Last night I put the final coat of polyurethane on the floors. They’re done! Let me take you through the process of how we did it.
Here are Glenn and I marking the lines for the diamond grid in the mudroom and hallway. Later, I taped off each alternate diamond just outside the lines. This way, I could cover up our pencil marks, plus it was the only way we could paint each diamond completely, since the tape was overlapping the adjacent diamonds.
I wanted the pattern to be in a size consistent with the room, not too large, not too small. So we figured 15” square would be just right. We marked the center of the room by using a measuring tape, and then determining how far to mark the corners from it by using the old Pythagorean Theorem. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, call Glenn! (hint: a2 + b2 = c2 )
Glenn used a 4 foot ruler for the main lines, and I got into the corners and edges with my yardstick.
Here are the first set of diamonds, with 2 coats of paint.
Here is Kate pretending she’s on a hopscotch board.
Now it was time for the remaining ones. To paint the diamonds, (some may call them squares) I used a small foam roller brush with a straight edge. I bought it in the paint department specifically for the diagram.
You may have noticed that in almost any shot of me working at Kenilworth, I am wearing my blue “uniform”. Let me assure you I washed the shirt and sweats nightly because they are the only clothes I have that are paint/work worthy. I don’t wear T-shirts often, so I don’t have any others. And these sweat pants are lightweight, so I can wear them even when it’s hot. (probably not necessary to explain all that, but by now even my nieces have noticed I’m almost always wearing this outfit when they come by Kenilworth, not to mention all the Menards employees who I’m sure wouldn’t recognize me if I wore anything different to the store.)
On to more important things… like the results!
We love it!
For the master bedroom I wanted something different than the hallway. I started to make my own stencil, but the stencil paper we purchased was packaged in a tightly rolled up tube! Not a great packaging idea, MS! It never would flatten out, even after our huge dictionary sat on it all night. So Glenn blessed me by helping me pick out a pre-made stencil from http://www.stencilease.com/ They had a great selection and were able to overnight the stencil I picked out. It is called Magnolias.
Alix helped me a lot with this project. We started in the middle of the room, and went on a diagonal across the floor. There are tiny triangle marks on the four corners of the stencil, which we used to help us keep it lined up straight as we went.
Like anything, I learned as I went. For instance, it is best to use a light touch on the paint – I ended up using less paint on the roller, and not covering some parts as thoroughly as others. This helped me achieve a more faded kind of look, less uniformity in the thickness of the paint than what I had done for the diamonds in the mudroom.
I also learned that occasionally during the process, the stencil has to be washed off. Otherwise, the paint begins to dry in between the cut outs and the pattern doesn’t come out as clearly on the floor.
I just took it outside and hosed it off a couple of times, then dried it with a towel and went back to work.
I covered the diamonds with 3 coats of poly, and our room with 2. I didn’t think 3 was necessary for our room, since we won’t have as much foot traffic. I had planned to do just one, but my dear friend convinced me I should do 2. She was right, and I’m glad I did.
We’ll let the floors “cure” for 3 days, and then Monday we’ll move the rest of the things here! Hooray!