Hickory Brick House Update

When my last semester started I sort of left this blog hanging on the subject of our home renovation. Because, well, we left our home renovation hanging. But here’s the final update on the kitchen and master bedroom.

We painted the kitchen walls Behr Yellow Wax Pepper – PPU9-13. The faux brick wall at the end is the same Perfect Taupe as the bathroom and Caleb’s work room.

The dining nook.


The inside of the white cabinets are that same Taupe color, too.


Finished kitchen – with cabinet doors! And new hardware! They didn’t get hung until just before Halloween. We spray painted the old hinges black, but the knobs and pulls are new from Home Depot.


Our bedroom upstairs has been the longer process. When we pulled off the plastic we’d covered the vents with to refinish the floor, the tape pulled some paint with it. (Which was fine.) But under the paint was the homeowners mortal enemy: wallpaper.

You read that right.

Luckily, some friends of ours own a steamer, which made the job go so much faster. (Which was still excruciatingly slow.) We had to steam every part of the wall twice, once to get the latex paint to peel off, and once to soak the wallpaper.


Once steamed, the paper came off like a dream – but the upper half of our bedroom walls are slanted. (Not fun.) Finally, I scrubbed all the walls twice – once with glue remover solution, once to clean them off. They looked so much better already!

We painted the long walls which slant up into the roof in Crepe – PPU7-19, and the short walls in Mushroom Bisque – UL140-10. (Both colors are Behr.) Whala – the last finished room!

Thus ends the largest, most time consuming portions of our Southwest Michigan home renovation.

Here’s how the other rooms look now that we’ve moved in and cluttered them up. The living room is one of my favorites. I’m so happy with the colors.

living room

You can see a few photos of my finished library here.

Thanks for following our journey! To see lots of before, during, and after pictures for these and other rooms, check out this post, this post, or this one.


Shiny! (The floors, that is…)

Well, we did it! And I’m so glad we did. Hard work can pay off in a big way! Here are some photos of the living room, a bedroom, and the main hall way of our house as it looked when we did our walkthrough with the realtor. Note nasty, ugly, cat hairy carpets. (In the living room, they have a rug over the carpet. I guess it was too nasty even for them!)

Living Room


We rented a drum sander and an edge sander from a nearby company and borrowed a shop vacuum and a hand sander from friends. Each room took six passes with a sander – edge sander with 20 grit paper, drum sander with 20 grit paper, then both with 80 grit paper, then both with 120 grit paper – and we vacuumed everything after teach pass. This was a long two-day process with a definite learning curve. Once we got the hang of it, it was super fun to see the quality of the floor improve before our eyes with each pass. Word to the wise, though – do not attempt to use an edge sander if you have a history of back problems. When all this sanding  was finished, we vacuumed twice more and  used a damp rag to wipe the floors down. (The vacuum misses so much!)

Minwax has a floor product called a sanding sealer which dies in two hours and takes the place of the first coat of polyurethane, so we opted for that as out first coat. This was followed by using a pole sander with 320 grit paper on all the floors (yes, sanding again) and vacuuming (again). Finally, we put down two coats (8 hours apart) of Minwax “super fast drying” polyurethane. The can says it “provides a traditional amber glow.” We used a roller to apply it all.

Finally, we are still waiting for these floor to be ready for everyday foot traffic, but they are super duper beautiful and totally worth all the hard work. I can’t wait to live in this house!Shiny living room!

Shiny bedroom!Next up: those walls, though…