{renovate} how to paint a kitchen floor

Hello friends! As of Abi's post on friday, my {fall favorites} series is officially over! Did you all enjoy? I loved, loved, loved learning what everyone likes about fall. And, I just have to thank all my lovely and talented guest blogger friends one more time -- not only did they get me through a much needed long vacation, but they were a life savers in the first couple weeks of my new job. Thanks friends! :)

But at this point, I think I've kept you waiting way too long for a kitchen update! Let's talk about the kitchen floors today. Maybe some of your remember a few months ago, I posted about options for painting the floor. You can reread the post here, but to summarize, the original hardwoods were covered by two layers of linoleum and the blackest of black glue, applied heavily in the 1920s. Painting the floor was an idea that would allow us to work with what we have and we asked you all to vote on painted floor colors. To date, this was by far my most controversial post. So many of you commented to vote on a color, but just as many commented to tell me NOT to do it. To take the extra amount of time to finish sanding. Or to just install a new floor over it! The post caused me a considerable amount of pause. I trust your opinions and we've worked so hard on the kitchen -- I didn't want the floor to ruin the space!

Chris and I talked about a bunch, but in the end we decided to proceed with painting. So, guess what I did in the two nights leading up to us leaving for Italy? Pack? Psssshh. I painted our floor! 

I want to share our reasons for painting with you.

1. I've always wanted to paint a wood floor. I just like the look a lot! (I actually wrote a post about painted floors way back in 2009). Chris agrees with me and we decided that in our house, this is the best space to try painted floors.

2. The floor really was terrible. Like, really, really terrible. So many of your encouraged me to keep sanding. But realistically, even if we took the ridiculous amount of hours it would've taken to sand the entire floor, it was never going to look as good as the rest of our wood floors. The dark black glue was leaving dark stains on the wood. Since the kitchen is now such a focal point in the house, these dark spots would've been very obvious. And ugly.

3. We can always go back and recover later. We both decided that if we painted and hated it, or even, painted and grew sick of it in a couple years, we can always go back then and add bamboo, or marmoleum or whatever. We wanted to at least give painting a try first.

Now about that color. Many of you commented that you'd actually paint the floor a darker grey. And, you guys were so right! In fact, the stairs to our back entry are grey and its a grey we really like, so we decided just to continue that grey into the kitchen.

Want to see how we did them? We have lessons to teach you friends. Mistakes were made. Oh, and if you don't care about the method, there are more pretty pictures at the end of the post :).

First, we taped off the pattern we'd roughly sanded in. Here's where I get really nervous. Remember when I learned that really awesome trick for making super clean lines (click here to see my cleanly striped hallway)? Well, that trick requires two different paints -- you can't "seal" tape lines if you're your stripe is actually natural wood. Cue intense nervousness from the worrier (me!). I made sure the tape was pressed down as hard as possible :).

Next came primer. And here's what the first coat looked like. Panic much? Yeah, there was some panic. Because, ugh! Crackle, while a lovely throw back to 1985, is NOT the look we're going for.

At this point I should probably tell you that we had a professional hardwood floor company come in to give us a quote about pulling up the linoleum and refinishing the floor. I should also tell you that it was against the law for them to touch it because of how old the first layer of linoleum is. Apparently old linoleum glue = super hazard chemicals = can only be removed by specialists in white puffy suits in a sealed off room. In a nutshell, having professionals re-do our hardwoods would've cost more than the entire kitchen remodel! 

So back to that first coat of primer. Of course I grabbed a can of water-based primer. I really hate oil-based anything -- it's so hard to clean up. This lazy attitude was SUCH. A. MISTAKE. Friends in old houses, if you are planning on sealing off anything that is old, has remnants of glue or old paint, please you an oil-based primer. Thank you for learning from my mistakes.

After the first layer was dry, I crossed my fingers, sanded the entire thing and painted coat number 2. Which didn't crackle as a bad, but still. At this point, we were leaving for Italy in two days and we needed to take a huge chance and add paint. Cue more nervousness.

Here's where I admit we got so lucky. The paint didn't crackle! We used Behr Premium Plus Porch and Floor Paint, which is super thick and amazingly tough paint (our back stairs, which we use approximately 50 times a day, still look perfect two years later).

