staining a hardwood floor

Staining Hardwood is Super Easy Lemon Squeezy

Staining the living room floor was by far the easiest part of the project.

The main goal at this point was color matching the stain with the hardwood throughout the rest of the house.  I picked two samples at Home Depot: Minwax Natural and Golden Oak.  The Golden Oak was too dark, but the Natural was perfect!

Floor samples


Then I did a floor check using a small 36 grit sandpaper block over a few drool spots that The Beast had left me (in order for Lindsay to get outside he has to go through a small area of the living room).

drool spots

Then I used a Shop-Vac to suck up any remaining wood dust left over from the sanding process.

To apply the stain on the hardwood I used wiping cloths bought at Home Depot, because the packaging promised me that they were ideal for staining.  Which, they were. Yay!

wiping cloths

As I mentioned above, the staining process was super easy.  I dabbed a bit of the cloth into the stain:


Then wiped into the hardwood, following the direction of the grain:


NOTE: a mask, knee pads and gloves are recommended.  I started with just knee pads, but quickly realized that I needed the mask and gloves because the stain is pungent and prone to get all over your hands.

I worked my way across the floor:

staining across the floor

Stained myself into a corner:

into the corner

And finally made my way out of the room:

out the door

As you can see the stain was a perfect match for the adjoining room and thusly the hardwood throughout!

That bit of the floor took less than an hour which was thrilling after the many time-consuming steps beforehand.

Now to seal it.  The Minwax said it would seal along with staining, but it was apparent that if anything spilled (or drooled) on the floor it would be ruined.  Once the floor was completely dry I used Minwax Polyurethane in Clear Satin to super seal it.


A couple of things to make sure of when choosing polyurethane.  First, if you use an oil-based stain like I did, also use an oil-based sealer.  Second, pay attention to how glossy you want your floor.  I chose Clear Satin because it is the least glossy (clear gloss is the most glossy).

Glossy is a weird word.

I applied it with a foam brush and like the stain I went with the grain.

sealing the floor

Once it was dry I lightly sanded with a 220 grit sandpaper block and applied a second coat.  A necessary evil to really get the poly absorbed.

It looks gorgeous!

stained floor

Wondering about the plywood?

I stained it too.

stained plywood

I think we can all agree that next to the beautiful hardwood it kind of hurts your eyes.

hardwood and plywood

My eyes! My eyes!


As much and I do mean AS MUCH as I want to be done, I just can’t look at that every day.




I’ve been looking at painted floors on Pinterest and I’m about 95% sure that I’m going to go that route.  I am, however, willing to entertain any and all ideas!  I’d love to hear yours in the comments.

Thanksgiving Events Idaho

Celebrate Thanksgiving at Idaho Wineries!

Thanksgiving week will be knocking at the door soon, bringing with it all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.  Idaho wineries will be right in the thick of these busy times, offering everything from barrel tastings to food and drink pairings to once-a-year sale prices.  Instead of fighting mall crowds this year, let us drink!

You probably want to begin sweet talking potential designated drivers right about now.

Here is a breakdown of the winery events statewide:

Boise/Garden City

Cinder, Coiled & Telaya

  • November 28-30, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Barrel and regular tastings from all three wineries with complimentary logo glass. Food trucks and kid-friendly crafts station on site. Adults can enjoy a proper art gallery (and beverage) in the mezzanine.
  • $15 per person, 2 free admissions if you are a wine club member.

Potter Wines

  • November 28, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Free tastings and Thanksgiving specials!

Mouvance Winery

  • November 28, 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. $5 pours and wine specials.
  • November 29, 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.  Open house, Oregon Pinot Noir with food pairings.

Snake River Winery

  • November 28-29, 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Barrel samples and food and wine for purchase.

Split Rail Winery

  • November 26, 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. and November 28-30, 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Barrel tastings and light appetizers.

Fraser Vineyards

  • November 29, 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. $8 per person includes barrel tasting, bread, cheese and chocolate.
  • November 30, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. $4 per person includes barrel tasting.
  • Special holiday prices on bottles.


Périple Wines

  • November 28, 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • See the new store and enjoy barrel tasting with chocolate pairings.

Caldwell Wine Country

Koenig Vineyards

  • November 26, 28-30, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Complimentary soup and wine specials.  New releases to share.

Bitner Vineyards

  • November 21-26, 29-30, 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. and November 28, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Enjoy appetizers and get one FREE case of Chardonnay when purchasing a case of red.

HAT Ranch Winery

  • November 28- 30, 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Celebrate the winemaker’s birthday with wine tastings, cheese and birthday cake.

