After a couple of recent months of some long days and late evenings, that space now looks more like we envisioned it two years ago.
The color is a mix of equal parts of Min-wax Jacobean, English Chestnut, and Ebony to match the pre-finished hardwood Mike will install throughout the rest of our main floor. The stairs and banister will be similar.
Despite successfully completing a similar project before, this adventure has taken more time and work than Mike and I anticipated. After we sanded (for real, WE--I don't do a ton on the projects these days, but I did that!), unfortunately the stain application went unexpectedly badly. Mike used mops for application, like we did in the past, but more stain remained than should have, it didn't dry well, and we agreed that it was time to start over. I was within the first days back to teaching and had no more time to give this project, so Mike was fully on his own with the sanding again (not that he needed me--I'm just a little bummed that my sanding has little to do now with the end result.) He then applied the stain by hand the second time, applied polyurethane with a roller, and finally achieved the intended result.
Or so we thought. I recently noticed that the white lines along the edges of the floor planks were not dust that could be cleaned. A little Googling revealed that we had WLS--white line syndrome. Apparently it's fairly common these days especially in darker floors, possibly caused by the removal of solvents from polyurethane (newer EPA regulations) and the stretching of polyurethane in humidity changes.
Advice we found online and at the hardware stores ranged from waiting it out to starting over again, none of which appealed to us.
My solution was to get coloring. Using a wood scratch pencil, I colored over the white lines and blended it with a cloth. That looked pretty good, but as you can see below, in certain light you could see a contrasting glare in the finish of the camouflaging.
I applied a wood floor cleaner (coincidentally bought years ago for the floor in our old house but hardly ever used) simply by spraying the floor lightly over a three-foot square at a time and mopping it with a clean microfiber dust mop.
The end result is not flawless, but we are satisfied.
To make way for Mike to begin installing the flooring on the rest of the main floor, yesterday the family room furniture landed in our dining room. I am loving the cozy space. That window is my favorite in the house, and it all fits so snugly.
That pleasant new arrangement will help me to remain patient about seeing the family room complete. Mike has already made good progress today, even with soccer practice, going out to lunch, getting groceries, and making dinner. Seriously, he had a hand in all of it. There was even a Lions game to yell at.
This morning we had carpet in our family room.
This afternoon we did not. The trim and mantel also got a fresh coat of lighter paint.
The lack of sub-floor was a bit of a surprise. Whether Mike will be installing one or gluing down the new floor will likely be determined tomorrow with a phone call to the floor distributor.