Saturday, 12 November 2016

Stairway to....Well, The Top Floor of Course!

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It's hard to explain how bad these stairs really were. They are original, and I believed they could be beautiful again, but how in the world was I going to do it?
I tried sanding them, the sander got all gummed up, and it took forever to get four steps done.

Since I thought it couldn't get any worse, I neglected to cover them up when the drywall mudder came. BIG mistake.
One day I just tackled them. I probably broke all the rules of staining, but I'm a rebel like that.
I first stained them with Minwax stain, and then immediately stained them with Java Gel Stain, until I had a reasonably even finish. It worked! After fretting over what I was going to do with these stairs for 4 years, I finally did it!

You see? I wasn't kidding about how bad they were, but the floor upstairs looked great, and the floor downstairs looked great! So I had to try.

Here they are after the staining was finished. I also used Java Gel Stain on the hand rail and spindles.

I then varnished them two times.

Can you even believe these are the same stairs?

I cannot even tell you how much I love them!

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Thursday, 10 November 2016

While We Are On The Subject of Doors! A few other door makeovers.

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Do doors get any uglier than this? Really? This is a 36" door. There are two of them, in fact.  Budd and I wanted to get rid of them and replace them with smaller ones. Johnny wanted to leave them alone, he said we have enough work to do, on that point he is definitely correct.

Well, I couldn't leave them alone, so I figured it was worth a try to make them look better.

It's always a process, paint, antique, sand, design!

Settle on a plan, and forge ahead!

See what I mean? Paint, stain, sand. 1,2,3!

Then stand back and have a look...and look... and look!

And look again, close up, far away, upside and and inside out!

 Put it back in place.

And much later, finally begin painting to cover up that red wall!

I've had good reviews by people who have come to tour the stone house, so I'm taking this as a success!
Now on to the next one. This door was in the house when we bought it, but it is not original to the house when it was built. It doesn't show so much here, but it was very orange, and a little beat up.

Enter Java Gel Stain by General Finishes. This product is incredible! This is my own personal opinion and I am not compensated by General Finishes in any way, although, I wouldn't refuse, if you know what I'm saying.
Here is a picture of the door finished, and trimmed out.

These are original French doors that we removed, and later replaced. I just started working on these, but then sunshine and warmer temperatures called, so you will have to wait until Spring to see the finished product. 

Not really a cliff hanger, but I hope you will come back and check it out again.

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Saturday, 5 November 2016

This Is the Story of a Door. Ugly slab door makeover.

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In the stone house that we are renovating, we created a pantry, in that pantry is a window, we didn't want to lose the light that shines in there so we needed  pantry door with a window. I could probably have found a suitable door, but that just isn't my way is it?
I went looking through my stash, and I do have some very nice doors, but I didn't want to ruin any of them by taking out a lovely old panel and inserting glass.
When we found this door, and it was just the size we needed, I seriously didn't know if I could make this look good, but it was worth a try.

I found just the right window in my stash (this is just a little part of my stash), it's from my Grandmother's house, circa early 1930's.

I cut a hole in the door with a circular saw, and secured the window in by nailing and gluing cottage grade tongue and groove panelling over it. I cut the tongues and grooves off, and turn the paneling backward so that I have a rough surface to do the paint treatment on.

I outlined the edge of the door with paneling,

and then chose to do a couple of strips down the middle.

I painted the door white and then stained over it with black, rubbing most of it off I liked the window as it was so I didn't even have to paint it. Then I sanded the rough paneling with the sander. This picture is of the back of the door. I wasn't going to bother adding the extra embellishment in the middle, but later realized that I had the wrong swing going, so I eventually finished this side too and it became the outside after Johnny switched the hinges over for me.

Here it is in place, can you see the photo bomber?

I bet you can now!

I saved the original trim and we used it again on the main floor of the house, isn't it pretty?

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Monday, 26 September 2016

Stenciled Antique Maple Floor

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I'm so excited to show you my floor that I'm going to post the picture right off the bat. This is the front entrance in the stone house that we are renovating.

Here it is after it was sanded and repaired. It is maple, and original to the house.

In this picture you can see the original sanded floor at the left, then the area that has 2 coats of stain, and closest to the camera you can see what it looked like after 1 coat of stain.

Two coats.

I have seen this stenciled floor many times on the web and I love it!

 I made a stencil with my Silhouette Cameo. It is large, 24", so I had to make it in two pieces.

I decided to cover it on both sides with clear vinyl to help hold everything together.

I then cut out the design with an utility knife. I realized that the Silhouette changed things a little bit and it was no longer a one piece stencil, so I had to tape part of it back together again. Later I realized that it had changed more than I realized and had to add more tape to cover parts that I had cut out. I would not have gotten the look I wanted had I not done this.

 Here we go! The first painting is always the scariest, what if I mess this up? What if I paint it too heavy? What if I lay the pattern out wrong?
I started a little bit off the edge because I have to add one more board to the beginning of the hallway.

Here's how it looked after getting several of the designs done.
A work in progress!

Here it is, all done! Well, all done for today because at this point I could hardly get up off the floor. I pulled a muscle in my back on Saturday and this project just about did me in! I need to put a couple of coats of varnish on it.
This is the view from the kitchen to the front entrance.

 Here it is from the livingroom to the foot of the stairs.

So far, with the people that have seen it, the women love it, and the men don't! Ha ha, luckily the men weren't around when I was doing it, and now it's too late to change it.

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Saturday, 17 September 2016

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My posts have been few and far between, but don't think that's because I haven't been busy, I definitely have.
My son Budd is trying to get his house ready to put on the market, so we've taken a break from the stone house to help him.
Upstairs has been finished for a few years, but he hadn't gotten around to finishing the basement. He got it framed and dry walled. Then it was time for flooring. The spot where he and Johnny are standing is right where the bar will be going.

Just like the magic of television, the floor is all done. Doesn't it look great?

Jumping ahead by leaps and bounds, Budd and Johnny built a short 2X6 wall for the bar, and they started the cupboard where the bar sink will be. I started putting up the faux barn wood boards.

All of the wood in this project was reclaimed.  I'm pretty proud of that. Budd scavenged some scraps from his friends garbage pile, and of course Johnny and I never throw out a piece of wood.

Another view. Doesn't it look nice with the floor? 
For the barn wood I used a variety of salvaged wood, that top piece with the nice grain is actually a plywood scrap.

 I love how the pot lights shine down on it.

Here's a look at my work site. Yup a tailgate.  Busy staining and painting boards to get that look I wanted. I salvaged these nice wide boards from the windows at the stone house.

A nice sunny day for working outside.

Finally it was time to work on the face frame for the cupboard. All the information I need is on that piece of paper. I picked up the cupboard doors at the Restore for $5 each, I bought four, but plans changed when Budd remembered he wanted to put a mini fridge in the cabinet.

Here's the process for making barn wood. The piece on the left is the backsplash and the one of the right is the front of the counter top.

Rub some black stain randomly. 

Go over it with some light stain, which lightens the black stain.

Then I dry brushed some white, and rubbed it in. I went back with a little smudge of black stain here and there until I had the look I wanted.

Once the cupboard was all put together, Budd cut a hole in the counter and installed a bar sink. The bar top was leftover from his kitchen when he changed the cupboard plan and it wasn't needed.  The bar sink he had for a while, I think from a friend.

The pictures aren't the best, but I love the finished product!

He plans to put a couple of bar stools on this side of the bar, so people can sit and watch TV on the opposite wall. It will also leave space for a couch on the other side.


Here we are after a long day, it's almost finished at this point, you would think we would be smiling :)

So what do you think of our project?

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