1. David
    October 6, 2012 @ 6:37 pm

    Quite an adventure in home renovation.


  2. originaltitle
    October 6, 2012 @ 7:54 pm

    I can totally relate to the boiling frustration and tension underneath the surface, unspoken disagreements and silent acquiescence in order to appease the other party in house-fixing-up-ing. Looks like it still turned out beautifully. I’m hoping I’ll too be able to say the same after this new house endeavor I’m in…and also still be alive to say so 😉 Great post!


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      October 7, 2012 @ 10:15 am

      There is something to be said, for simply coming out the other side alive… And also, maybe for learning that boiling frustration passes. And that sometimes, good enough is good enough.


  3. billlattpa
    October 6, 2012 @ 10:14 pm

    Nice article. I’ve lived this many times when working on my house and can relate. I can also tell you that I am a woodworker and there is no way the stain will ever look how you want it to, or how it looks at the store, or on the swatch, or on the sample you made, or on the company’s web site. It seems that stain manufacturers seem to forget that wood is a natural product and unless all of your boards come from the same tree(actually a specific part of the same tree) they will very rarely match. Of course you could dye the wood, or use mega collosal size containers of pre-stain conditioner(roughly 700 coats) but that’s all kooky talk.


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      October 7, 2012 @ 10:17 am

      You’re absolutely right… I’ve learned that *nothing* in a house will ever turn out to your exact, precise specifications. (Paul has, at times, suggested I missed my calling of working for NASA, in their calibration department…)

      It’s probably a good thing I didn’t know about a dye option. Or 700 coats. Those sound like things I would have explored, just to make my life more difficult.


  4. Pamela
    October 6, 2012 @ 10:21 pm

    Ha-ha and yet it is spectacular 🙂


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      October 7, 2012 @ 10:18 am

      Hey, thanks!!


      • Pamela
        October 7, 2012 @ 12:42 pm

        Thank God it turned out alright–otherwise, it might have been stained a reddish tint 😉


  5. notesfromrumbleycottage
    October 6, 2012 @ 10:50 pm

    I am the color picker in the family but the husband always says “No dark colors.” When we first moved in this house and I started painting he wondered why I picked ‘museum colors.” Coral and a chicory blue. Now I am picking new colors and I am sure he still thinks I am going for museum colors.


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      October 7, 2012 @ 11:43 am

      Husbands say mysterious things… And then leave you to interpret them for yourself, because they will not elaborate.

      When I asked Paul to look at my blog, his first comment was that I used “Halloween colors.” And I was like, what? No… But then later I was like, hmm.


  6. Ali Raza
    October 7, 2012 @ 2:44 am



  7. Mei
    October 7, 2012 @ 4:49 am

    I think home renovations can kill anyone’s “aesthetic martyr”. Faucet shopping and paint shopping are the worst. At the end of it everything started to look the same to me…I’m glad your staining project is done. It looks wonderful.


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      October 7, 2012 @ 10:23 am

      I’ve found that’s the only way I make a final decision… when I am literally too tired to care anymore. When the idea of looking at one more faucet/paint shade is more than you can handle…


      • Mei
        October 7, 2012 @ 4:29 pm



  8. cyrusofsol
    October 7, 2012 @ 4:58 am

    Top quality writing. But painful to read. Your problems are of your (joint) own making.

    (1) Marriage: Nobody should get married. I was lucky enough to avoid it. I have no porch problem.

    (2) Property owning: Nobody should buy a dwelling-place. I rent. I have no porch problem.

    (3) Buffing & Re-staining: Timber (the stuff of which giant weeds are made) varies. I accept that. Guess what problem I do not have.

    There. That makes me feel better. Now you can delete my Comment. Good luck with the grass, aka lawn, aka garden, aka yard. Hint: it is SUPPOSED to be various shades of green.


