Wednesday, December 10, 2008



Yes, believe it or not we recently sold our house in Sylvania Ohio.
In less than five weeks and by owner no less.
No small miracle in this housing market......I know!
So this blog entry is a fond farewell to our yellow house on the hill, we will miss you!
Yes we will miss the house but not all the work preparing it for market, as well as the general day to day care of a very old house.

That's what first attracted us to the old gal, her age, character and charm.
Not to mention she was in dire need of some T.L.C.
which for some reason draws us like a moth to a flame.

My husband and I had already been through one major redo on our last house
and we swore we would never do it again.

Ya right!
Well....she just needs some powder and lipstick, we told ourselves.
Ha, powder and lipstick?
More like a face lift!

So we hired some help and in a few short months she was looking grand,
if I do say so myself. Before we knew it four years had passed and it was moving time again.

Although the house was looking good she was still not grand enough for this painful housing market.
There were still areas that needed improvement, but with so many houses for sale in our area and prices falling everyday we did not want to put more money into an already shrinking market.

That's when I got out my paint and brushes.
Ah....paint, relatively inexpensive, user friendly, instantly gratifying and truly transforming.
That's just what our bathroom floor needed.... some major transformation cause it was butt ugly! Old dated worn out vinyl in a small checkered pattern, which only made the small bathroom appear even smaller. I couldn't take it any longer it had to go!

Below you will find a step by step outline of how I fixed my ugly floor along with photos.

Note about photos: In the hustle and bustle of moving I have misplaced the CD containing some key images...ugh! So two of the photos here have been altered using
Photoshop to show you the process.


Step 1. Clean and remove all wax residue from floor.

Step 2. Very lightly sand floor, just enough to scuff the surface. To much and you will ruin the floor. ( use a finer grit sand paper)

Step 3. Vacuum sanding dust from floor and wipe floor clean with water only. Let floor dry.

Tip: for floors with a lot of texture or pattern use a deglosser (available at most paint stores) to remove any excess gloss the sanding process may have missed. My floor was so old the finish was already worn off, so I did not have to do this step. Make sure you read manufacturers instructions carefully.

Step 4. Take a break and drink some wine or some coffee depending on your time zone. Fortunately for me I live in a wine zone. LoL!

Step 5. Tape off base molding.

Step 6. Prime floor let dry. Then very lightly sand, vacuum and prime again.
Remember this is a high traffic area and two coats of priming will ensure the longevity of your newly painted floor.

Step 7. With the second coat of primer dry you are now ready for the paint. I brushed on a golden yellow color for my first coat. I let this dry for maybe two hours.....I am a very impatient person. I recommend you let the paint cure according to manufacturers suggestions.

Step 8. For the second coat of color I cut a taupe colored latex with a glaze medium. Glaze is an additive which when mixed with paint gives the paint a transparent effect. Perfect for creating faux effects. like marble or in this case tumble stone. My floor was heavily textured so I used this to my advantage, by adding the glaze it only exaggerated the texture.

Here is a close up view of taupe color.

Step 10. Because this room was so small I used lighter colors. Once the taupe/glaze is dry I applied a whitewash layer. To achieve a whitewash cut white latex with glaze. A ratio of 1 part paint to 2 parts glaze. Using a wide brush off load your brush on a rag before applying in haphazard strokes. Then using a slightly damp rag while whitewash is still wet gently dab or pat to soften brush strokes.
Let this dry.

This is a view of the floor, showing the difference once the white wash is applied.

I know I know, hang in there we are almost done....have some more wine. LOL!

Step 11. Now to achieve even greater depth and texture I enhanced the floor with a Burnt Umber colored latex. Again I cut this with glaze which allows the colors underneath to be seen. I applied this with same technique I used for the white wash layer. This color cut with glaze is a great way to add an old world, aged effect. Perfect for a tumbled stone look.

This is a close up of the finished floor.

Step 12. Once the Burnt Umber is dry you can seal your floor with varnish.
I used Minwax
Polyacrylic. Two coats of course.

And that's it!

Again I am sorry about the photos; these are the only ones I have.

Now do I recommend that you run right out and try this?
No, what I do recommend is you read up on decorative painting techniques,
faux finishes and doing several practice boards first.

On a scale from one to ten, ten being the most difficult
I would rate this project at about a six or seven.

I learned how to do this when I worked as an apprentice for a muralist. Then years later a started my own design firm where I honed my skills further.
Anyone with enough patience and desire can do this you just need to practice and allow for mistakes.

Its not brain surgery but, it can be taxing. Now with that done I could focus on givin the old house a good fluff. So here is a little peek at the yellow house on the hill, or as I liked to call her The Bumble Bee House.

The following 2 photos are of the living room.

These next photos are of the dining room.

Here's the tiny kitchen
with the cozy coffee nook.

First floor sun room.

I hand painted this floor as well.

This room and my studio were my favorite rooms.
When we first moved in this room had dark paneling which we painted a lovely shade of green and then we tore out the old blue shag, yuck!

Much better......... don't you think?

On to the second floor.
This was our guest room.

Up stairs den.

Master bedroom

And last but not least my studio,
which was actually a sleeping porch before the days of air conditioning.

Remember I said this house was old, it was built in 1929. This room is very small but with windows all the way around the light was perfect for studio space.

I also hand painted this floor cloth for my studio.

Obviously I like painted floors and floor cloths
It just adds so much for so little, and I am always having to decorate on a budget.

I miss that little shoe box of a studio.
My new studio is big, in fact there is so much room a lot of it is unused.
Hopefully I will fill that space with my creations.

Here is a photo of my new studio from the outside.
I will add more pics soon.

One of my little assistants Otter baby.

Ollie must have been on a break, but here is super cute picture of her.
She would be mad if I didn't include her in this post.
You might be wondering why we moved, it's a long story so here is the short of it.
Our nephew Brian is a very talented hockey player and last spring he tried out for a travel team that is based in Sault Ste. Marie Mi.
He is only seventeen still in high school and has never been away from home before so........
my husband Guy and I volunteered to move with him. We have no children of our own so it was easy for us to make the move.

He's a great kid, and we are enjoying being with him. The three of us and the two pups are living in an apartment, that is right next to the famous Soo locks, which is the shipping channel that connects Lake Superior to Lake Huron via the St.Mary's River.
Here is a view from our apartment of some passing ships.

This first photo was from early fall.
This one is from just the other day brr....... Well I am off to the studio now, So thanks for letting me share and as always take care.



Michelle said...

congrats on the sale! THe house is sooo pretty!

Mary Wadsworth said...

Hi Michelle,
thanks for the compliment.

Pam Warden Art said...

Love your house, wish I could have stayed overnight and had painting parties a few times before it was gone. Very cool studio. So nice to do that for your nephew, crazy...but nice.
Talk to you later,

Mary Wadsworth said...

Thanks for stopping by Pam, and yes now we are crazy.... Ha Ha!

cindy said...

Love your house! I know you were saddened to see it go. So...would like to see pics of all that you are doing now. I especially loved your painted details, the painting over the fireplace and the painted awning over the window. Cute! and I loved your rattan dining room chairs! Where did you find?


Mary Wadsworth said...

Hi Cindy thanks for stoppin by. The chairs are from Pier One, we got them about five years ago. Good luck with the paper mache projects I can't wait to see what you make!