For the Love of Poly!

Polyurethane has always been my least favorite product to use until yesterday. Yesterday I met Varathane Water-Based Polyurethane in Satin. It’s a dream come true! Here is why, no mineral spirits needed for clean up, no special brushes and no more long drying times. Can we say, winning!!


-Twice as durable as traditional wood floor finishes
-Clear, non-yellowing
-Maxium scuff and scratch resistance in high-traffic areas
-Fast drying
-Self-leveling eliminates brush strokes
-Water clean up

varathane polyurethane the vibrant pad

Now that I have brought you up to speed on what it does for your floors. let’s talk about the finish…AMAZING! I’m so happy with the way the floors in my living room are tuning out.  The only down side is the manufacture suggests 4 coats for maximum durability which can be a little labor intensive but the end result is worth all the work! A new coat of stain can give any room in your home a whole new look and if you are willing to do the work yourself you can easily keep this project under $100. Happy Staining!

gel stained wood floors the vibrant pad

gel stained wood floors the vibrant pad


Refinishing Old Windows

Wow, this project is taking forever! What should have been maybe a day or two project has turned into 2 weeks. The stone texture that was sprayed on the original trim around the windows has been a serious pain in the butt to remove…talk about a process.

faux stone texture on window trim the vibrant pad

scrapping old windows the vibrant pad

First, I tried to use paint stripper, huge mistake! There was so many layers of paint that stripping the trim caused  major unevenness on the painted surface and required a bunch of sanding. Lesson learned. Next time I will just sand down the finish, primer then paint…much easier. So after stripping and sanding for hours on end here is what I came up with…


restoring old windows the vibrant pad

restoring historical windows at the vibrant pad

I still have some work to do on the sides but it’s night and day difference from what we started off with.  1 window down, 2 more to go. Got to get these windows done so I can move on to staining the floors.

refinishing window trim the vibrant pad

Choosing the Right Sandpaper

Well here is a somewhat important topic for us DIYER’s that isn’t talk about nearly enough…SANDPAPER!

I really don’t know anyone that actually enjoys sanding but having the right sandpaper can make the world of difference on how your project turns out and the amount of time you have to invest.  Here is a quick guide that will hopefully help you on your next project.

Extra Coarse: The toughest of tough. Used  for removing paint and varnish that seems like it will never come off. Can be used to sand old floors that sometimes requires the abrasiveness of extra coarse sandpaper. ONLY USED ON TOUGH JOBS!

Coarse: Rough shaping is where you want to use this grit. Also, can be used to remove old finishes. Grit ranges from 40 to 50.

Medium: Final Shaping and general sanding work is best suited for medium grit. Grit ranges from 60 to 100.

Fine: Fine abrasive papers have a grit in the range of 120 to 220. Prefect for final sanding before finishing work.

Extra Fine: This grit is to be used between coats of paint of varnish. Grit of 240, 320 and 400 are termed very fine, while superfine sheets with grits of up to 600 are available for polishing jobs.

How to Get That Factory Paint Finish.

First and foremost I’m a huge Sherwin Williams fan. Not just because their paint is amazing but also they have huge sales where you can save 40%!! Can we say winning!!! I recently finished my staircase project (which you will see later) and I used Sherwin Williams Pro Classic semi-gloss Enamel on the balusters and it finished like it was professionally sprayed. I was absolutely floored. Here are the steps I took to make inexpensive wood look like a million bucks!



Let’s Talk Shopping. Here is what you need.

80 Grit Sand Paper

120 Grit Sand Paper

220 Grit Sand Paper

Tack Cloth


Sherwin Williams Pro Classic Enamel in Semi-Gloss

I started by using a palm sander with the 80 grit sandpaper to knock down all the rough edges, then moved to the 120 to smooth the wood out. (If you are unsure what grit sandpaper does what check out this informational post.) You may need to use a little wood putty in fill in some of the wood knots. After the putty is dry (roughly 30 minutes) do a little sanding again with the palm sander using the 220 grit sandpaper.

After your wood is sanded down make sure you wipe down the surfaces with a wash cloth and warm water followed by a tack cloth.

Once the wood is dry you can apply the first coat of primer. Allow to dry for 1 hour. After primer is dry light sand the surface with the 220 grit sand paper and wipe down with tack cloth. Apply first coat of Pro Classic Enamel. Allow to dry for at least an hour. Lightly sand with 220 grit sand paper for the last time and apply our final coat of paint.



I know it seems like a hassle but the end result is amazing and just think about the money you will save. Happy painting!!


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