Our First Home Project Before & After The photo above is what our home looked like when we got possession, one week and a day ago. ...

The BIG Reveal: Stain & Pain...I mean PAINT

Sunday, March 09, 2014 , , , , ,

Our First Home Project
Before & After
Stain & Paint
The photo above is what our home looked like when we got possession, one week and a day ago. As you might already know, we took an entire week before moving in so that we could do a little work. The floors needed refinishing, and I knew I'd want to paint those beams, so we got to it right away.
Stain & Paint
Justin's parents came to help with the floors, my parents came to paint. It was a hard week. Not just because of all the labor and time constraints, we experienced two unexpected setbacks with the sanding, but also just having three little ones to entertain while all this was going on. We are both exhausted and sore. We are also so proud of what we accomplished. So here we finally are, I'll show you what went down and how it turned out...
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Justin's mom started right away by tearing out the carpet in our master bedroom. It was over twenty years old. It was nasty. It had to go, and there was precious original hardwood under there.

Meanwhile, we cleaned out the fireplace, and got out our paintbrushes.
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Justin Sander did most of the sanding. It was dirty work. Seriously, I would never recommend anyone do this while living in the home. Between the dust and the fumes, you'd die. Or at least you'd be very uncomfortable.
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But the hard work is, oh, SO rewarding. There was some awkwardness in acquiring a home that had been lived in by the same occupant for the last eighteen years. I can't wait to get some paint on some of these walls.

The thing about floors: it's the one part of your home that you're always in contact with. When they feel dirty and gross, your whole home and body does. So seeing our floors nicely stripped, sanded, and smoothed was a beautiful sight indeed.
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They looked brand new. I almost wanted to leave them that way. Almost.
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Refinishing floors is tedious work. You can't just sand and stain, in between you have to "tack". I still don't know what this step was exactly. Justin the Sander simply told me we had to do it.
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Finally, after all the sanding, sanding, sanding, and sanding {we had to go over every square inch at least three times, then buff, as well as some hand sanding}, it was time to try out our stain.
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Justin and Paxton finished the buffing together. They are thinking of starting a business, Sander & Son Sanding. {For as many "sanding Sander" jokes I made last week, my husband and his parents laughed at 0% of them.} {Also, people always try and tack an "s" onto the end of our name, so it's "Sanders", and this upsets me more than anyone else in Justin's family.}
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Justin and I are true soul mates. We made the decision on stain quite easily. We never disagree about such choices. We both wanted a dark stain, like espresso. We chose Royal Mahogany by Dura Seal.
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Actually--true story--we both considered a gray stain first. We loved the idea. Then we got caught up watching all those Rehab Addict shows, and the star of that show remodels and flips historic houses, restoring them to their original beauty. She is amazing. She says never to renovate to trends, always go with timeless looks that fit the era of your home. So, then we agreed: a dark stain was our favorite. It was an easy choice for both of us, we never looked back. {Plus, gray walls AND floors? That's a little depressing, dontcha think?}

A lot of people stress about paint, stain, and finish choices. I've always found such decisions to be extremely easy. I pick colors and finishes in a snap. In the hardware store, millions of paint chips don't intimidate me. I can easily locate the exact color I want just by glancing them over.

I knew I wanted darker gray walls, in part because I have so much colorful furniture and a green couch, we needed something more neutral--but I don't like browns and beige. I knew I wanted to white wash that fireplace, and all the trim. I knew I wanted the walls to be satin finish--I almost always chose satin--and the white paint to be semi-gloss. I knew I wanted the floor varnish to also be semi-gloss. Early on in this process, when our home was still under contract, I went Googling for "white beams gray walls dark floors". This is what I found, and it was exactly what I was going for.
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So...!



