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We Don’t Have Mistakes Here

“We don’t have mistakes here, we just have happy accidents.”  This quote pretty much sums up our whole house project/DIY experience.  The million dollar question, who said that?  C’mon…I know one of you out there in TV land knows this one?  Dad?  I’m counting on you here!  Ok, ok…it’s the great American painter, Bob Ross.  Remember when he used to turn his happy accidents into trees?  Well, we turned our happy little accident into a new porch floor.  My dad idolizes Bob Ross by the way so this blog post is sure to make him proud!

During our blogiversary tour I alluded to our porch discovery but I’m just now getting around to blogging about it.  So here’s the dish with all the dirty little details.  We were having one of those relaxing little Sundays grilling and chilling when I decided, totally out of the blue, that I was going to paint the porch floor.  It wasn’t even on my already too lengthy to finish this summer to-do list!  But I was adamant about painting that floor.  We had planned to eventually replace the whole floor but I thought it would be nice to have a paint protection layer on it since much of the floor was flaking up when you swept it (it was in bad, bad condition).

So I start paint prepping by sweeping and vacuuming and Colby comes out to “help” which is more like hang out with a beer and inspect my cleaning job.  He was checking out the area around the front door which desperately needed to be replaced.  While investigating the situation he started lifting up on the floor to see if he could figure out what was underneath when, SNAP, a HUMONGOUS piece of the floor broke off!  The initial round of four letter words quickly subsided as the happy little accident revealed some great hardwood flooring.  See:

The old home owners had re-floored with some sort of particle board material that crumbled away like it was cardboard.  Another what were they thinking in the seventies moment!  So we spent the afternoon ripping up the floor:

Sweet new…I mean…old floor:

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m SUPER excited about the discovery.  But what I’m not super excited about is all the sanding that’s going to be involved with this project.  We have intentions of sanding the whole floor since there are stains and dings in it, then staining it a consistent color, and finally polying it to death.  During test sanding it took about 20 minutes of sanding to finish half of one board.  There are 72 boards out there.  I know.  I counted.  This is going to take awhile!

Here’s Colby trying to figure out the sanding situation:

We’re a three sander household: two orbital sanders and a belt sander, and we tested them all out on the porch floor with various sand paper grits to figure out our best approach.  I’m kind of liking the orbital sander/150 grit combination.  The higher grit means a finer sand.  Thus, by using this grit I’m getting a much smoother surface than with the lower grit papers (I also tried a 40 grit).  The 150 grit also seems to leave some of the old streaking/weathering in the wood, which I’m really digging.  I like that recycled/refinished wood look and this is definitely going to end up like that!

I’ll keep you updated as we work on our latest project, as if we didn’t have enough projects going on already!  We seriously lack house project focus!  We actually haven’t worked on the porch floor since discovery day two weeks ago.  Ooops!  We actually spent the evening drywall sanding in the hallways….sigh…I hate drywall sanding.  And I’m about to hate floor sanding, I would rather paint/stain any day, but alas it will be worth it in the end!


  1. Stefan’s sanding suggestions:

    – purchase 6″ Festool ROS (this step could be skipped, but they do make some sweet sanders)
    – start with 60 grit paper
    – progress to 80 grit paper
    – continue with 120 grit paper
    – finish up with 150 grit paper

    Lots of sanding, but the floor would look purdy 🙂

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Angie's Roost Campbell Family in front of home in 2021

Hi there! We're the Campbells. We traded in Maine city living for the country life in Vermont. You'll find us here fixing up a circa 1781 historic home, growing our own food, and filling this home with the memories and things that matter. Read more about us...

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