This Old Erie House
By Linda Martin Community Blogger
Owners of old houses have so much in common that house talk comes easy between us. Please join in the conversation as we try to fix, restore and update our old Erie houses.  Read more about this blog.
Archive for the ‘diy’ category
Posted: November 1st, 2010

In my previous post I was going to remove our old thermostat and install a digital one that can be programmed.  The instructions was a 15 minute installation guide.

Well, it took longer than 15 minutes, longer than an hour.  It took a total of about 4 hours to totally complete because I also had to spackle and paint where the old thermostat was because the shape and size was different on the new one. Another hold up was the need for very small screwdrivers to loosen pretty small screws. We had one somewhere…..

I also had to call Honeywell for further instructions because, of course like everything else in the old house, our old thermostat wiring didn’t match anything in their diagrams.  The customer service was very thorough making sure about how our system was set up before giving me the instructions on how to proceed.  It was almost annoying because I had to run to the basement twice for the  answers to questions.  I know they don’t want to be responsible for wiring something wrong and then have the system get ruined but ours only had the two simple wires to deal with and was pretty straight forward but I just needed to know what screws to attach them to. But they were friendly and helpful.  I did manage to figure out how to program it by myself using the operation manual.  I just had a little trouble with the AM/PM which caused us to wake up in the morning very cold. It has since been corrected. Brrrr.

The installation directions said to cut the power to heating system at the switch.  I looked for the switch in our basement like the instructions showed and sure enough we had one and it even said “off” and “boiler.”  The wires led to the boiler.  I used my tester to make sure the power was off to the boiler.  I wasn’t totally at ease using that switch but I didn’t want to cut the power to the whole house if I didn’t have to.

Below is our old thermostat.  It was a White-Rodgers. We are guessing pre 80s.  Maybe even 60s?  It is really ugly.

I removed the cover and this is what it looked like.

Then I loosened the screws on the thermostat but it wouldn’t budge. I had to take a box cutter and score the old paint around the thermostat and then it let loose.

That just left the faceplate and wires.

There was wallpaper behind the faceplate that I didn’t know was there. I removed the faceplate to reveal the wallpaper (below.) It is the same wallpaper that was on the living room walls when we bought the house. It was pretty busy and I can’t imagine it running through both living room and dining rooms but at some point in its past, it did.

I drew around the new thermostat with pencil.  I was going to have to spackle and paint over where the old thermostat’s footprint was.

I put spackle on with a sponge to give it texture to match the wall.  It will leave some points and rough spots when it dries.

When it dried I took a damp sponge over it to smooth the very top just a bit so it matched the rest of the texture. The ridges are smoothed off below.

Below shows the new paint. After it dries a week or so the sheen will match.  I was lucky to still have some of the left over paint from that room.  If not, I would have had to buy a bigger thermostat to try and cover the old thermostat’s footprint or repaint the wall.   I decided to leave the old wallpaper there for another owner in the future to someday discover.

Woohoo! It’s done.  It is very much a DIY project and if you don’t understand something you can call the number they give you on the instructions.  The hardest part was programming it.  Ours had factory presets but you can program time and temperature to be different, which I did.

I’m so glad I finally got this installed. Below, with the cover on, it blends better than the old one and will be much more efficient.

Posted in: Appliances, diy
Posted: October 23rd, 2010

A couple of days ago I started working on the large hole near the ceiling of the kitchen what is suppose to have a louvered vent grate. It doesn’t because the screws holes have splintered and there is nothing solid to screw the unit in to. I planned to use Bondo and fill in the bad areas. I took a chisel to get rid of the plaster filler ridges that someone has made not being careful painting or filling with spackle over the past hundred years.

