Friday, August 19, 2011

The Dust Maker Cometh

As you probably recall from this post, I am an expert at refinishing. (One successful attempt does make an expert, right?) Well, the next minor refinishing project I decided to take on was the kitchen floors. I mean, if I can do a stool, an entire kitchen floor is cake, right?

I'm still in the process of finishing the floors, so there will be no posts of the final outcome for a few days (maybe tomorrow--fingers crossed!), but I do want to let you happy readers know that I am still really good at making a mess.

In one of our delusional "we can do it all in a jiffy, who needs to sleep" moments, we took a break from walls to move on to the floor. Beau rented a sander and we I danced around the room with it. Beau, for the record, did sand, he is just not insane enough to think that he was a star of "Sanding into Shape." (Available for a limited time only. Three easy payments of $19.95 each. Purchase now and we'll include "Drywall Divas: Tone Those Arms and Shoulders.")

Sanding is about as far as we made it. The floor was mostly nekked but there wasn't enough time to get the floors done before the plasterer, carpenter and granite guys came to transform the echoey hole off the side of our house into a real, working kitchen (some assembly required).

I called to schedule the appliance delivery and, alas, they won't be able to deliver until Monday. What's a gal to do? Well, you smart readers probably all figured out that I was going to use that "down time" to finish the floors. Can't fool y'all now, can I?

I busted out the belt sander and started sanding the spots that still needed some attention. And boy, oh boy, did I make some dust.

I broke the last sanding belt and had to run to the hardware store for another. Because people at Home Depot are starting to recognize me, I went to the much more convenient Taylor's Do-It center. Completely covered in dust. This particular store is in the more unsavory neighborhood, very near the laundromat I narrowly avoided in this post. Generally speaking, I lock the car doors when I drive through the neighborhood. Today, I knew I was not at a high risk for mugging because I looked more like a dust bunny than a human being.

I left without looking in the mirror. When I got home, I glanced in the mirror to see that I had a brown ring around my face where the mask sat. Pretty hot, really. Why haven't I ever been approached for a high dollar modeling career before? Hmmmm.

Anyway, I finished my sanding. Shop-Vac'ed, washed the floor down with Mineral Spirits (which is NOT a mixer for a fun beverage, sadly), let it dry and applied my first coat of stain. Between the drying Mineral Spirits and the stain, I checked out a few blogs. Often when I read blogs I end up on new blogs because of the blog lnks on my favorite pages. Today was no different. The blog I stumbled upon had a post about a poorly stained coffee table they picked up for a steal at a garage sale. Gulp. If I stain the floor poorly I can't get rid of the evidence at a garage sale. Double gulp. Maybe I'm not the expert I think I am.

Anyway, here's what a floor bathed in Mineral Spirits looks like.

Well, if you know me at all, you know that self-doubt and I are not friends. I grabbed a stain sponge and Minwax Special Walnut and the floors became one. Twice. I was a little worried about all of those dark spots, but didn't want to sand huge divots into the floor. I hoped for the best and forged ahead. Here's coat one.

And coat two.

Beau and I wanted to go a little lighter than it was, but I still wanted the floor in the dining room to have a similar finish. Not too bad, huh? (The picture to the left of the bar is dark and shadowed. The floor is NOT that dark, but as the stain is still wet, I can't walk on it for a better angle,) Oh, and I  know I need a pedicure, mom. Maybe after I'm done staining my feet and the floors.

Not too bad for a day's work. Fortunately between coats one and two, I joined my neighbors for Friday night pizza night. Have I mentioned how awesome my neighborhood is? Yep, I have. In this post, which beau has informed me (multiple times) is super cheesy. Ah, well.

Hopefully the second coat looks as good in the morning as it does now after a few glasses of wine... I'm hoping the dark spots really aren't noticeable. Even after the wine wears off. :)

Tune in tomorrow for a finished floor!!!!

Have you ever considered yourself an expert after one successful attempt at something? How'd that work out for you?

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