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      October 7, 2012 @ 10:26 am

      I’m highly entertained by your comment… Possibly in my next life, I will take your advice. No house, no porch, no yard. We will see about the husband. For me, the good parts outweigh the bad, but we haven’t started the kitchen yet…


  9. mrscarmichael
    October 7, 2012 @ 8:25 am

    Where to begin? Your blog lit so many forgotten fuse papers (not all related to Mr Carmichael).
    I once chose a shower and ensuite bathroom based on the colour of a wooden floor tray. On delivery, like you, I was shocked to discover a tray so utterly alien to the promised article that I might have been rendered speechless if I hadn’t had so much to say. My builder couldn’t see the problem, checked with Matki, the supplier and thought the issue dead and ‘you’ll probably get used to it’ a reasonable comment. He began to see the problem when I told him to take the shower out.
    I made the mistake of leaving Mr Carmichael in charge of receiving some high gloss white kitchen cupboards. More fool me. Honestly I think he’d have rather have half the kitchen vanilla than SORT THE PROBLEM OUT. Oh and he hadn’t noticed the discrepancy.
    Now, I’m wondering do you know me? I HAVE bought a designer handbag after a MR and MRS row. At one stage in our marriage it got so bad that flowers would arrive minutes after he left for work in the hope, I guess, that I wouldn’t go shopping.
    Well done. Loved the piece and the accompanying photographic evidence.


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      October 7, 2012 @ 10:37 am

      “You’ll probably get used to it,” is code… Code for, “Please feel free to make my life as difficult as humanly possible.”

      You know what else is code? “I didn’t notice.” That’s code for—“I DID notice, but hoped that by pretending I didn’t, somehow it would magically resolve itself, and my life would not be disturbed.”

      I could have work for the Allied resistance effort in WWII. That’s how good my code-skills are.

      p.s.- I prefer Chloé, but have mostly settled for Kate Spade…You?


      • mrscarmichael
        October 7, 2012 @ 10:55 am

        that particular time I bought a Mulberry (didn’t feel the argument stretched to Hermes) but it’s fun to see flower delivery vans screech to a stop outside my house now.


  10. happyandsimple
    October 7, 2012 @ 12:08 pm

    I think I may dislike orange-toned stains almost as much as you… Cabot included. I’ve purchased online also, and have grown to like Fuhr stains (they’re eco-friendly and have beautiful colors) best. Despite the smidge of orange, your deck looks lovely with all of the varying tones!


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      October 7, 2012 @ 5:55 pm

      Entertainingly, nearly every webpage I view is showing me ads for Cabot… I guess my recent search for the color swatches made the Internet think I want to buy more of their orange stain…

      I wish I had heard of Fuhr prior to last Saturday… on top of the color, what we ended up using smells terrible. I am hoping the orange will fade to something darker… anything so bright probably won’t withstand the elements!


  11. jdtphotography.co.uk
    October 7, 2012 @ 12:30 pm

    Brought me out in fits of laughter reading your blog as I know how it is in renovating and restoring. Especially ….as I am in the process of restoring a farmhouse in France


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      October 7, 2012 @ 5:59 pm

      I think I would enjoy this house-project more, if it were in France… I imagine the restoration process is much more glamorous there?


  12. travelgardeneat
    October 7, 2012 @ 1:49 pm

    The joys of teamwork with home renovation projects (not!) — my husband and I have learned over the years that we do not play well together when it comes to these things. Great post! ~ Kat


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      October 7, 2012 @ 6:17 pm

      If opposing teams, playing in foul weather, is included in the category “teamwork.” Then yes. Absolutely. Teamwork.


  13. Huffygirl
    October 7, 2012 @ 1:52 pm

    Sounds like one of our crazy renovation projects. So from the picture it looks like you found a stain and stained it, but I couldn’t tell that from the story? Anyway, it looks like beautiful wood and hopefully you’ll still be married long enough to enjoy it together 🙂


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      October 7, 2012 @ 6:11 pm

      We used the last stain we came home with. The store was closed for the night, and Paul didn’t want to wait… I guess I didn’t really clarify that!

      Not the way I like to choose my colors… but it ended up fine. Plus, it was nice to just be finished with it…


  14. afterthekidsleave
    October 7, 2012 @ 2:57 pm

    Too funny and yet…I have a sneaking suspicion that my husband and yours are twins, separated at birth. There might be an age (58?)and nationality (danish?) difference but at heart, they are the same man.
    I was with you all the way! (the casino analogy was spot-on)


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      October 7, 2012 @ 6:36 pm

      Funny, isn’t it? How universal that husband-trait is?