Fujishin Family Cellars & Lost West Winery

  • November 28 -30, 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Enjoy complimentary tastings of the current release.
  • Barrel tasting $5 per person, free for members.

Hells Canyon Winery & Zhoo Zhoo

  • November 28-29, 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Wine sale and holiday open house.
  • $8 per person, includes a souvenir stemless glass.

Huston Vineyards

  • November 21-26, 28-30, 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • 3 wines and small bites. Barrel taste the 2014 vintage.
  • $10 per person with a custom Huston wine glass.

Ste. Chapelle Winery

  • November 28-29, 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Barrel tastings, mini tour, light appetizers and music.
  • $10 per person, $5 members, both get a logo wine glass.

Williamson Orchards & Vineyards

  • November 28-29, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and November 30, 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Barrel taste with cheese and chocolate. Enjoy music and get 30% off wine cases.


3 Horse Ranch Vineyards

  • November 26, 28-30, 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Vertically tasting Cabernet Sauvignon Library Wines with fruit and cheese. 10% off purchase of Library Wines.
  • $5 per person, free for Les Trois Vins members


Indian Creek Winery

  • November 28-29, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and November 30, 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • $7 per person, $5 members – 50% of fee goes to the Humane Society.
  • Includes logo glass, wine samples, barrel tasting, and appetizers. Enjoy photo booth and music.
  • $7 per person, $5 members – 50% of all entry fees will be donated to the Humane Society.


Sawtooth Estate Winery

  • November 29-30, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Thanksgiving Open House and Barrel Tasting. Includes wine glass, tour, wine pairings and music.
  • $15 per person, $10 wine club members


Pend d’Oreille Winery

  • November 28-29, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Barrel tasting. Call for reservations (208) 265-8545

NOTE:  All Idaho wineries are closed on Thanksgiving.

Please contact me if you are interested in being my designated driver! I know how I’m spending Black Friday and I hope I will be seeing you some of you.

For more information on any of the wineries listed, please see the Idaho Wine Commission website.

Make jelly from backyard grapes

Making Jelly from Backyard Grapes

Before we get into Jellypalooza, I want to say hello and welcome to everyone who subscribed this weekend during Sidonia’s 25th Annual Beli Danse Acadamie Hafla: Hi! Welcome!

When we last discussed grapes, I demonstrated how I make large batches of beverage grape juice.  I ended up making 12 quarts, which put a small dent in my harvest while leaving plenty for another project – canned grape jelly!

I was able to use the same initial steps from the juicemaking recipe to get started on the jelly, though  on a much larger scale due to my still-bountiful pile of grapes.  I dumped them unmeasured into a large pot until it looked halfway full, then added enough water to cover the top layer.

grapes covered in water

I brought the grapes to a gentle boil and watched them split over the next 15 minutes.

grapes cooked

2 cups at a time, I smashed a grapes/water mixture through a mesh colander and strained the juice with cheesecloth.  Please see my post on grape juice for a more in-depth look at this process, which was performed identically.

I went from this:

buckets with washed de-stemmed grapes

To this:

grape juice in bucket

You can imagine how long this took.

Like half a season of X-Files long.

I need to start making jelly like it’s the 21st Century.  Someone get me a juicer!

I took pics of the process, but most did not turn out.  You’ll have to use the juice post or your own imagination to envision this one.

So, I had juice that needed to turn into jelly.  I really REALLY wanted to do this without adding pectin.  I don’t use it with jelly made from homegrown quince, but much to my dismay I have yet to crack that code with grapes.

That said, in my large pot I added 4 cups of grape juice, the juice of 1 lemon, and one packet of pectin, then heated it on the stove over medium-high while stirring often.  NOTE: Make sure to read the instructions on the pectin package as not all are the same.

As the juice began to heat, I added five cups of sugar.

I got a contact high from secondhand sugar steam, which probably helped me keep going.

I skimmed the foam off the top as the juice neared the boiling point.

Once it started bubbling, I let it boil hard for one minute, then took the pot off the stove.

Meanwhile I boiled the jelly jars and lids for 10 minutes.

Like I said in the grape juice post, it’s a bit of dance doing both these tasks at once and it certainly keeps you busy!

Once the boiling was done, I transferred the jelly into jars, put on the lids (with the help of a kitchen towel as the glass was HOT), and flipped them upside down.

jelly upside down

After several minutes I checked to make sure the lids had popped and sealed the jelly properly.  For me this method is almost 100% effective.  I rarely have to boil them to seal, but should you find yourself with a lid that you can depress with your finger, boiling the jars for another five minutes should do the trick.  If it doesn’t, enjoy the jelly immediately because it will spoil before too long.

