Saturday, December 09, 2006

Now my dog and my living room floor match my hair

The living room floor has been an archeology dig into bad-taste. We started by ripping out the raspberry synthetic carpet.
Beneath this we were greeted with - look closely - shag carpet-print lineoleum .
floor - lino

But one more layer down...
floor - wood + lino
Ahhhh. Beautiful 100-year old hardwood floors. Well, soft wood to be accurate, but beautiful old boards nevertheless.

After removing all of the carpet, padding, and lino I swept, vacuumed, swept and vacuumed. Then I rubbed the floor down with a gentle wood cleaner. And that's when it became clear: the previous owners were complete wackos. Apparently, at one point, the POs wanted to paint the wood brown but I guess they didn't want to first lift up their area rug. So they just painted around the rug. So instead of a pock-marked and slightly worn 100-year old wood floor, I had a 10x10 foot square of pock-marked and slightly worn 100-year old wood floor, surrounded by a 2-foot-wide border of paint. If the whole thing had been painted, hell, I'd just paint it a new color. If the whole thing had been stained, I'd have re-stained it. But when only 30% of it was painted...?

As with so many things in home improvement, this took much longer than I'd hoped. But never fear, I had assistance:
floor - wood+lbr
Scraping paint is about as much fun as it sounds, even if it's "only" the two foot border. Let me say that I highly recommend toxic chemicals. I'm normally a gentle-on-the-earth sort of girl, but not for paint removal. I couldn't rent a sander because the floor was too uneven, so I had to do each board individually with a hand sander. The stain is being absorbed differentially due to the different treatments over the years, so I've had to do several coats of stain to even it out. And finally, the soft wood is splintery, so I've had to lay down many coats of sealant to protect wayward bare feet (any injury would probably be mine - I'm perpetually barefoot, though I'm learning).

But in the end, I think it has been worth it. Photos don't do it justice. You'll have to come visit.
finished lr floor


At 7:47 PM, December 14, 2006, Blogger Sa said...

Looks WONDERFUL... I love old things too, and I wish I had your eye...


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