Monday, April 7, 2014

What's up buttercup?

So I FINALLY started back to work. It's been a long dramatic process but I've now officially been employed for a two weeks! So now we're trying to balance getting stuff done with two full time working individuals and not pass out on the couch after work. Cuz right now, that's all I want to do!

I thought I'd share a few of our new additions we've picked up!

Micheal was like a kid in a candy store when he visited River Market Antiques in Kansas City. Limited by luggage requirements he was only able to pick up a few small items, but the "want" list was long!


I love these salt and pepper shakers, seriously, love. We'll buff them up a bit to take care of the few scuffs.


Also found at River Market Antiques, this marquee S is a lovely addition to our bedroom!

We hit up a family run estate sale a few Sundays back. A very spry and funny gentleman who was moving closer to his family out of state. He was a hoot. :)


This is what we're going to use for the built-in in the guest bedroom. It's perfect because behind the door...

A hanging rack! Paid: $27



Micheal's obsession with old mirrors struck again...


We also added this lovely Ponytail Palm to our household!

What's that around it you ask? The only way we can have a plant and this punk...


He has already managed to "trim" the edges for us, thankfully it's non-toxic to cats.



Friday, April 4, 2014

Free Trees? Yes Please!

Okay, so I totally didn't mean for that to rhyme. But I'll take it! So generally we despise Pepco, our electric provider - for several reasons. For one, when we first moved here our power went out if someone sneezed too hard in a 5 mile radius. This is better now though, so thanks Pepco. Second and more importantly - they BUTCHER our trees. Like seriously they massacre them to keep them from touching the power lines.

However, at least for today Pepco gets some kudos from F2F because they're providing 2,000 free trees to people in their coverage area!


Go to this link: Free Pepco Trees and reserve yours today! There were 1,661 left when I reserved our two redbud trees! Thanks Pepco!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What We (have) Learned this Weekend Recently(ish)

I always enjoyed doing WWL so I thought I'd try to get that going again. And since I haven't done it in foreva I get to include things beyond this weekend. So...WWL sometime over the past 6 months or so :)

  1. We could both totally win the lottery and be happy not working. Being a stay at home wife is pretty awesome. (Official start date is 3/3/14, the fun comes to an end.)
  2. The Germans are 2 for 2 so far in my book - My husband and OSMO
  3. Home Depot buckets are not the best step stools
  4. Some of the most popular posts on our blog are the Mid-Century background descriptions of the different items we have purchased and DIY floating shelves!
  5. ADULT SNOW DAYS ROCK!
  6. Even after taking two years off, I am still the craigslist Queen
  7. If you say the word drywall around me my right eye starts to twitch.
  8. My father-in-law has excellent taste in ladies KU apparel! I pretty much live in the KU shirt he picked out for Christmas and the KU fleece he picked out for my birthday. For a man who is an MU fan this is high praise. :) Thanks Joe!

Alrighty, back to work. Much to do before Monday!!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Modern Door Hardware - Simplicity by Nova Hardware

I truly hate shopping for "modern" hardware of any kind. Seriously. It is so hard to find something simple, good looking and affordable. We had the same issues with picking out kitchen cabinet hardware so it took us foreva to pick something out! That was just for the kitchen, now we're committing to more expensive hardware for the ENTIRE house!

Last weekend we were going through the options and I defeatedly said something like this to Micheal:

"I guess I see us going with something like this. I don't really like it, but I think it's probably going to be what we get."


Quite the ringing endorsement eh? :) So we kept looking and I happened across a line of modern door knobs by a newer company named Nova Hardware. According to their website, it's a small company founded in 2006 that has a line of 9 products consisting of 8 door handles and 1 door stopper. They offer a Limited Lifetime Warranty and the prices are very reasonable.

We decided on the "Simplicity" style handle.