After cleaning up and vacuuming my mess I got the Bondo out of the storage unit. I went to squeeze the hardener onto the golf-ball sized blob of Bondo per instructions only to find out the tube was empty. Without the hardener I may as well plug the holes with bubble gum, it would have the same consistency. Why do they never give you enough of the hardener? The same is true with epoxy glue. I started rummaging through my work shelves hoping I had bought another can of Bondo a few years ago, but I didn’t. I did see a cardboard-like package with what looked like a large tube of toothpaste. I turned it over and it said Bondo cream hardener. I absolutely don’t remember buying that. I can’t remember the last time I used Bondo but I must have realized I ran out of the hardener and bought some never to think of it again. Just the fact that they sell the hardener separately makes me suspicious they know they don’t put enough hardener in the tube that comes with the can of Bondo.

With hardener in hand I mixed up my Bondo and pushed it into the gaps and holes with a putty knife. The next day when it had fully cured I spackled around the opening so all was flush. Yesterday I sanded the spackle and painted it and by evening I had the grate back up on the wall. I had to shim under the grate to straighten it and drill new screw holes. The grate was always a bit slanted, hardly noticeable, but it bothered me but not anymore! Now, with the louvers shut, heat won’t be rushing up the flue-like opening into the attic. (photos  of before, during and finish below)

Before. Quite embarrassing really! But we did finally get to it. You have to prioritize projects when you have so many.

Louvers removed and the grate is getting stripped.  The green paint came off with the first stripping, this is the second coat of stripper. The louvers needed a major cleaning, too, and are now nice and squeaky clean.

And the final product installed.  I’m pleased with it. It is no longer crooked and it is clean and very similar to the original color.  One more thing I can check off the list.  It does make a big difference in the appearance of that wall.

Posted in: diy
Posted: September 6th, 2010

I stripped the wallpaper off our plaster walls in the living room and dining room a few years ago and fixed the ceilings in both rooms.  What was left was a nice light surface but had some darker areas.  I primed them before painting just to be sure it covered the dark areas and because I was afraid I didn’t get all the glue off from the wallpaper.  I had no problems painting those rooms.

Fast forward to last week.

This kitchen is like the devil.  It’s evil.  It’s HOT! It is very small and has 4 doors with a bunch of decorative crowns on top, a full wall of hoosier-like cupboards with the crowns on them and 2 large windows with crowns. I decided against taping the woodwork because it would take days (exaggeration) going around all that molding. Old plaster ceilings don’t have perfectly straight edges and previous taping was a waste of time and it always bled under or stuck and took the finish off the woodwork. And even when it didn’t, the lines didn’t look straight. Now I know why the old houses have crown moldings, to hide the uneven seams between plaster ceilings and walls. Our kitchen doesn’t have them. Crowns on everything else in the kitchen, though. And I can’t even reach the ceiling where the counters are because the ladder doesn’t get my short arms close enough. Good thing for husbands with long arms.

We are on day, what is it now? Day 5 ? and we still aren’t done. Our tiny little kitchen doesn’t have room to walk with the refrigerator and stove  moved out so a ladder could fit near the wall.  We are so tired of scooting sideways to get by anything.  We can’t find anything.  We put plastic down on the floor and I trip on it, we drip paint and I step in it.  There is no room to work.  Elbow to elbow, “excuse me”, “excuse me!”  There is no air conditioning downstairs and the temperature near the ceiling has to be close to 90 or higher.  It’s easy to get cranky when it’s so hot and you can’t move.   I’ve been working on the dining room floor and the kitchen stairs during the day and when my husband comes home we work painting until we can’t do it anymore. The other rooms were a pleasure, this certainly is not.

Yellow must be a color that doesn’t cover other colors very well.  We paint and paint and the green still shows through.  The paint can says one-coat coverage.  LIAR!!  We bought extra to give it 2 coats just in case.  Two coats still doesn’t completely cover the green underneath.  I always thought the kitchen’s old green was a very light shade but against the light yellow it looks like a darker dull olive.

