Major Studio Progress!

Y’all, it’s been a hard, exhausting week. Let’s just say that when the week starts off with a sewage geyser inside your house, it doesn’t really set a good tone for the week. It took a couple of days for me to get things back to normal and recover from that catastrophe. If you missed that excitement, you can read about it here…

Fortunately, there was no extensive damage. The floors and subfloor are fine, so that’s good news.

I’ll be honest. After that happened, I kind of just wanted to check out for the week. Having something like that happen in a room that I’ve spent so much time and effort remodeling was so discouraging and demotivating.

But Wednesday afternoon, I finally decided that it was stupid to let one really bad experience like that derail an entire week. I needed to find my motivation again. And rather than sitting around and waiting to feel motivated, I decided to put action first, and hope that the feeling of motivation would eventually follow.

So I called the equipment rental place to reserve the drum sander and edge sander for yesterday morning, and then spent the rest of Wednesday afternoon and evening clearing things out of the studio, bathroom and storage closet to get ready for a long day of hard word yesterday.

I got up bright and early yesterday morning, and still had some things to clear out of the room before I could get started on the floors. I forgot to take a picture of the floors after I got the room completely cleared, but I did manage to get this picture at some point…

studio floors before sanding - 1

If you’ll remember, the entire back area — bathroom, back entry, storage closet and the back two feet of the studio floor — was all covered in wood filler. The rest of the floor was very rough since it was brand new unfinished red oak hardwood flooring.

After clearing out the rest of the room, I was finally ready to get started. I think I started sanding around 9:00, and it took me all morning until lunch time (around noon) to get the floor sanded with the roughest grit sandpaper (36-grit). The first pass is always the hardest because the floor is in the roughest condition. So after lunch, I started with the 60-grit, which seemed to go a little bit faster. Here’s how the floor looked after that.

studio floors during sanding

It’s probably impossible to tell any difference in pictures, but in person, there was quite a difference.

It was still a long and hard day, but I was determined to return the sanders this morning so that I wouldn’t have to pay for another day, so I decided to just keep on sanding until it was finished (or at least until I was finished with the rented tools).

I didn’t even start troweling the wood filler onto the studio floor until 10:00pm. Then it took about 40 minutes to dry before I could do the final sanding with the 100-grit sandpaper. I finished sanding with the drum sander at almost exactly 1:00am.

Y’all, to say I was exhausted would be an understatement. I haven’t had a work day that long and exhausting in quite some time, but it felt so good to have it done!

Of course, this morning, I woke up to quite a mess. The entire floor is covered in a layer of dust, and it’ll probably take a full day to get it all cleaned up to the point that I can stain the floors.

studio floors after sanding

(Side note: I have no idea why the walls look so blue. They certainly don’t look like that in person.)

Also, I had so much trouble with the edge sander from the rental place that I finally gave up. That is probably the most frustrating tool I’ve ever used, as any little thing will rip the sandpaper disc from the sander and send it flying across the room. I was at least able to do the entire perimeter with the 36-grit sandpaper, but I gave up about halfway through the 60-grit round and finished that up with my little 5-inch rotary sander.

So since my only goal was to finish what I needed to finish in order to return the tools this morning, I didn’t bother doing the edges last night since I had given up on the edge sander altogether. I’ll just finish up the edges with my small sander. Thank goodness it’s just the final 100-grit pass that’s needed. I think my small sander can handle that.

studio floors still need edge sanding

Sadly, I won’t be able to finish the floors this weekend. I took way too long deciding how to finish the floors, reading product information, watching YouTube videos, and reading customer reviews on just about every floor coating product I could find. I almost went with Bona Nordic Seal, which is a white tinted sealer for whitewashed floors, but the reviews just didn’t have me convinced that it was worth the price.

Then it dawned on me that I didn’t need to purchase a white sealer. I could make my own! So I ended up going with Varathane water-based matte floor finish (which has great reviews on the Home Depot website), and I ordered a bottle of white universal tint on Amazon to make my own white tinted sealer. And of course, I’ll bring y’all along on that project when I get to it.

Unfortunately, because I took so long to decide and didn’t order it until a couple of days ago, it won’t get here until next Wednesday. So I’m going to have to be very careful with my floors until then so I don’t mess up the freshly-sanded, unsealed wood.

In other news, I finally ordered the wallpaper for the front studio wall. I was indecisive on that as well, but I ended up going with the white background. And then I tested two different colors for the cabinets.

studio wallpaper with test cabinet colors

That’s the wallpaper sample with the aqua background, but it’s the only one I have showing a full repeat of the design.

The top color is Behr Roulette, which is the color that’s on the vanity in the half bathroom. The bottom is Benjamin Moore Bird of Paradise mixed at 110%. That’s the color (mixed at the normal 100%) that’s on the front door and the side studio door.

The colors are very similar, but I think the Bird of Paradise looks much better with the wallpaper, so that’s probably the direction I’ll go with the cabinets.

But I don’t even want to think about that right now. The thought of building cabinets right now makes me want to cry. I’m so exhausted, y’all. I need a nap. What a week it’s been!



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  1. That is going to be the best room you’ve done. I can’t wait to see it with the wallpaper and paint done.

  2. Wow, it’s looking so good! That’s going to be an inspiring workroom.
    So glad you didn’t have any major damage from the poop geyser!

  3. Get some rest. Ya’ll go some where and have fun!

    This is not going anywhere, so don’t worry about it. Continue when your rested!

    We can wait, although we’re antsy to see it done! LOL!

  4. You most definitely need a break! That sewer thing is a motivation killer for sure. It is all so pretty. The floors are going to be amazing and the wallpaper and cab colors are dreamy.