Photo from Nova Hardware

Here is the description from the Nova Hardware Website:

"You’ll fall fast and hard for the simple design of this Simplicity door lever. It is made from beautifully durable stainless steel that will stand up to years and years of active use while retaining its good looks and providing you with optimal performance. It is design to fit all standard home and office doors, and its unique look will blend seamlessly into any decor. It is guaranteed by the manufacturer for life, and can be installed as a right-handed or left-handed lever. It has concealed screws and hardware, so it installs with a seamless look that is svelte and contemporary.

Reversible left or right handed
Concealed screws
2 3/4 inch rosette
Fits doors 1 1/4 inch to 1 3/4 inch"


We ended up ordering from Amazon because they were available with Prime shipping (WOOHOO!) and the option of easy returns to Amazon for the reasonable price of $29.99. It was a bit of a risk as they are a newer company and there was not much on the web about people's experiences having purchased these handles, but given the limited options we were willing to take the risk.

I was like a little kid on Christmas morning when the UPS guy knocked on our door just two short days later! LOVE AMAZON PRIME!




It was very nicely packed and included all of the possible accessories you could ask for.


So far it appears to be a very sturdy handle. A nice satin nickel finish and very sleek/simple look. Micheal is working on installing it as I type! Yay!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Refinishing Hardwood Floors: OSMO Polyx Oil

Of all the projects we have done thus far to our house, this might be my absolute favorite. It's all the more sweet because refinishing our floors was so far down on the list of things we needed to do I didn't see it happening anytime in the near future. I'm not gonna lie, I've done several happy dances and Micheal and I can be seen just wandering by the room and admiring the floor.

We also love the OSMO products. Once we got a method down both the Wood Wax and the Polyx Oil (the finishing coat) were pretty easy to use. I think I'll have Micheal do a separate post on OSMO, what it is and why we used it.

If you haven't seen the other posts in this series make sure to check out:

Refinishing Hardwood Floors: Sanding with a Square Sander
Refinishing Hardwood Floors: OSMO Wood Wax Finish

This final product is your finishing and protecting coat. Here is the official application instructions from the OSMO website. We purchased the Polyx Oil in a gallon can, again runs about $100.

And the video from their website:



The only thing we did differently than the instructions and the video was we wiped the excess off with a clean cloth after we brushed it in. We chose to do this because we kept reading that the biggest mistake people made was leaving too much product on the wood and then it drying to a sticky finish.

Our method:

We cleaned the applicator brush the night before with odorless mineral spirits and rinsed it out with water and then let it dry overnight.

We started in the back of the room and again applied to about 4-5 rows of flooring at a time. This was actually pretty tough to keep track of because you really cannot see exactly where you stopped, particularly after you have wiped off the excess!


We tried to mark our progress by putting a little piece of tape on the trim to denote where we stopped.

So...just brush it on...and then wipe off the excess. We didn't really allow it to sit.


Now, the trick to this is to make sure you get it all and that you don't leave any smudgies. This can very easily happen when using a rag. It generally happens at the end of your "wipe" as it were. Micheal and I each looked at each section from multiple vantage points before we moved onto the next section. Even with this, after the first coat we had a few shiny spots from these smudgies. But the best part?!?! All we had to do was use a Scotch Brite pad with some of the wax and scrub it in and...the shiny spot was GONE!! That was IT! Oh, the wonders. So we let it set over night (10-12 hours) and did the same thing again the next morning.

It was actually ridiculously hard to photograph to accurately represent the look of the floors! Here's my best shot.



Here is my attempt at a comparison photo to show you the difference in the finish. The far wood is the bedroom and the near wood is the poly finish in the hallway. With the OSMO it is definitely a satin finish, not shiny at all like poly. Which I prefer - I think it enhances the beauty of the wood, but it might not be for everyone.


We'll keep you updated on how it wears!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Refinishing Hardwood Floors: Osmo Wood Wax Finish Application

Last time we spoke we had just sanded the floors in the guest bedroom. The improvement was pretty amazing.

For the application of OSMO flooring products you can either just apply the Polyx Oil for a natural finish or you can apply the colored OSMO Wood Wax first to work as a stain. We did two coats of the Wood Wax and then two coats of the Polyx Oil (which ultimately was probably overkill.)