I went to the store today to get some kind of edger (and another gallon of paint)  because we were having such a time up against the woodwork. I was looking for miracles.  I saw one that looked like it really would work, I was sure of it.  I bought two so if it worked, we could both be cutting in at the same time. We tried one of the edgers to see how it worked before we opened the other one, that way we could return the unused one if it was junk.  It was junk.  My husband told me before he doesn’t like “gimmicks” and it certainly turned out to be just another gimmick and just made a mess and dripped paint on everything. So besides paint, I had egg on my face because I wasted $15 but I can return the other one. He did not rub it in and he could have.  I also bought a rather expensive cut-in brush as a back up.  I figured I could return it  if the edgers worked good, if they didn’t I would use the brush.  I ended up using the brush and it worked much better than anything else. I guess you can’t beat the old standards.

Soooo…what we should have done in hindsight is buy and apply tinted primer and then paint.  It would not have helped the temperature and sweating and it would not have helped doing miles of cutting in around the wood work but it probably would have made a more even color which we’ll get, eventually.  At least we got the one wall done (woohoo!!) and were able to put the appliances back against the wall tonight.  Now there will be room for two ladders.

I must have used a full  tank of hot water each night washing out all the trays and rollers and brushes.  It also take about 1/2 hour to clean everything.  No more. Tomorrow I’m lining the roller pan with one of my recycle bags.  When we are done, we’ll pour the extra back in the can and just throw the plastic away instead of washing the pan and having  paint going down the sink into the water supply.  I’m throwing the roller away, too.  I’ll scrape off the excess paint, let it dry and stick it in a plastic grocery bag.  They should be dried by garbage night. Good riddance. They aren’t that expensive.

It blows my mind that this one room is so hard.

Posted: August 23rd, 2010

I’m currently involved with 3 projects at once.  Multitasking.  When my back hurts from one, I move to the other. The weather turned wonderful.  Low 70s is my kind of temperature and makes me want to work.  I put on my earphones and turn on the audio book and I’m in my own little world.

I finally got around to putting the Waterlox on the dining-room floor (I did the living-room floor back in Dec/Jan.)  I am using the same method I used with the living room.  I put painters tape along the boards to divide the room in half and moved all the furniture to one side.  When the finished side is cured, I’ll move the furniture back to the other side and finish the remaining floor.  It looks good so far.  It will have to cure for 7-10 days before I can start on the other side. (photos to come soon.)

In the meantime I am stripping the back stairs that leads from the kitchen to the upstairs landing.  I haven’t decided what finish to use yet.  The oak front stairs was just completed in the garnet shellac but the pine back stairs borders the kitchen with the natural heart pine woodwork so I may leave those stairs a natural color, too.  I’ll just use Waterlox if I do.  I’m only halfway done with the stripping of the back stairs. I tried both the strong chemical stripper and the Peel Away 6.  Both are so messy. The chemical is so much faster but requires thick gloves and being really careful. Even a little splatter will burn your skin.  Of the parts I have already stripped, the chemical cleaned it best. The downside to the chemical stripper is I can’t leave for a moment in case one of the cats happens down the stairs. Another question I have to answer is if I want to sand out all the marks and dents on the treads.  It’s part of the allure of “antique.”  Some of the treads are worn down in the middle from a century of use.  It would be nice to have the stairs look spanking new but I love the history in the old look. I think the sanding will be minimal. It is what it is, old stairs.  People often try to make their new wood look old like this.

My husband and I bought the paint for our kitchen.  It has been on our list since we bought the house but we just never got to it.  It’s not all that big of a project so why live with ugly dirty, green walls and a green ceiling?  Yesterday we said, “Let’s just do it.”  The worst part will be cleaning those old high ceilings and repairing the cracks.  My neck hates that stuff. It’s the pits to be short and everything seems harder when you are short.   My husband volunteered to do the ceiling. I say, “Have at it!”  We picked a light pale yellow.  It looked pretty light at the store but I knew through past experience how yellow yellow can be when it is up on the wall.  I have the paint sample card up on the wall this morning and I think we picked the perfect color.  We haven’t found a lighting fixture yet that we like for the kitchen.  I’ll keep my eyes open on eBay to try to find a restored vintage lighting fixture that will look right in our kitchen and doesn’t cost a fortune. There is also a foot-square grate near the ceiling.  We want to take that down and see what the original color was.  It is painted green like the walls  now.  I think it would look really nice black and I have a feeling that is the original color.