I kept some jelly for Nick and me to start eating over bread and butter immediately.  Pretty delicious if I do say so myself!

backyard grape jelly

If I have this many grapes next year, I might try to make wine.  What do you think?  Should I go for it?

the living room floor after

The Living Room Saga – Near Journey’s End

This has been quite the benchmark week here at WineDineDIY! Lindsay turned two, we celebrated a blogiversary, and now…. dramatic music please… the living room floor project is almost complete!

Yes friends, we figured out what to do for now.  Sadly, and despite great effort from the beginning, the solution for this project will have to be filed under “Money ran out, time ran out, and god damn it we miss our living room so here’s how we’re going to make do.”

For now.

When we last saw the floor it looked like this:

the living room before

Half hardwood, half plywood.  As you may remember, discovering the plywood bummed me out. So much so that it put me into a deep DIY funk and I was going back and forth on whether I should sand, stain and seal the entire floor.

Which is exactly what I’m doing.

I decided that I was ready and I didn’t want to look at that unfinished floor in our empty living room any longer.  Not one more week!  I went to Home Depot and talked with some extremely helpful folks and came home with a Square Buff Floor Sander (aka“Buffy”).


Buffy is in the running for heaviest piece of equipment known to man.  Those helpful Home Depot staff made it seem so easy to load.  Take it from me, who had to wrestle it out of my car and into the house, it is not easy.  Sheesh!

heavy machinery

Luckily, Buffy was pretty easy to use once situated, I was able to zip around with her pretty effectively over the next four hours.  Since I didn’t have to worry about continuously working in the same direction as the grain, I often sanded at a diagonal to better remove the last of that nasty glue.

On the hardwood floor I used 36 grit sandpaper and on the plywood I used 60 grit, followed by 120 grit over both to smooth everything out.

Corner 2

Corner 1

The hardwood sanded up nicely but the plywood… well….


Part of the reason the plywood looks so bad is that it was in terrible shape to begin with and I was repeatedly warned not to sand it too aggressively, lest I ruin it altogether and leave us SOL.  It does look better, however, and I’m really hoping that with stain it’ll look cool and have character, but I’m glad we have large furniture to cover it regardless! Ha!

Seeing the hardwood sanded really is a heartbreaker now because you can see it’s going to be beautiful when stained.  Why oh WHY couldn’t it be throughout?!


Hardwood Before


Hardwood after






Next up: Staining!  I’m currently in the process of figuring out how to best match the color of the flooring in the rest of the house.  Hopefully by this time next week we’ll be back in the room!

Have any of you had a project that was so overwhelming? I’d love to hear about it in the comments – tell me I’m not alone!

(Pssst! See how I got here via recap through these posts: one, two, three and four.)

Happy Blogiversary

First Blogiversary!

This week is kind of a big deal.  As of Monday, I’ve been blogging here at WineDineDIY for one year.




A year of goals made, opportunities presented, friendships kindled and dreams becoming larger than I could have imagined.

As I go back through all the posts, I see a year of learning above all else.  From my very first post declaring my love of wine, my introductory recipe, and taking you step-by-step through the initial DIY project, so much has changed! The photography has improved, the focus has veered toward Idaho wines, and I’ve learned a heck of a lot about WordPress and social media.

Personally I’ve experienced two job changes. One in January when I left my longtime job as a legal assistant and then again in the beginning of October when I was downsized from a new part-time legal assisting gig.  Having two jobs in one year is weird for me as I’ve always been a long term career kind of gal.  Before my foray into the legal field I was a nanny for many years, for the same family. I’ve had a lot of sleepless nights as I contemplate my next move.

My trip to Mexico gave me time to reflect and focus on what direction I want to take going forward.  I’m excited and hopeful about what is to come both personally and professionally.  I plan on bringing you much more of my best wine notes, most delicious recipes and helpful DIY projects.  While I don’t plan on changing anything too drastically, you’ll note some immediate improvements, including how this blog hits your inbox.  I switched over to MailChimp and was finally able to add those of you who subscribed at the Snake River Valley Harvest Festival.

I hope you’ll continue to visit my own little home on the Interwebz.  Thank you for following my adventures!  Allow me a moment of sentiment to say, you mean more to me than you can imagine!

And to my husband, Nick, who edits almost every post and contributes in his quiet and humble way, I love you.

Cheers to the next year!