This Old Colonial Home

Filling our house with love and a lot of DIY

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We’re Floored

Our hardwood floors are finally finished, and wow what a difference! We brought professionals in to do the job. For the past week they worked hard to bring them back to life. They spent a few days just sanding them down. Then they stained them Minwax Golden Oak and added a feature strip in the entryway per our request. They added several coats of water-based poly and finished it off with shoe molding (that’s the molding that fills the gap between the baseboard and the floor). I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves, with a reminder of where we started just a short time ago.Colonial house living room with fireplace beforeCarpet ripped up in living room hardwood floors refinished minwax golden oak Colonial house dining room with carpet before Dining room with carpet removedDining room hardwood floors refinished minwax golden oak Center hall colonial stairs with carpet before Carpet removed from stairs Entryway floors refinished Minwax golden oakEntryway landing with unfinished floors Entryway floor feature strip in progress Refinished entryway landing with feature accenting herribone pattern

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Flea Market Finds

Don’t you love when you find something that really speaks to you … especially when it’s at a bargain price?! My husband, Jamie, and I may not even have paint on the walls yet in our new house, but that’s not going to stop me from browsing flea markets, garage sales, etc. You never know what you might come across. During a recent flea market trip, I was pretty happy with the treasures we found.

night stand

A nice, simple nightstand. It’s a little wobbly, but nothing that can’t be reinforced. I think we plan on painting it at some point, but for now it actually matches well with the bed in our guest room. Not bad for $12.


Two rustic scales. I don’t plan on cleaning these up at all. I like the authenticity of them. The bigger one will be for décor. The smaller one might eventually get used for a hanging plant or something similar. The pair cost only $19.


Wooden bottle carrier. Normally you see a lot of these with Coke or Pepsi logos. So when we saw this one with Crystal Club, I knew we had to get it. Jamie drank this soda growing up in Northeastern Pennsylvania. It was actually made in Scranton. So not only is this great to display somewhere, but it also has a little meaning. Price? $15.

What fun flea market finds have you come across lately?

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Chalk it Up

This is by no means original, but it’s a decor item that I’ve been wanting for awhile — a silver platter chalkboard. I, of course, took matters into my own hands. It’s a fairly simple DIY project. I already had the chalkboard paint, it was just a matter of finding the platter. I checked out a couple flea markets without any luck. But I soon found this beaut at a local thrift store!Silver platter from thrift store All I had to do was lightly sand the surface so the paint would stick. I used a foam brush to apply the paint. I didn’t bother taping off the edge, so that was a little tricky because of the pattern, but I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out.Chalk paint on silver platterIt’s not perfect, but I kind of prefer it that way. It looks great on a mantel or buffet! What have you created with chalkboard paint that you’re proud of?

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Small Weekend Project

This weekend’s project consisted of going to Lowe’s to pick up paint supplies for the living room. We purchased rollers, brushes, pans, and tape. We, of course, also grabbed some paint card samples and brought them home to decide. You really can’t choose under those fluorescent lights in the store.

Paint Samples

We knew we wanted something in the beige family, and luckily we both agreed on one! It’s looking like Desert Fortress (middle) is the winner.

Paint Winner

But before we go back out and get the paint, we need to do a little prep work first — spackling and sanding. And by we, I really mean my husband! He’s also in the midst of changing all of the outlets. He’s converting them from two-prong to three-prong and adding new cover plates.

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Obviously those will have to be taken back off once we paint, but it looks so much better and is now more functional. Little changes can make a big difference!

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Uncovering the Past

I will never understand why people cover up hardwood floors. Obviously styles change throughout the years, but I just feel hardwoods are timeless. So after years of being hidden under carpets, our 75-year-old floors are once more revealed! My husband and I, with some help from my father-in-law, pulled up the carpets ourselves. None of us had ever done it before, but it was a fairly easy – and FREE – project.

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The carpet, padding and staples all came up with little effort. The tack strips, however, were the hardest part. The guys eventually got it down to a science. But needless to say, I wasn’t much help in that department. My job was to make sure our dog didn’t step on the nails!

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All that’s left to unearth are the stairs. That’ll be for another day in the near future.

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The condition of the floors aren’t too bad, but they will need to be refinished. And for that, we’re calling in the pros. I realize we could save some money if we rented a sander and did it ourselves, but for something like this we don’t want to run the risk of screwing it up! Plus, did you notice the awesome herringbone edging?! I’d hate to mess that up.IMG_1249We’re still debating whether we want to do a darker stain trim around the edge to accentuate it. We definitely plan on doing something in the entryway, but I’m torn on doing it in all three rooms. Any thoughts? Either way, I can’t wait to see these babies shine! Be sure to check back to see the final product!


A Work in Progress

Just like this blog, so too is our house — a work in progress. Since this is my first post, a little introduction is needed. My name is Kelly. I’m a public relations professional, new homeowner and fan of flea markets. My husband and I recently bought this old colonial home in New Jersey that we share with our border collie mix, Luca. IMG_1183We fell in love with the house upon first viewing — its size, ample storage and charming chestnut trim. No major issues came up in our inspection and so far we haven’t had any big surprises (knock on wood). There are plenty of projects, however, that we plan to tackle. It’s pretty much a clean slate with white walls everywhere, which means much painting is in our future. But the very first and foremost project involves ripping up the lovely 1980s pinkish-red carpets that are hiding 75 year old hardwoods underneath! Down the road we hope to redo the upstairs bathroom (which by the way has no electrical outlet. What?!); replace the concrete patio with a more inviting wood deck; and knock down a wall to make our galley kitchen a little more functional. With all these projects, we’re hoping to be thrifty when it comes to furnishing and decorating. I’m just not the type of person who can spend $500+ on a dresser or even $40 on a pillow. It’s just a pillow! We’ll hit up flea markets, estate sales, craigslist and use some good old DIY to get similar, expensive looks for less. So please, keep coming back for updates as we work to make this house into our home.