Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Is there a chemical engineer in the house?

Growing up, I always found it very helpful to have a medical professional around. When someone fainted in church, my dad was right there. When my uncle accidentally hooked another uncle (instead of a fish), again it was dad to the rescue. There's a certain security in knowing that there's someone there that can take care of things (or several people...given that I'm the only non-medical "black sheep" of the family). Between a surgeon dad, a nurse mom, an EMT / doctor in training brother, and a hospital volunteer / nurse in training sister, they really cover all the bases.

I've decided that chemical engineers are handy to have around, too. After the late-night sanding adventure (Justin saved money by using a 4 hour rental that spanned Home Depot's closing-opening hours, as opposed to the full 24 hour rental), we - ironically - found stains under the old stain. Confused?? What I mean to say is that after removing the old, intentional wood stain, we discovered some unintentional wood stains that couldn't be sanded. While I would have simply chalked it up to being an old floor and moved on with the new stain/coating, my chemical engineer realized there was something that could be done!

Enter "wood bleach" or oxalic acid. Check out it's success in the test areas (the screwdriver is pointing to the place where it was applied):

After applying this over all of the stained areas, we'll have an even colored surface to stain, so the finished product will look even more beautiful!

That chemical engineer is good to have around - I think I'll marry him :) That reminds me - today, we got an early wedding card & check in the mail addressed to both of us with one last name!  Seeing that for the first time was pretty exciting!

Here's another in-progress picture of the floor sanding. This is the living room, which has decidedly fewer spots than the den. You'll also notice our amazing shop vac (that thing is a life saver, especially with the dust we've been kicking up lately!) as well as our new kitchen chairs (thanks again, Craigslist!)

In closing, I'd like to give a brief advertisement for another great chemical. Scuffed wood furniture looks new almost instantly with a few rubs of Old English scratch cover. This stuff just fuels my Craigslist fire. Man, it's awesome! The results are pretty addicting, and I've been polishing our kitchen cabinets, the new desk, the new table and chairs, and basically any slightly worn wood surface I can get my hands on. (Yes, I'll admit, I even tried a tiny spot of the awful wood paneling in the kitchen, just because the bottle suggested it. Looks nicer, but still not enough to convince me not to paint over it). I'm not sure if the results of this amazing product would show in pictures...but try it! It works!

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