Posted: July 15th, 2010

My old Creative Zen V Plus mp3 player died a while ago and I found out you can’t change out the battery (so I thought, see video below.)  They made it that way.  Its a great way to make you buy their newer product.  I put it in the drawer thinking I should just throw it but it takes up so little space what harm would it do to hold onto it just in case I plug it in and it was to work again. Didn’t happen.  I loved that mp3 player.  It was easy to use and it had the bookmark feature which is really good for audiobooks.  I used to listen to free audiobooks from and it made my housework and “working on the house” more enjoyable.

I finally replaced my Zen with a Zune HD.  I love it.  I got a free pass to the Zune Marketplace for 14 days of free music listening.  I used it about 2 times. I had to give credit card information, email, address, the whole works just to get the free pass. They said the reason you had to give the credit card is because of verification of age or something like that.  If I wanted to try the free pass for 14 days, I had to give that info. One week into it, I knew I wanted to cancel because I’m just not going to buy any music.  I have plenty of CDs at home that I transferred onto my Zune HD.  I also get free audio books from Overdrive through our Blasco Library. The library is great because I download them and it will load right into my Zune HD.  Easy as pie once I figured it all out.

But opting out of the Zune Marketplace was a nightmare.  Let me tell you they have you running in circles.  I followed the instructions for canceling but there was no option for it where the instructions said.  I finally, after an hour of clicking and searching, called the support line to find an endless circle of options.  I finally happened to get a real operator.  I told her about the instructions weren’t right for canceling.  She said, “you can’t do it on your end.”  Really?  They want to to get so frustrated that you just give up?  How nice and your credit card is on the account so anyone that ever gets your Zune HD can buy music because mine logged into the “marketplace” automatically (and I’m sure I didn’t set it up that way.)  Wait, it gets worse, even if you cancel on the Zune site, there is another site that your info went to.

To finish getting my credit card off of the account, she also had me sign in to and I found out I had an account on that website and they had my credit card info, too!  I had to go through a bunch of steps to get my credit card off of that site.  I’m under the impression I’ll always be signed up with those two websites but at least there just won’t be a credit card associated with it.  The Zune HD, I love, the people behind it, not so much.

  • During a YouTube search for mp3 players to learn more about how to use my Zune HD, I came across a video about replacing the battery on the Creative Zen V Plus.  What?!!  Previously I only came across articles saying you couldn’t replace them, that’s why I bought the Zune HD.  But this video shows you how to do it.  The Creative Zen is glued shut and you have to break the glue seal (which is kind of hard but what do you have to lose?) and take out the circuit boards and of course, the battery is glued onto the bottom (just to make it harder, I’m sure.) I followed the instructions on that video and I got mine apart without breaking it.  I got the battery out and then searched online for a replacement.  Radio Shack (online only) has a replacement for something like $24.  I found eBay had some from over seas but it would take a long time to get it and I’m not sure about that seller.  I ordered mine and it should be here in a day or two. I’m not sure if taking the battery out will do away with the software on the Zen V Plus or what.  But it will be worth a try.  My husband can use it for his music.  The problem with the Creative Zen V Plus is that it will only play mp3 and wma files I found out AFTER ripping about 30 of his favorite CDs into a m4a format that my Zune HD can play but the Zen won’t. Oh, well, I’ll just start converting once I found out if the Zen will really work when I replace the battery.

