Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hey, At Least the Floors Look Good!

One saying that has really saved me a lot of time is from my brother, Rich - it goes thus, "We ain't making watches!". In other words, some things require a lot of detail work (making watches) and some don't (90 % of the rest of the stuff we do).

Case-in-point: the floors at our new house. They are nice but they are not perfect (stains, cupping, etc.) so we decided to just do a quick coat of varnish.

Sure, you could pour your varnish into a paint tray and then dip your mop...or... you can skip that watch-making step and just dump it from the can directly onto the floor:

Then just mop it out evenly:

This took no more than 15 minutes:

Steve spent the weekend up at Milkweed Meadows (what we will call the place) and so had time to do misc. projects whilst waiting for varnish to dry.

He found some cans of good primer in the basement and so decided to go ahead and use those up in the bedroom:

Here's the closet, primed and ready to paint. Steve also used some latex caulk (also found in the basement) to fill-in the lightly cracked and chipped plaster. Caulk is a handy way to "cover up some ugly" pretty quickly.

All painted (with some "country white" that was found in the basement) and ready to go:

Floor of the closet stained and varnished (yeah, with stain and varnish found in the basement!). We'll add some quickie baseboard later.

That country white paint went on so nicely - why not paint the inside of the kitchen cabinets (that were pretty crummy):

This looks much nicer and took only about 1/2 hour:

The cabinets in this place were made in the 50's (judging by the hardware, etc.) and are therefore pretty good quality. They look pretty good once cleaned up:

Why not paint the kitchen floor? Here Steve uses some primer/sealer to cover up the original slat subfloor. The sealer also seals the grain (which is pretty coarse and precludes a stain/varnish finish).

Priming the kitchen floor took about 1/2 hour:

Now for the fun part; adding the color! We chose a nice red porch paint:

Lay it on thick (and buy good paint) and you can get it done in one coat! We've already purchased the wall paint and, let's just say, it'll go well with the sassy floor color.

The next day the floors that were varnished on the day prior looked pretty darn good:

With a few area rugs and our trash-to-treasure and family/friend heirlooms furniture, this place will be darn homey! Take-home lesson: we are, generally speaking, not making watches (which leaves more time for gardening or whatever else you like to do!).


  1. Next up on the Common Milkweed, Steve does major repairs at his old buddies house in Indiana. Thanks Milkweed Steve:)

  2. Simply lovely. What a gem you have created.

  3. Hi Jennifer and Steve...Hard to believe what you have accomplised so far...looking good!!
    Like that sassy red kitchen floor and will be watching to see that wall color!!
    Your little home has so much character..loving that arch; built in (hutch?) and the wood floor looks like a mirror and to think all that stuff was right there on hand to work with!!

  4. The floors are aMAZing! I can't believe how quickly this old clunker is turning into a cozy gem.

  5. looks fantastic! what a big change already!

  6. Looking good! I cannot wait to see the finished product. Your little cozy place has truly come from trash to treasure! Yah!

  7. LOVE the varnish idea?? Wanted to know if you had any advice on the cheapest and best way to fill in spaces between wooden floors?? Our floors have HUGE gaps in some spots, and small gaps in others. I would love to fix them, but can't afford to spend a fortune. Any ideas????

  8. To answer c.olberding's question - I'm not sure how best to fill in the gaps between your floor slats. One possible way (if you are then going to paint)would be to use some sort of floor leveling compound. I've not used this but it's something that people use to level-up an uneven floor surface prior to installing linoleum, etc. I'd say google that and see what others have done...good luck!


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