And here's where I have to tell you that I've received no compensation from Frog Tape - although I probably should be ;)! - for the glowing review I'm about to give you. I pulled up the tape as soon as I'd painted the second coat, when it was still a little wet. Friends, the line is PERFECT. OMG! There is not a speck of paint seepage anywhere in the kitchen. I didn't apply the tape in any special way - just made sure that it was pressed down really good - the result is complete perfection. Thanks to Frog Tape for helping to create a beautiful kitchen floor. If the tape had allowed seepage, this would be a very different blog post. And there would've been tears :).

Want to see more beauty shots of the finished floor?

I know it might not be everyone's cup of tea, but we LOVE it. The whole reason we decided on a stripe of wood around the room was to create a flow between the living room and the kitchen. It achieves this perfectly. And, as you can see, the nook in back is a solid grey. When you walk in our front door, you see hard wood, transitioning to partial hardwood/partial painted, transitioning to totally painted. It looks like a planned design element, instead of an attempt to hide a horrible wood floor. Ahem.

I still need to coat the floor with a couple layers of polyureathane, which will make the wood really pop. That'll be happening this week! 

I know this remodel seems like it's taking forever (because it is!), but we're so close. We're finishing up the island (update soon!) and then we just have trim and tile. See? CLOSE. There's an end in sight an this makes me very, very happy :). 

Happy Monday friends!


{fall favorites} gadding gal

Jenn asked "What is one thing you're loving this fall" and I really had to think about it. Not because I couldn't think of anything, but narrowing it down to one thing. Fall is my most-favoritess season. All the changes, the crisp, cool air that starts making its way into our day, spicy warm drinks and pumpkin-everything foods. That says fall to me. This fall, I'm especially loving greys and oranges--not just the fruit.

Maybe it's my growing obsession with greys, and that orange is a "must" shade for me in the fall; but the combination of cool and warm colors makes my heart pitter-patter. We're moving this month, so my house is missing a fall decor makeover, but you can bet your bottom dollar I'm wearing grey and orange combo's (you have to look fabulous, even when you're packing boxes) every chance I get. Loving those greys and oranges...and this might be my favorite combination: grey toenails and Roxann--who happens to be a perfect shade of orange!

 Thanks for letting me share what I'm loving this fall, Jenn! Happy Fall!

from Jenn: Abi, thank you for sharing! I LOVE this last photo! Your toes and Roxann are gorgeous! :) Friends, make sure to visit Abi's blog, Gadding Gal. She puts together amazing outfits, diy-project and rooms!


{Italy} A Roman Holiday

So friends, shall we talk about our recent adventures in Italy? I've finally made it through all 600+ photos and I can't wait to share our trip with you! For me, the trip was split into two parts -- one week traveling with Chris and one week staying with a good friend from college, who moved to Italy a few years ago. That's right, Chris had to leave after only seven days! :(. Just to give you a little overview, Chris and I spent two nights in Rome, two nights in Tuscany, two nights in Cinque Terre and one night in Modena, with my friend, before he left. I then stayed in Modena (it was SO NICE not to be moving hotels every couple days!) and took day trips to Florence, Verona, Venice and a couple other cute small towns.

As for sharing our trip with you, we began our trip in Rome, let's start there, yes? We actually flew into Milan and took a three hour train down to Rome, where we arrived late afternoon. Honestly, it was a crazy long day, but it worked out perfectly. We got settled in our hotel, ate dinner and went to bed early. It was super helpful for our jet lag, but we did have to cram a LOT into day two :).

We started our day at the Vatican. I honestly had no idea what to expect, but it was HUGE. And there were SO many people. But the museum and the artwork and the architecture were amazing. 

Of course, the Vatican led us directly to St. Peter's Basilica, which was our main goal of the entire venture. (Oh, and I know, it's free. It's a long and boring story why we went through the Vatican to get there. But if you're visiting Rome, shoot me an email, because in that case the why is worth knowing!). So, when I started college I was actually an art major. Even though I switched after a couple semesters, one of my favorite classes of all, and the one that by far made the biggest impact on me, was art history. I LOVED that class. And one of the statues we studied, and that I fell head over heals for, was Michaelangelo's Pieta.