Here is the YouTube video I found that helped me with replacing the battery, just in case you have one that the battery no longer recharges. I’ll know in a few days if it all worked for me.

Posted in: diy
Posted: June 15th, 2010

I bought one of those coiled “springhoses” at one of the big box stores a couple of years ago.  It runs under our deck and and coiled on a short stake in the ground after it exits from under the deck.  We have one of those wand shut-off ends on it.  In the middle of the night I got up to get a drink of water and heard water running. Yes, we leave the faucet on because it also feeds through a 4-way splitter, a trickle to the fountain (on at all times) and the drip line on a timer for my potted plants.  The coiled hose sprung a leak under the deck.  I went out and shut the faucet off.

I did a search online to find a place that sold real rubber hoses. They are supposed to hold up better and we get ice and snow in the winter and I don’t want to have to bring it in each fall and crawl under the deck to hook it back up each spring. Our faucet in that area is right where the deck was built and they built it over the top of the it with a little hatch in the corner of the deck for access.  It makes everything hard to hook up because you have to be on your belly on the deck and reach down to the faucet underneath or crawl about 15 feet on your belly under the deck.

While searching for the rubber hose online I saw listed the hose I just bought the week before for the side of the house.  A NeverKink hose.  It looked heavy duty in the store and I liked the fact it is supposed to not kink easily and was a little pricey but I figured worth it. But I noticed the reviews averaged only 2 stars out of 28 reviews.  That’s a bad review.  I read some of the reviews and I guess the hose kinks.  Great.  Ok, back to the rubber hose.  I found that Sears sold the rubber hoses.  Lucky for us as we still had a gift card for any store at the mall and Sears was one of them.  We bought our “free” hose and had enough left over on the gift card for a pair of cheap safety glasses.

It was raining hard so there was no rush to hook up the hose as nothing needed watering.  But yesterday it had dried out a little bit and even though my husband looked tired after coming home from work,  I asked him if we could quickly hook up the hose.  It should be quick and easy. He’s wary as I’ve said that before.  We would unscrew the damaged coiled hose from the faucet and screw it to the new rubber hose.  One of us would pull the old hose through the lattice from under the deck and the other feed the new hose into the access hatch by the faucet.  That way we wouldn’t have to climb under the deck.  So we hooked the two hoses together at the hatch and my husband pulled the old hose through the lattice under the deck and I fed the new hose in.  I heard a “verbal noise” coming from my husband and I looked up. He was holding the end of the damaged hose but there was no new hose hooked to it anymore. It wasn’t funny at the time because that meant one of us was going to have to crawl through the mud and pull the new hose under the deck and feed it out through the lattice work bordering the deck. Pulling the coiled hose through the lattice must have turned the hose like a cork screw as it pulled through and unscrewed the end.

After the old hose flew through the air and ended up somewhere in the garage, my husband changed into old clothes for the crawl into the pit of spiders, mud and unknown creatures. We disassembled an area of the lattice to get under the deck and as my husband was down trying to get into it, it became obvious that he was too tall to crawl once he made it through the access point on his belly.  I can belly crawl and have been under there before for the first hose hookup and because I”m short, I needed to be the one to go as long as I got help getting back up when I came out from under there.  As I crawled into the almost darkness, I killed a centipede from under a rock I had to move and a huge spider carrying a big egg sack on her back as I crawled on my belly under the deck. Luckily, no wasps (that I saw.)

We got the new hose hooked up and not leaking after about a half an hour. It was like doing sit ups every time I tried to thread that hose on the faucet because I could only sit half way up and had to reach up for the faucet. It took several tries to get that dumb thing to thread correctly. I was starting to lose my cool and my stomach muscles were shot.

