Sunday, November 18, 2012

Diamond-Pattern Painted Plywood Floor

How’s it going, friends? I’m anxiously awaiting Thanksgiving breakThe food and relaxation is so close I can taste it. Right now, though, I’m full steam ahead on lots of huge projects going on at once. My body is protesting my mind and begging me to stop climbing that darn ladder but I’m running on passion and sweet tea so I’m determined to finish in time for turkey and dressing!

THREE more rooms-worth of crusty carpet have been tossed to the curb! (Have you caught on to my hatred of carpet yet?)  I ripped out the carpet in our upstairs hallway a couple months ago. I was inspired by the diamond-patterned floor in these pictures.


And was crazy enough to tackle it.

I must say, I’ve got quite the skill set with tedious artwork like this. My fault lied, apparently, in choosing the right sealer. 
Critical mistake. 
One that caused me to complete this entire floor (yes, every single diamond) by hand TWICE. Once wasn’t hard enough, I guess. But I’ll explain the steps and maybe you can do as I say and not as I did

I started with a rigorous bicep/tricep and forearm workout with the task of ripping all the carpet out and throwing it over the banister.
Next, removed the tack strips. Then filled the holes with wood putty and lightly sanded over any rough spots. 


I used porch and floor paint in SW “Accessible Beige” and gave it all 2 coats with a roller. 

I figured out the measurements for my diamonds and made a cardboard stencil. 

I traced the outlines with chalk and then began painting in the outlines with more porch and floor paint, in “olivewood” by glidden. Then did it all again to coat a second time. 

Once everything was painted, which took about a week of working here and there, I was ready to give it a shiny coat of semi-gloss water-based polyurethane. My poor right hand could barely sign my name at work so I was ready to put the seal of approval on this project.

I decided to try Minwax’s Water-Based, Oil-Modified Poly, because it was recommended to be a tougher coating for floors. I knew when coating over a light color, I would need water-based to prevent yellowing. I didn’t know the “Oil-Modified” part of the equation would still make my floors turn a gunky, disgusting yellow almost immediately when dried.


I walked up to the top of the stairs to check the glossy, polished finish
And I gasped and stared, frozen...Not sure if I wanted to cry, cuss, or scream. So I did a little of all three.

{This picture shows the contrast between the yellowed part and the part and where I later painted over with beige} 

After coming-to and pulling myself together, I brainstormed a few remedies to my problem. But all involved painting over it. There was no easy fix. I decided to let it sit for a few weeks, so that maybe the memory of the hours of tedious, meticulous work was a little farther in the past. I figured it was like child-birth. Give it a little while and you’re ready to go again, right?

After walking away from it for a week or so, I was motivated to right the wrong. I didn’t want to use a roller to paint the background beige again, since that would mean starting with a clean slate and having to re-draw every diamond again. Instead, I used a brush to paint beige around and inside every diamond (twice) then painted over each diamond with the darker color as before.


Looking back on it, I don’t even remember how long it took. I blocked out all the negative, I guess. I just know that I love it now that it’s finished! This time, I used Rustoleum Pro Finisher Water-Based Polyurethane for Floors and loved it. No complaints months laterit still looks beautiful. Lesson learned. The hard way! Oh the life of a DIYer...

I installed all the quarter round as the last step and finally closed this chapter. 

                          Before                                                    After

                        Before                                                  After


As a bonus, I found a little wood console at a thrift store for $12 and it seemed to be the right width for the hallway nook. After sawing a quarter inch off each side and painting it white, it fit snugly inside to make the built-in seem more substantial.  


I’d still like to add molding and maybe repaint and restyle the shelves, but it was a perfect find.      
I love the feel when walking on the painted floor barefoot. It’s pretty smooth, but textured enough to not be slick. It gives the hallway an artsy look.


After as much as I went through for this floor, I think I would convince myself that I liked it even if I didn't. But thank God I do!

I guess I'm on a painted floor kick lately. 2 more rooms with painted floors are done! Check back with us. 

~The Grays

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Crawfish Corn Soup and Cozy Fall Moments

The bright leaves are falling. 

The warm flannel sheets are on the bed. The seasonal sinuses and sniffles have hit us hard and it still feels like the most wonderful time of year! 

The warm nights by the fire and hot soup on the stove are the perfect cure. 

Well, mixed with some of these, of course. 


I've put in my good week of puny, sinus mess and now that I'm back to normal, it's Sean's turn. Last night, tacos were on the menu, but I rearranged after getting in and out of the car all day in rainy, cold weather. Crawfish Corn Soup was what we both needed.

It was so good for crawfish lovers and even better tonight as we enjoy what's leftover while sitting by the fire and catching up on dvr.

Here's the easy recipe I grabbed via

Crawfish & Corn Soup


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 can Rotel Tomatoes
  • Emeril’s Essence
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 cans whole kernel corn
  • 1 can cream corn
  • 1 pound Crawfish
  • 1 can Evaporated Milk


  • Sautee onions, bell pepper, celery, Essence & salt in butter.
  • Add Rotel & cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in corn, crawfish and milk.
  • Salt & pepper to taste.
  • Heat approximately 30 minutes.

But our very first trick-or-treaters were by far the MOST adorable. 

Avery and baby Hadley came to visit in their cowgirl and cow-girl costumes!


 How cute are they??

 Avery was such a big girl saying "trick or treat" just like mom told her. And she got the family treatment when it came to doling out the candy!

We played around for a minute while we waited for Seany to get home from work.

Yay, Seany's here!

 We ordered pizza and watched movies amidst the doorbell rings from superheros, princesses, and ninjas asking for candy. Since I was sick then, part of me wanted to turn the light out and retreat to my bed, but I didn't have the heart to. The kids made me smile and it was worth it.

 We're both recovering and starting to feel back to normal. Although the days are always long when you don't feel well, having a soft place to land at the end of the day is an absolute blessing.

Autumn Blessings,
The Grays