The "Third Time's a Charm" Award: After

Who: Nancie Wallace
Where: Somerset, Kentucky

To fully appreciate Nancie's unyielding determination, just step inside her front door: At your feet, you'll find the elegant vine-and-leaf border she spent days hand-painting on the new ash floor. Not once, not twice, but three times.

The first go-round took nearly 40 hours of careful brushwork with a gel stain, homemade stencils, and lots of Q-tips to remove stray marks. "I like things that curve and flow," she says, "so I drew the pattern by hand." She hired a contractor to preserve her work with two coats of polyurethane. Unfortunately, a man with a buffer inadvertently erased part of it. "They called my husband first," she recounts. "I was almost in tears."
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