Sunday, March 18, 2012


There has been yet another drastic change at THE HOUSE AT SUGAR CREEK, and it happened last weekend. Hubby and I have increased our speed in the days and weeks leading up to the official move. There's nothing like a looming deadline to get this red-head fired up and ready for manual labor! Last weekend we painted the remainder of the dog-trot hallway, and we also swept, swept, swept, swept, mopped, mopped, mopped, swept, mopped, and then sealed the dog-trot floor. That's no exaggeration, either. I can't wait to show you what it looks like now!

But before I give you a glimpse of the "new" dog-trot, you need to see photos of the dog-trot hallways from the very first day of the renovation.

We've already painted the front half of the dog-trot walls and the ceiling, but last weekend we buckled down and finished painting the back end of the dog-trot. Here's a photo of hubby during our painting spree, which took about four hours (not including the time we spent taping the drop-cloth down.)

After the paint dried, we pulled the old tape off of the floorboards and applied fresh painter's tape to the baseboards. Then we cleaned and sealed the old hardwood floors. Architect LESTAR MARTIN recommended that we not sand and stain the original wooden floors, and we're so glad that we listened to his advice. The history is still there, hidden away in each little scratch and stain. The old floor is well-worn and incredibly gorgeous, and I am very, very proud of the way it turned out when we were finished sealing!

We still have a good bit of work left to do on the dog-trot hallway. There will be glass doors on both ends, which will make it possible to air-condition the dog-trot and turn it into our art gallery. The old staircase (notice that we did not paint it as we painted everything else) will come out and the old hallway will be once again open and spacious. But overall, we're really, really close to being finished with the center hall of the house! Here's a pic that I took after I hung a few pieces of artwork. (I couldn't help myself... I'm ready for it to be an art gallery!) What do you think? Can you see a big difference between the before and the after photos? We certainly can!

In keeping with my blogging tradition, I thought I'd give you a breakdown of the money we've spent on the dogtrot so far. I want to be completely honest with you guys, because you're all potential DIY home renovators. If we can inspire you to buy a piece of history and restore it, just as we're doing, then it was worth giving away our budget's privacy. :)

SANDPAPER: $40. (I sanded the walls for three days, and Shaun sanded for about five hours.)
WOOD FILLER: $5. (There were very few nails in the dog-trot walls.)
PAINT: $130 (we went through six gallons... five gallons of satin paint on the front half of the dog-trot, and one gallon of paint/primer mix on the back half. WE LEARNED OUR LESSON... use paint/primer in one!)

FLOOR SEALER (on clearance at Lowe's): $40.
PAINT TRAY(s): $1 each, times five.
PAINT THINNER (for attempting to remove paint from tiny section of dog-trot wall): $9.
NEW (temporary) PULL STRING LIGHT: $12 for kit
SCRAPING KNIFE: (for scraping very, very old paint from the floor) $12.

Now bear in mind that we're not finished with the dog-trot. But this is a very accurate breakdown of how much money we've spent so far. We're trying to prove that it IS possible to restore a historic house for pennies on the dollar, just so long as you're not afraid to work your butt off. Let me add, though, that we're restoring SUGAR CREEK because we fell in love with the house. Once you're in love with a home, it's easy to work on it. This restoration isn't necessarily about saving money. We're working on this house as a labor of love. Historic home renovations are just like marriage... if you're with the right one, there's nothing like it. But if you're with the wrong one, there's nothing like it, either! So what are you waiting for? Go find the house of your dreams today!


  1. So so Beautiful!! What a transformation...!!! So shiny and bright now..!

  2. Thanks, Kerry! We're thrilled with the floors in this house. We were so nervous about cleaning and then sealing as-is, but it was DEFINITELY the right thing to do. They're gorgeous!

  3. I am so in Love with this paneling...

    I can't even convey it enough....

    Seriously, LOVE this paneling!


    1. Thank you, Katie! These are all the original walls, so we're very, very happy. They're cypress, which is why they've been here for so long without being destroyed by termites. These walls are in every single room of the house! We simply pull old nails, wood putty the holes, sand, and then either stain or paint! :)