Painting and tiling and flooring, oh my!

Turtle House must have been a bustling beehive of activity today, since evidently the painters, tile installer and flooring guys were all at work. The painters were in the master bedroom, taping off the beams (which we’re leaving their current dark brown color) and painting some of the decking in between. We think this is going to look great (like this inspiration picture – but a less glossy white), but we wanted to test it out in the bedroom before committing to doing the whole living room/loft ceiling this way:

Not sure if that is primer or paint, but it certainly looks like it’ll take a few coats to get an even color up there, because the decking was so irregular and discolored in certain areas. I am excited to see what it looks like with the protective paper taken off the beams!

This is actually an update from a day or two ago, but the painters have also completed the porch ceilings…

…and the much discussed garage doors! We went with plain brown to match the trim:

The tile installer came back today to grout everything in the downstairs bathroom. For those of you who have been up all night worrying about it, he also switched out the mismatched soap dishes. Both are now the glossy white color – so they don’t match the matte white subway tiles, but they match each other, and the tub, toilet and sink. So much better! Here is everything all groutified:

Perhaps the most exciting thing today was the beginning of installation of the wood flooring. I am not sure if I’ve posted about this on the blog yet, but this flooring is one of the things we’re the most geeked out about (and clearly, we’re super geeked out about a lot of things). It is actually old barn wood reclaimed from a barn on Brandon’s grandmother’s property. Brandon’s uncle, who farms their land (and a lot of other land!), couldn’t fit his enormous farming equipment into the barns that were built nearly a century ago, when farming implements were muuuuch smaller. They decided to modify one of the barns by removing a whole bunch of interior beams (and then securing the exterior structure with cable instead – it’s actually pretty ingenious). When Brandon heard about this, he begged his family to save the beams for us, which they did – and his amazing parents even hauled it all up to Michigan for us (yes, I totally lucked out in the in-law department).

We found a miller up here who cut it down into tongue-and-groove flooring several months ago. He told us that it is mostly red oak and white oak, but there is also a lot of other wood mixed in there – whoever built the original barn probably just used whatever was on the property! We asked the flooring guys to just lay it haphazardly, so the different colors and widths will all be randomly interspersed. Luckily they were totally gung-ho about this, and told us they’d done another similar floor recently and it came out looking amazing. We are so excited!

One thing that’s really neat is that some of the boards still have holes from the wooden pegs that held the whole barn together. We asked the flooring guys to just fill these with a clear epoxy, so they’ll still be visible and we can tell people the neat history of our wood floor.

Here are a couple shots from the upstairs landing. There is still a ton of wood in piles all over the place, but the flooring guys said they’d be back all day tomorrow – can’t wait to see how far they get!


  1. Wow things are moving along fast! I guess that's what happens when you hire people LOL. : ) The story behind that flooring is awesome! Did you need to dry the wood? We're actually going to be making our own trim from a couple cherry trees and we have two tree worth of the lumber starting to dry in the shed. They were tree that were going to fall and hit the house and/or fence so we had them cut into boards so we could use them.


  2. Thanks Meryl! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Robin – yeah, they were checking it frequently with a humidity gauge. It's been stored in our outbuilding for probably… almost a year at this point?? Crazy. We had a dehumidifier running in there for a while to get the moisture content down. Before that, they said that the moisture content was basically similar to just-cut wood, which is nuts, considering it had been hanging out in a barn for nearly a century! That's super neat about the trim from your trees – cherry should be beautiful! Can't wait to see how it turns out.

    Julie, we'll probably go with one of the natural oil finishes, like linseed… I have a friend who recommended one called BioShield. We will have to look into it, but we definitely want to leave it pretty natural-looking.


  3. Kit, ha! I've been wondering how your house hunt is going – anything promising? I almost sent you a listing the other day because the price blew my mind – an old farmhouse from the 1860s on almost 3 acres for under $40K. Are you kidding me?!?!


  4. Katy – Definitely email me the link to that house if you get the chance! I'm still on the hunt, and waiting for word back on the appraisal for the current house… it may be a few more months.

    Also, how many beams did you have and how many SF of flooring did you get out of it? MysteryMan's aunt is taking down the barn next door and he may be able to do something similar, which would be awesome.


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