While I was coming back out I decided to fix the gutter underneath the deck.  The slope was wrong and water was leaking back out of the pipe at the joint.  Of course there were rusty screws holding it together that were stripped so I took a channellocks and tried to yank them out.  I pinched my hand in the handles of the tool and that was finally my breaking point.  Everyone has one.  I yanked and banged for all I was worth thinking (maybe verbally) how I hated those screws, you stupid screws! and it gave way, the tool almost hitting me in the face, sweat rolling into my eyes, my neck kinked sideways so I wouldn’t hit my head.  I rerouted the gutter and climbed out from under the deck, I was covered in mud, dirt and webs  in my hair with my stomach and arms quivering.

Something supposedly so simple as changing out a split hose turns into an intense hatred for all hoses and screws.

Posted in: diy
Posted: March 26th, 2010

I climb the stairs to our office, sit down, click on the YouTube link on the computer browser and type in tutorial. I couldn’t remember what I was going to look up but it was a tutorial for something. I’ll remember later. I have so many things going through my mind lately that it happens more often than I’d like. I just click “search” and tutorials line the page. On just one page I could learn how to put on red lipstick (I watched that one,) how to use paper bags as curlers, how to moon walk (don’t ask me why, but I watched that one and tried one step and hurt my knee,) how to look like a cartoon (I have that one down already, I didn’t need the video,) how to fix your hair, fold paper airplanes and even how to play the piano.

After wasting 45 minutes, I remembered I was looking up how to make my own water-based shellac. I made my own once from a recipe I found on the internet but now can’t find it. Usually I can find how to do or make anything using YouTube but not this time. But I did add to my knowledge base of “how-to” during my search. Last week I learned how to actually use my Corel Paint Shop Pro program from watching YouTube tutorials. All the power in that program and all I ever did with it was resize photos and adjust the brightness. Look for better pictures on this blog from now on and my family members are in for a surprise when I turn them into look-a-like Avatar creatures.
Sorry Honey!

There aren’t that many tutorials on YouTube about shellac and none are very informative, in my opinion. When I do find the recipe for homemade water-based shellac and get it down pat, I’ll make my own tutorial on YouTube. I noticed that a few tutorials, among other things, on YouTube are now pay-per-view. I wonder when YouTube started doing that. I hope that isn’t the future but I suspect it will be as people don’t want to give their years of knowledge and secrets out for free.

Posted in: diy
Posted: February 18th, 2010

So far I’m a bit disappointed. I mail ordered the Timbermate Wood Filler because it sure looked like it worked really well in the YouTube commercials. It’s water based and no waste as you can add water to the sanded off powder and reuse it.

I first tried it on about a 6 ft piece of 8-inch wide, old-growth white oak baseboard.

I diluted it down to the consistency of thick paint and smeared it on the board. I left it proud of the surface so I could sand it down flat and smooth. When it dried I started sanding it off with 120 sandpaper. The directions said not to use coarser than that. It sanded pretty easily and turned into a powder like corn starch. You can save the powder and add it back to the bucket and reuse it. It sanded off nice and smooth. Then I brushed on my first coat of garnet shellac. The white-oak colored Timbermate took on the color of the garnet shellac and looked good. But the grain and ridges still started to build like it does when I don’t use wood filler. You can really see it in the raking light.

Shellac has that tendency to “pucker” up along the ridge lines because of the surface tension of the quick evaporation of the alcohol in it. I ended up having to do just as much sanding and rubbing back as I normally do. Maybe I sanded it down too far.

In the next try I made the mixture a little thicker and this time I sanded it off using 320 sandpaper and didn’t sand down all the way down to the wood. I could see the grain but I didn’t feel the grain. It took a lot longer to sand with the 320 sandpaper. I thought that would work better than my first try. It did, but I still didn’t get that nice smooth surface you see on the commercials. I think perhaps it was because of the nature of shellac. I did get my final smooth surface with no grain showing with less rubbing out. I guess I was looking for miracles.

I have more baseboards to do. My next try will be to put Waterlox Original on top of the grain filler as a first coat and let it dry overnight. Maybe if I can keep the the shellac from soaking into the grain filler, it won’t pucker up on the ridges. I’ll let you know how that works.