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This is our living room, as of this morning.
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And the adjoining dining room too.
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This is what the dark floors look like, from the corner of the master bedroom. {That's looking across the hall into the girls' room.}
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The freshly painted white fireplace.
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The only thing unfinished is the baseboard. We'll get to that soon enough...
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To say it simply: it's exactly what I had in mind. Exactly.
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This is Paxton's room. It's funny how I usually avoid dark colors, but for some reason, I was really drawn to the idea of a dark mahogany floor. I love it. I think it's elegant and sophisticated.
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Peekaboo! Hall closet.
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The view from the entryway. I love the semi-gloss. I read all over that satin finish is the big trend with floors right now, but I'm so glad we chose semi-gloss.
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The dining room windows are nice and bright. This is a HUGE change from our north-facing, dinky, dark rental.
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Oh then there's THIS. I love/hate it. I really do love it. A built-in plant wall/book shelf/cabinet system. Of course, I painted it white. It was lots of work taking all that hardware off to paint the doors, but I loved the original hardware. I think it has a real cottage charm, which fits the house fa├žade. Can't wait to get a quarter round trim on the base there.
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Here are a few fun before & afters for you:
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We left the house at 12:15 a.m. last night. We'd been there late, putting finishing touches--panels and such--in place. This afternoon, we started loading the truck up, and now this house is full of our furniture. {We were SO blessed to be able to use the truck with a lift gate from Justin's work.} It makes it feel even more like ours to see our things inside. I'm sure more photo posts will follow as we get settled in.
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We. Are. SO. Ex.Haus.Ted.
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Was it worth it? Yes. Would we do it again later in life? NO.
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Okay, maybe.

Cheers,
Heather

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19 comments

  1. Heather it looks great! all that work will pay off. Enjoy your new home/life together in this sweet house. Lot's of memories will be made. Can't wait to see it all decorated, I am sure it will be stunning. Blessings! Mica from Frolicking Freckles Blog

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    1. We can't wait to start making memories here, thanks Mica!! You bet I'll keep posting as we go. I can't wait to tackle the ugly bathrooms...

      ;-)

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  2. It looks beautiful! I love the gray and white! We just put new floors in the downstairs of our house. And we did a gray, but our home is modern so I think it works. But it is a very light gray.
    You have a great sense for design/remodeling. And after the crazy months you have had, it must be nice to have "exactly" what you envisioned! Yay for you!

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    1. Gray floors are DARLING. I bet it looks amazing in your home. I want to see pictures now!

      Thanks for the sweet comment Isabel!

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  3. Replies
    1. Thanks--can't wait to show you in person soon!

      Love ya.

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  4. Wow! That looks fantastic! That is quite the effort made in such a short time. Good job to both of you! It already looks warmer and cozier! And I love your cute baby on the floor before and after...nice touch.

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    1. Thanks Nicole! Many times I questioned taking on that much in a week--but I'm so glad we did. So glad it's over too. :-)

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  5. It looks amazing! Such a difference in a short time. I can't wait to see how you decorate it

    xo,
    Kay
    www.whitetrashfairytale.com

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    1. Thanks, Kay! Me too, every home is different for me, so I'm waiting for the inspiration to start and looking forward to where this home takes me.

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  6. Your walls, floor, and woodwork look great together, thoroughly modern! What a lot of work, congrats on your accomplishment, and enjoy (you will!).

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    1. The wood paneling and beams did feel a bit 1972! Thanks Donna!

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  7. I would have done the exact same thing with the beams. When I moved in with Brian years ago, his house had wood paneling on the living room walls. Within a week, it was white. There was no way I could live with it. We just started a remodel on our house and I am painting all the walls white. All of my furniture and decorations are really colorful so I figure I should keep the walls mellow. Do you know how hard it was to pick out white paint?!!

    I cannot wait to see what it looks like with all your stuff in it, especially your gorgeous Pyrex hutch.

    ~Erica

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    Replies
    1. I'm not at all surprised, knowing you! It's too bad you and I aren't in business together or something. I'd love to see what our style would be like together--we already love so many of the same things.

      Thanks Erica! Can't wait to share more :-)

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  8. Oh my gosh, Heather! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! You definitely made the right choice in painting the beams! It's a gorgeous space!

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    1. Thanks Amber! That means a lot coming from you ;-) I love the cozy, warm home you've created.

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  9. Heather, it's amazing! Doesn't even look like the same house! Congrats! You guys did a fantastic job, and I hope you all love it for ages to come. :)

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    1. Thank you Alissa! We're very happy with how it turned out--I just hope I don't want to re-do it *too* soon. ;-)

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  10. Very beautiful and very inspiring. I think you've given me courage to paint our paneling. Goodbye brown ranch. Hello light mediterranean. I found your blog searching images of painted paneling.

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