Well, it lives at St. Peter's. I knew it would be even more amazing in person, but was still in complete awe. It's actually behind glass now -- there was a vandalism episode in the 70's -- and that was kind of a bummer, but even separated by glass it was beautiful and powerful and amazing.

After that we simply wandered. It's what we do best. We picked out a few things on the map that we'd like to see and we just wandered through various neighborhoods to get to those places, taking in the sights and sounds as we went along. We stopped where we felt like it, got off course if we saw something interesting and generally just had a lot of fun.
We spent a few minutes at the Trevi Fountain.

And, quite awhile at the Pantheon. Which is so, so cool. Oldest church in Rome, dating back to Caesar! 

And wow, you can completely see my gray hair in the photo above. Yikes!

We ended our day at a lovely little restaurant near the river. We didn't intend to go anywhere near the river, but an Irish woman we met earlier in the afternoon when we stopped to watch a street performer recommended this neighborhood for dinner. She was right. We sat outside a tiny restaurant along a super sweet little street and shared a beautiful Italian dinner. The next day we'd risk our lives to rent a car and drive out of Rome heading for Tuscany, but that evening was perfect.


{fall favorites} newcomb home

Hi friends! I’m excited to be here at Jenn’s place today. I’m Katie, and I blog about home renovation, decor, and my chickens over at Newcomb Home. When Jenn asked us to write about one thing we’re loving this fall, I thought, “Just one?” :)

Really, between hoodies, hot chocolate, and Halloween, there is just too much to choose from. And I can’t forget Beaver football!

But for my home, the one thing I’m loving this fall is decorating with natural elements. I know summer is full of flowers and sunshine, but I love the colors of fall. Its easy to decorate with natural elements with so many options right outside the front door – brightly colored leaves, pumpkins, gourds, corn, I could go on :) 

A little nature can spice up any area for Fall. Just find your favorite colorful part of your yard, and bring it in! For me, its the bright orange Chinese lanterns that grow in our front yard. I created a fun, natural tablescape featuring the little lanterns.

Pumpkins, leaves, or a corn husk wreath bring the season to your mantel.

la101956_1106_gtharvest_xl (Source: Martha Stewart)

Or an acorn frame can spruce up your bathroom.

Acorn Framed
(Source: bhg.com)
And pears, leaves, and nuts can bring the season into your kitchen.

Wire Basket Thanksgiving Centerpiece
(Source: bhg.com)
Fall brings so many vibrant colors in nature, its no wonder its my favorite season. And I can’t forget the comfort food :)

I hope you’ll come say Hi over at Newcomb Home and see my other Fall and Halloween decorating ideas. Thanks so much, Jenn, for the opportunity to share my favorite Fall decor!

from Jenn: Katie, you know the way to my heart: natural decor! Thanks so much for stopping by today and sharing. Friends, make sure you visit Katie's blog. She has great projects and you need to meet the chickens :).


{fall favorites} myers maison

Hello A Home in the Making readers!  My name is Lauren Myers and I am a graphic designer (Color Hug) and blogger (Myers Maison).  Today I will be sharing with you one thing that I'm loving this fall, hot beverages!  As the cool weather rolls in, all I can think about is cozying up to my fireplace with a hot homemade beverage in hand.  Here are a few of my favorites and how you can incorporate them from morning to night.

Caramel Cappuccino
This drink is a delicious way to start your day and gives you that much needed pick-me-up.

Chai Tea Latte
This is a unique spin on the classic afternoon tea.  Where the amount of caffeine is lacking this makes up in flavor.

Hot Apple Cider with Rum (for an extra boost of warmth!)
What better way to say fall than with apples and spices?  It's also perfect for Holiday parties and cool nights.

And of course when I'm not in the mood to make a drink at home, I can always fall back on all of the delicious flavors that Starbucks brings as the seasons change (Pumpkin Spice Latte anyone?).

What are some of your favorite beverages to drink during the fall?

Thanks so much for having me, Jenn!

from Jenn: Lauren, thank you so much for sharing your favorite drinks! Now I'm in the mood for a hot apple cider. Yum! Friends, make sure you visit Lauren's blog for more delicious and colorful inspiration :)