Category Archives: living room

Polished up Living and Dining Room

After many many hours of sanding, painting, cleaning, and sweating, the living and dining room are finally done. Actually they are almost done, but if you know me, I am a little bit impatient and went ahead and put the furniture into place.  I was so excited to see the finished result, and I’m thinking we can do the last two things this weekend (quarter round and a new chandelier for over the dining room table).

I’m going to start out with the before photos for a quick reminder of what we had on our hands at the beginning.

When we looked at the house, I knew that the room had a lot of potential, but it was really hard to see it through all the nasty carpet, 20 year old blue and silver wallpaper, and rot iron decorations hanging from the ceiling.  After pulling out the carpet, wallpaper, and rot iron, replacing some of the wood floor and refinishing all the rest, and painting everything, I think we have finally made the living and dining room livable!

Here is the final result:

Side note: eventually, the small windows will have two panels, but somehow when we went to IKEA a Lenda curtain snuck in with our Ritvas (they have such crazy names for their brands) so we had to make do with three packs instead of four.  We’ll just have to make another trek down to IKEA, I guess.

Our new dining room.

Hydrangeas from the garden- they are blooming despite the hail damage.

The living room, complete with our new Ikea rug.

More hydrangeas, along with some of our helpful remodeling books.

Hope you all enjoyed following the makeover, and I’m hoping we’ll have the finishing touches done by next week.  It seems like every time we get one thing done, there’s another huge project following right on it’s heels.  Now that the rooms off the kitchen look good, it makes me antsy to get going on that space.  For now though, we’ll just enjoy relaxing on the couch and maybe catch up on some reading.



Filed under dining room, living room

48 Hour Date with the Sander

Okay, maybe it was more like 16 hours, but whatever it was I don’t want to see that machine again for awhile.  The process started out at Lowe’s where we picked up all the materials we would need for the sanding and refinishing.

It turns out you need a LOT of sandpaper- we started out with 9 packs and ended up using over 30!  I think the sandpaper is a little bit tricky because you have no idea you will so much, and the cost of it really adds up, not to mention all the trips back and forth!  I was there so frequently that I actually made friends with several of the employees.

Once we got the sander home and into the living room, we were pretty much ready to go.  I watched a short DVD that you can buy about how it works, things to do, not to do, etc.  Basically the video made it look really quick and easy; just run the sander over the floor a couple of times and you’ll be back to clean, bare wood.  That was not really the case, although it was easy to use.  My main issue with the sander was the amount of time it took to get rid of the old finish.  I ended up resting a book on the handles and reading it while running the sander up and down the room.  Later I switched over to letting the sander run itself while I used the hand sander in the other room.  I kept one eye on it, and it seemed to do okay just shimmying across the floor all by itself.  Overall though it got the job done, and we were pretty happy with the overall result.

Here is the sander itself:

The picture above shows how it looked after a couple hours of sanding.  Here is what the base looks like, just in case you’re curious.  It turns out there are two types of large floor sander- the drum and the orbital.  We chose this one because it’s better for beginners and doesn’t gouge the floor.  We now realize that may also be code for very, very slow progress.

This was day two of sanding.  Most of the finish was gone, but there was definitely still plenty left!  Also, the picture is a little blurry because of the dustiness of the room at the time.

This is me (at almost midnight), finishing up the last couple square feet with the 80 grit!!!  If I hadn’t been so tired, I would have done a little dance to celebrate being done (with that step, at least)!

Before I show the finished result, I wanted to show you a picture of the floor when I found it under the carpet.  It was pretty horrible!

Okay, now back to the oil-based finish, which I waited until the morning to start.  Voila, here it is right after the first application!

And after drying…

I still have two more coats to go, but it will probably be two days until those are finished.  You have to wait 12 hours between coats, and there’s some sanding involved too.  I’ll be out of town next week so by the time I get back it should be time to put the furniture in place!  I can’t wait!


Filed under floor refinishing, living room, sander