Posted: December 23rd, 2009

After all my complaining about taking that baseboard off, I got rewarded. I’m so into local history in general and the history of our house. I was sanding the floor with my orbital sander along the edge where the baseboards were and a little piece of paper came flying up through the air and landed in front of me. It was about an inch square and dirty. I picked it up and took a good look at it but couldn’t tell what it was. I took out the magnifying glass but still couldn’t read it very good. Next I put it on the flatbed scanner and scanned it at 1200 dpi and enlarged it.

It was a 1933 canceled stamp from Chicago celebrating 1833 to 1933, Century of Progress, Fort Dearborn . These are little treasures that make all the work a little easier to deal with. I also found a little scrap of wallpaper that I hadn’t previously known was on the wall. It is a light tan color with a tiny cream-colored heart on it. It’s a small piece so I don’t know what the rest of the pattern was.

Finding the little stamp put a halt to my day’s work and put me into search mode. I took a needle-nose pliers and a tweezers to pick up stuff that was down in the cracks at the end of the floorboards that was previously hidden by the baseboards. Lots of lint debris, a hairpin, a stick pin, some blue paint chips, a tiny piece of newspaper that read, 1924, and a partial piece of what looks like part of a greeting card.

Because of the delays I’m not even going to try and finish the living-room floor before Christmas. What does it matter if I’m a week later, it’s still going to get done. The floor is totally ready to finish (sanded and vacuumed) but I don’t want the smell in the house for Christmas. So tomorrow will just be putting my tools and supplies away, cleaning the house from all the dust I created again and wrapping presents.

Posted: December 16th, 2009

We have been spending this Christmas season working around closed off areas, bunched up furniture and the smell of Waterlox which smells a lot like a mix of mineral spirits and car exhaust. My nose smells things funny. This isn’t the best time of year to be refinishing your floors. You need ventilation for days. Waterlox is solvent based and after that evaporates it needs oxygen to cure. I cracked the basement window open during the day and opened the attic door so it drew the air from the basement up to the attic and did a good job of ventilating. But as the air flowed up, so did the heat and it’s been 25 degrees outside and the boiler has been running almost non-stop. I think the heating bill will be a surprise next month. I’ve turned the thermostat down to try and make up for it. The smell is only strong for a day or two then it gets much better.

I ended up taking the baseboards off. It’s just to hard to refinish them down on the floor. I’ll have to do some more plaster repair because of it but that’s easier than hours down on the floor. The photo following was what the floor looked like after the first coat was applied and was still wet. The color was gorgeous and it was on bare wood without any stain or dye. My husband said it looked like aged scotch. I think it looks like caramel (same difference?) We are doing half the floor at a time because we just don’t have a place to put the furniture. I went around the TV and will come back and do that part later. Waterlox is suppose to be easy to blend and repair so it shouldn’t cause a problem. We’ll see later if that is true.


I went to bed happy and pleased with the results. The next morning brought an unwelcome surprise as the finish all but soaked completely in.


We knew by reading the Waterlox label (Original Sealer/Finish) that it was suppose to take 3 coats, a day or more between each coat, for hardwoods. But even after 3 coats there were some places that looked like it had soaked in. I must not have put it on thick enough. I waited another 2 days and added the 4th coat. I may have to buy more to complete the project. It dried beautiful.

See photo below. This photo is after 4 coats that have dried. I have a few little places where I see a stray cat hair or two that I’ll fix when we are done with the whole floor. I’m excited about how pretty it turned out. We have to wait at least 7 days before we put the furniture back on the refinished floor. I bought the recommended felt to put on the bottom of the furniture to keep it from scratching the floor. Waterlox doesn’t fully cure for 30 to 90 days but is mostly cured in 7 days. After the 7 days we will move the furniture and start on the other half of the living room floor. I want the living room floor done by Christmas. The baseboards will take longer.