      However, I’m pretty sure if Paul got to tell his side of the story? Your husband would look at you with new and glowing admiration for your quick-decisions and easy-going appeal.


  15. wklockjohnson
    October 7, 2012 @ 3:03 pm

    I don’t know how to tell you this but, well, I think I am married to Paul too, for the past 23 years. Except he goes by Dave and lives in California.
    After prepping walls for wall paper, putting in a back porch, putting tile down in our great room, resurfacing our kitchen counters and putting in baseboard we now rate projects on the “will this end our marriage” scale. If it comes anywhere near “highly likely” we either a) pay someone, b) scrap the project, or c) one person volunteers to do it while the other person leaves.
    Oh and for the record – if any one owns crazy around here. Let’s be clear it’s me. You would think Paul, I mean Dave would know that by now.


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      October 8, 2012 @ 7:40 am

      You are my new best friend. I do not care that you are living a dual life with my husband.

      In the privacy of this comment, I will admit that sometimes I think maybe Paul owns crazy. Not because of the specific amount or degree of crazy—I far outweigh him there. But just because of his commitment to it.

      I go crazy, and then I’m like, I’m so exhausted I need to go lie down. But Paul? It’s like the man has endless energy.

      p.s.- I was disappointed there were no photos of Armageddon-inducing projects on your blog


  16. 5thingstodotoday
    October 7, 2012 @ 3:57 pm

    I love your blog and I would really like you to feature on my blog http://www.5thingstodotoday.com. All you have to do is think of 5 things and I will feature them and provide a link back to your blog. Check it out and see what you think. If you feel you can contribute then please email your suggestions. Many Thanks. David


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      October 8, 2012 @ 10:16 am

      That would be fun! I’m not really in the habit of giving wise or inspirational advice, but I will give it some thought.


  17. muddledmom
    October 7, 2012 @ 8:33 pm

    I’m with you on color. I cannot live with orangey wood. Or tan paint that is too pink, blue that is too purple. It’s so hard to get that just-right color, and having to do it in a rush and under those circumstances, I do not envy you! Great post.


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      October 8, 2012 @ 7:45 am

      Rushing around and quick-decision making are absolutely foreign to me. I need all the time in the world to choose something…

      I am with you about blue paint that is slightly purple! We went through untold shades looking for the porch’s wall paint. They all look blue, until you compare multiple shades next to each other… then you see how lavender/greenish they actually are.


  18. segmation
    October 7, 2012 @ 8:39 pm

    Glad you haven’t killed each other yet. It looks to me like in the end everything will be fantastic, right? http://www.segmation.wordpress.com


  19. Loni Found Herself
    October 7, 2012 @ 9:08 pm

    Oh, I love it when someone I already follow gets the recognition they deserve! Congrats, doll!


  20. Seat12
    October 7, 2012 @ 10:03 pm

    I have to say that I really like the way that the floor turned out, however I’m not totally sure why…

    It might be that just about 100% of the porches in my neighborhood are painted the same battleship gray color.

    It might be that the stain gives a variety of colors on the boards, and how every now and then there is a board that matches the color of the paint on the front door.

    Perhaps that’s what I like best about it…it keeps my eye busy looking for a plan or a connection or a pattern…something that shows that there was an underlying design.

    I think that’s especially interesting because from reading this, you didn’t quite get the planned design that you wanted. Still, the eye and the mind of the viewer want to find a design (even if it’s not quite the one that you desired).

    I am curious though how you feel about how this flooring transitions to the flooring that is inside the house…Is it jarringly dissimilar? or complimentary?


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      October 8, 2012 @ 9:58 am

      I hadn’t noticed that board does really match the door! I do really like the variety of the shades of the individual boards. It’s the yellow/orange undertone of the stain that doesn’t appeal to me. (It’s more noticeable on the lighter boards.)

      There is a rug right at the inside of the front door, so you don’t really get to compare the interior floor with outside… I do think the end result is fine. Just, not precisely what I wanted. Which at this point, in an old house, you’d think I’d be used to…


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