We used the Pine color for the Wood Wax

Image Source OSMOna.com

Here is a link to the official OSMO instructions for applying the Wood Wax Finish. We purchased a gallon of the product for about $100 (which will likely do most of the house) and an 220mm OSMO applicator brush for about $44. We purchased all of our supplies from the Amicus Green Building Center in Kensington, MD.

The brush did not come with a handle and it is not a "screw in" model - rather it requires a wood handle that you then use a little screw to secure it. We had a broken rake so we just took the wood handle off of that - gotta work with what you've got!

Then we opened up our can and stirred well!

Poured the Wood Wax Finish into a clean paint try

Put up a "kitty gate" to keep out the furry hellions.


And began applying - to apply we dipped the brush in the wax and STRONGLY brushed it onto about 6 lines of flooring at a time. The idea is that you're brushing it into the wood, so really bear down. Then we used scotch pads to scrub those 6 boards (getting any last wax into the wood we could) and then wiped those down with a clean white cloth. In the picture below you can see that the back part of the floor (that is lighter) has all of these steps done. The closest part only has the first step done.

Apply Wood Wax Finish to floor. We let it set for about 5 minutes.

Scrub with Scotch Brite Pad

Then wipe ALL excess off with a clean cloth

Make sure to tilt your head at all funny angles to see if there are any shiny spots which would indicate wax left on top of the wood.

Then let it set for 8-12 hours before applying a second coat if you choose to do one. We think it darkened a little after doing a second coat. But not much.

We are SO excited about how this has been turning out.


Also, a fun part is that while it just has wax it's super slippery so you can go all "Risky Business" if you want!


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Refinishing Hardwood Floors: Sanding with a Square Sander

We initially reserved a drum sander but when we got to the rental shop the guy kinda sized us up as being DIYers and after we told him our floors were generally in good condition he said "maybe you should go with the square sander, those drum sanders can really mess us your floor if you haven't used them before." The terrified look on his face told us what we needed to know, we should go with the square sander. So we loaded her up along with:
  • 5 sheets of 80 grit sandpaper(13 x 9 inches)
  • 5 sheets of 100 grit sand paper (13 x 9 inches)
  • Sanding Pad
     
  •  Should have also gotten:
  • 5 sheets of 60 grit - I had to go back for these

Final Cost: 24 hour rental + Sandpaper + Pad = $81



Here Micheal is putting on the weights that come with it. We used all the weights which likely made it a little easier to manage albeit heavy!



Here is Kali inspecting the materials

First you put your sheet of sand paper on the floor and then place your sanding pad (the white thing in these pictures) on top of the sand paper. Then gently place the sander down on top of the sanding pad - make sure to get it nice and lined up!



The sander has little velcro like nubs on the bottom which are what grab onto your sanding pad. Then, take a deep breath, brace yourself, and squeeze the little handles to turn it on. This gives you an idea of what the intensity of ours was:




It didn't jump away from us like the buffer sanders they show on TV but it did take some muscle to keep it going in the desired direction. As you can see you don't need to go with the grain, this is because the sander constantly oscillates in different directions similar to a hand sander so it does not mar your wood.

We were able to get pretty close to the walls with it which is an advantage of the square sander over it's round or drum cousins.




Then start going systematically through your area, you'll see a difference pretty quickly.



It's important to vacuum and wipe down occasionally as you go because with the dust on top it'll look like you've gotten all the poly. However, there are likely areas that are uneven that may have been missed.



You can go over these areas again or you might need to sand them by hand - just make sure you get ALL the poly off!!

We went over the entire room with a 60 grit (used three pieces of sand paper) and then went over it again with 80. We opted not to go over it again with 100, although in hindsight we would have done one pass with the 100 grit sand paper. You do want to change your sand paper out occasionally as the grit will start to wear down.

This is what it looked like when it was done!!







Before and after of the closet


As you can see, we were able to make some pretty significant improvements in the wood. Lastly, wipe down your floor with a wet rag as this will highlight any possible imperfections, scratches or whirl marks possibly left by your sander that you can touch up by hand.