Sealing Grout

One of the parts of unwinding two lives that’s most unpleasant is preparing to sell our marital home.  It was the first house purchase for both of us, and I’ve put a lot of myself into this house.  It’s hard to leave, but neither of us can afford to stay here, and frankly, I’m ready for a fresh start.

We moved in while I was in my third trimester of pregnancy with our daughter, who is now 3.5.  In three-and-a-half years, we’ve made a lot of progress but not nearly as much as I wanted to.  We gutted our kitchen to the studs as soon as we moved in and are only now putting the finishing touches on our custom renovation.  It stings a little that the people to enjoy it in all its glory will be the buyers, not us.

There are tons of tiny fixes that have to be made before the house is ready for sale.  We hope to have everything done by mid January, and are working til late every night to make sure it gets done. (With a munchkin in the house, often the only available time for DIY is after bed time.) There’s been tons of trim painting…….

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And then it was time to clean up and seal the grout in the downstairs half bath.  I installed the slate tile myself, and it was my first tile job! I was pretty proud of that square border at the edge of the doorway – it was my solution to a room width that was exactly three tiles wide everywhere except the door.  But the room was painted in the interim, and several paint smudges made their way onto the tile and sat there for months while the grout went unsealed:

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Turns out a magic eraser and some elbow grease will take latex paint right off tile.  After that I swept and mopped the whole room to prep for sealing the grout.  You can really see the natural variation in the slate tiles when the floor is wet. (Don’t mind the pajamas and the pedicure applied by the three year old.)

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Once it was dry, I used grout sealer on all the grout joints.  To be honest, I found the kind that comes with an applicator brush to be difficult to control.  The sealer is quite liquid and flows from the brush tip very quickly.  It’s hard to keep it from spreading to the outside of the grout lines.

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Enter the DIYers secret weapon: baby wipes.  Useful for everything.  You can see this package is already covered with trim paint.

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A careful wipe along the edges of the grout lines where any sealer overflowed cleaned it right up.

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After a second coat of sealer tomorrow, I’m calling this task done.

 

Beginnings

So here we go.  Deep breath.  To have new beginnings, you need endings, and that’s where I find myself now.  Divorced, single mom, selling my marital home and looking for a single pad on my own that my daughter and I can call home.

It’s all going to be ok.  In order to grow, we have to be willing to stretch ourselves, sometimes in uncomfortable ways.

So why start a blog?  Well, for one thing, because I believe our surroundings have power over us.  The space we live in can bring us down, it can keep us trapped – or comfort us when we need a welcoming place to come home to and inspire us to reach for better things in the future.

I’ve got plans.  Big ones.  But I also have limited time and a tiny budget, so it will take some creative thinking and elbow grease to get there. Fortunately, thanks to the magic of the internet there’s a wealth of information out there to help anyone learn, including me.