Signs the VOCs are getting to you…

My brain has essentially been marinating in volatile organic compounds for the last 120 hours, which sounds exactly like what occurred in my kitchen the last time I forgot to open my refrigerator for a week, but really just means I’ve been sniffing a lot of paint fumes lately. One of the many joys of a 150 year old farm house is that all of the windows have been sealed shut with 150 years worth of paint, which results in the exact opposite a “well ventilated area” work area.

Let’s be honest, the sawdust-to-braincells ratio in my head is probably 2:1, so I’m already working at a disadvantage here, and then I catch myself having conversations like this, out loud, to my living room floor:

Me: It’s weird that wood stains are named after actual types of wood. I’m staining my oak floors with Dark Walnut stain…

Me: That’s kind of bullshit, actually. Like, what? Oak isn’t good enough just being oak? Or being darker oak? Oh, no, this oak has to pretend it’s actually walnut.

Me: You know what I’m doing right now? I’m supporting the oppression of wood. I’m saying, “Hey oak floors, I don’t accept you for who you are. You are only good enough for me if you’re pretending to be something you’re not.” If someone said that shit to me, I would punch them in the face. Isn’t that right, cat?



Me: I just basically told my floor to punch me in the face.

Me: Probably I need to go outside and get some fresh air now.

Cat: [eyeroll]

So, yeah. They weren’t kidding about that ventilation thing.

And, while I may have just a smidge of guilt for not being more accepting of my oak floors and their natural, uh, oakness, it’s mostly overshadowed by how much I freaking love the way they look pretending to be walnut.

Before (in all of their warped, honeyed-oak glory):


After 18 hours with a drum sander


…6 hours with various hand sanders…


…4 hours of staining…


…2 coats of poly…


…and 7 new gray hairs for yours truly…


We’ve come a long way, baby.


Next up, actual furniture. And if I’m lucky, a Christmas tree!




22 Responses

  1. you make the oppression of wood (ok, does this make anyone else laugh for *other*, naughtier, reasons?!)the feel good story of the day. oppress on, girlie.

  2. The floors look amazing! Love the wreckage and chaos teetering on the edges of all of your hard work.

  3. Your floors are absolutely gorgeous! BTW, I have crazy conversations like that all the time. For no real reason. At least you were huffing chemicals!

  4. At least there is no one around for the cat to report you to, right? The floors look fantastic, by the way!

  5. Those are some sexy floors! I told my husband that “Dark Walnut” stain on floors is the equivalent to a little sexy black dress with the strappy high heels :o)
    My house’s heart pine floors are stained Dark Walnut, and they are HOT (even though you can see every bot of fuzz and fluff on it)!

  6. So fantastic and inspiring! In my house, I thought refinishing floors was a headache (literally), and I wasnt even the one doing the sanding and staining (just inhaling the fumes. I got that part down). Truly impressed by how awesome yours look.

  7. Fantastic transformation! I think even the pink walls would look good with those amazing floors…

  8. You have transformed this room and it is stunningly elegant. Your conversations with yourself are amusing. My brain thinks that way too. I always wonder what my old house looked like when the first folks moved in before the civil war.i have even gone so far as to have conversations with Mr.M in my head, you know, discussing house stuff. Just think, when it was built there were no power tools.You could use the before and after pictures of this room as a motivational tool for anyone! Congratulations. MD

  9. Those floors look effing awesome – DAMN!!! And I don’t care if it is unfair – that oak looks better dressed in walnut.

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