open this gate when it's fully locked
  • The little handle on the dog door lock kept falling off so we had to super glue it back on.
  • When fully locked we have to show our friends how to open the gate... however our friends 3 year old figured it out in under two seconds (and preceded to show her dad who couldn't figure it out)
Would we buy it again? Absolutely. Despite the minor cons, I really love this gate. It works so well for us and if you have pets and a baby it really gives you a lot of flexibility. We were initially worried the dog door was too small but our dogs go through fine and we've had a cocker spaniel and even a 60 lb hound mix go through just fine.




2. Regalo Easy Open Expandable 52 Inch Super Wide Walk Thru Gate   $32.99: We needed a wide gate for our main living area entrance that we could easily walk through. This one hit the mark for a pretty cheap price so we went for it. We did nee to use blocks on the tope to match the width of the door with the trim at the bottom.


Pros:

  • Will can't and won't be able to open it for a loong time since you have to do two things to open it.
  • Nice looking
  • Gate opens both directions
  • Gate opening is wide enough to comfortably walk through
Cons:
  • We have to teach everyone who comes over how to open and close it
  • Doesn't latch automatically
  • Will already shakes it pretty badly (it's not very stable since it's so wide) and we're worried he's going to break it/bust through it if he gets any stronger
Would we buy it again? Ehh... maybe. If it holds up to Will for awhile longer, then it was an OK gate at a pretty good price so if I couldn't find a better gate at a decent price I would consider this one again.

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