  5. Lookin’ great, girl! I know you are exhausted, but I can’t help but envy the feelings of relief, satisfaction and pride that you will feel. You have done super woman work. If I may ask, did that wall paper come with a matching fabric??? Since you showed us, I have been looking for something close to that and I can’t find a thing. Thanks in advance.

    1. Somewhere in her archives, she showed that she made her own design and then had a co. to put it on paper.

  6. HA! I liked the Bird of Paradise color better myself! You are working on your home so take a break and rest up. You know it will mean a better job and a more enjoyable job in the end.

    1. You are one unbelievable person!! I don’t know how you do it! I’ve never seen someone who does it all! Take a much needed break. It’ll still be waiting for you lol.

  7. Why don’t you just a floor sanding company to sand, stain and poly your floors.? That is one trade that is well worth the money.

  8. Glad your plumbing ordeal is over and didn’t leave lasting damage. The most damaging plumbing incidents are leaks you CAN’T see (or smell) and they go on for months, maybe years. I had one of those and it took a month to get it finally resolved. It started with a hot water line under the house. A miserable experience. But I’m sure you don’t want to hear any more about plumbing. Good luck with the floor and all that follows.

  9. Agreed, you need a quick break away to rejuvenate and rest up.! Good choice on the lighter color. In a big room like that, light and bright is better than a dark, cave feeling. You don’t want anything detracting from the colors and projects you’ll be doing in the future. A bright, light space will feel happier, too. Stuff happens, but you’re coping well and the finished studio will be worth every pain; every challenge you have to meet. As my husband used to say, “Onward and upward to greater glories!”

    1. Ha! My husband, Bill, always says, ” What does not kill you just makes you stronger”! Love the colors and love the back-to-white background on wallpaper

  10. In the decorative painting world, back when I was fully steeped in it, we would always use a higher sheen varathane first for 1 or 2 layers, and then finish with the sheen of our choice, such as a matte. This to increase the durability of our hard work, since the higher the sheen, the more durable it is. Your hard work is very motivating and it’s looking so nice!

  11. You have earned a nap! Go and relax. The floor looks good, you’ve gotten your geyser issue taken care of and things are on order. All engines ahead next week!

  12. WOW – even with the terrible plumbing incident, you accomplished a lot this week! Now it is time for some R & R. Since your finish won’t come in until next week, a few fun days with your husband is in order! Do try to get away from the house – I hope the weather is great.
    Then, you will be entirely ready to get back to some more work! Love your choices.

  13. Oh, my, girl—I think you need some Netflix time to recuperate—like maybe a week!! I hope you know how amazing you are, but even superwomen need a break after the ordeal you’ve had. Maybe after you get the edges sanded, you could rest until the floor finish comes. I love your choice for the cabinet color—even though that color on top is really gorgeous. Remember to do something that rejuvenates you this weekend, whatever it may be!!

  14. You should take a break and not do anything else until Tuesday. Give yourself a pat on the back for getting the floors sanded, take lots of naps, binge watch Netflix and enjoy this long Memorial Day weekend.

  15. Wishing you a restorative weekend. The Bird of Paradise is so pretty. Floors awesome. Paper is incredible.
    I really want to acknowledge you. You are literally pushing me along in some projects…… major, major progress. Now contemplating front door in green apple or dress blues. Then maybe a very light aqua for the bathroom. I couldn’t keep up with you but I have such great satisfaction in my accomplishments that YOU have inspired. I have tackled some things that I would never have done before. They ended up being much easier then anticipated. Appreciate your breaking things down into achievable tasks. Thank YOU. Happy Memorial Day

  16. Rest while you can, you need it! Glad you’re mixing up your own whitewash, I think that’s the best idea. Love the lower color on the wall for the cabinets. I think with the whit background on the paper, the lighter shade will be fabulous! Relax and rejuvenate!

  17. Love what you say: “And rather than sitting around and waiting to feel motivated, I decided to put action first, and hope that the feeling of motivation would eventually follow.” Such a great principle for life as a whole! Just go ahead and do what needs to be done, whether you feel like it or not.

  18. I want to piggy back on your comment. Kristi motivates me as well! I have been following her from the condo to the fixer upper house. She has inspired me to try more projects that I would never have considered. Her ideas and energy seem to be limitless. Thank you! Enjoy a refreshing and relaxing long weekend.

  19. Great idea, take the weekend off, since it is a holiday anyways and rest. It has been a really exhausting week for you.

  20. Awwww, Kristi, so glad to hear the mess is over and no permanent damage. You deserve a break today! and maybe tomorrow, and the next day…I too prefer the bottom color with the wallpaper. You are going to have one colorful studio! Good job, girl!

  21. So proud of you for being self controlled and disciplined instead of waiting for motivation to “arrive” before tackling that floor. You inspire me.

  22. this last week we’ve worked hard pressure cleaning the roof and house, washing all 40 something of the windows & blinds and having the carpets cleaned, all following the building of a new backyard pool. Every time I think I’m working hard I read your posts and feel like a slouch! haha. Cannot believe you filled that entire wood floor…I would never do that. I love both colors but also prefer the coral with the paper. The red says FUN to me, the coral says FRESH.

  23. I am in love with that wallpaper! Can’t wait to see the finished room, and I’m sure you feel the same. (my vote is coral).

  24. Such courage you have to keep on pushing! I would have checked out for at least a month after something like the toilet volcano. Everything is coming along beautifully, but please don’t overdo it and get sick! Your studio is going to be as gorgeous as everything else you have done, just remember to take care of yourself.