John A. Wojtecki
John A. Wojtecki
Doctor John A. Wojtecki has 45 years of experience in Human Resources, Safety, and Training serving the toy, food, plastics, steel, and office furniture industries. John operates his own consulting business and is a Certified Facilitator in Real Colors. He is a volunteer with the Quad Cities Mediation Service. He posts monthly on his LinkedIn account.

Muscatine Living

Last I left you, I was into a learning project on how to sand and refinish a screened-in porch. YouTube recommends using a “professional.”

One of my first take-aways is to rent a sander that weighs less than you do. Omigosh! Thankfully, the big box store had a young man help me load the sander into the back of my Rav. After arriving very close to the porch, I had the challenge of getting the sander out of the back of the Rav and to the porch. Navigating the sander was not easy. I would probably have been better situated had I used a pickup truck. I was not to be denied. Doing it alone was not the best idea.

Interestingly, the sanding took much less time than travel to and from the store, and getting the sander to the porch. The sander had a plugin that was not intuitive. However, the sander performed well. I will be researching if there is a lighter model.

I did some good things in prepping. Hand-sanding the edges and taping off base boards was an excellent take-away from YouTube. Also, one can never vacuum enough and hand dust up the sanding dust.

Safety is key. The store that sold me the stain and gloss recommended gloves. I learned to use them after the first coat (and my hands) were an interesting wood stain. Masks are an everyday item in our world today. I did wear a mask when I went into the store for supplies and the rental. Use of a mask is recommended when sanding and staining. Again, another lesson learned after the first coat. See a trend here?

Advertising on the front cover of the stain can states: Fast drying –two hours. I am sure that conditions dictate variations. Drying took much more than two hours. After the first coat, I finished at 5 p.m. and the floor was still tacky in spots at 7 a.m. the following morning.

One item I had seen before that I did follow was, “paint farthest away from your exit.” I did not paint myself into a corner. Proud of myself on that one.

There was a table that I did flip on its side that was unable to be removed from the porch. I did find out that there were place mats that were removable, only after I flipped the table. Looks like I need to find glue for two of the place mats.

Am I learning? Yes! 1. Planning is important. 2. I love the quotation from Mark Manson, “Improvement at anything is based on thousands of tiny failures.” I had plenty of successes and failures.

In summary, I took a risk in doing something I had not even dreamt of before. Would I do this again? In a heartbeat! Learning (and unfortunately making mistakes) is most satisfying. You should try doing something new. You will surprise yourself!

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