Sunday, May 16, 2010
Done with Splinters!
You may wonder what in the world this picture has to do with splinters. So I'll tell you. This was the beginning of the end for the splinters. But to tell this tale, I must start at the very beginning. You didn't know there could be more than one beginning, did you?
As we began our renovations, one of the first things we did was to pull up the old flooring. When we bought our house, the downstairs was an interesting patchwork of industrial carpeting and shag carpeting that was early 80's vintage. It was all stained, stinky, and very, very ugly. So, we pulled it all up. That was a fairly easy job, except for the kitchen which had quite a few layers of linoleum and even a very primitive type of oil cloth linoleum, which I never even knew existed before. My wonderful children helped us pull literally more than a thousand nails and staples out of the floor, because each layer of previous flooring had been very liberally nailed and stapled. All that to get to the original oak wood floors. Well, we had done this months ago, not thinking ahead to what lay in store - the dreadful, dastardly SPLINTERS!!! I won't show any photos, but my children suffered frequent attacks by these evil splinters. So, when it is time to get rid of such horrors, who you gonna call? No, not the Ghostbusters. Your resident Amish man. And that was the beginning of the end. Now, for the rest of the story.
We called on our Amish friend to replace the planks that needed to be replaced so that we could go about refinishing the floor. I tried to sneak a picture of him working, but none of them worked out, and after seeing how Amish act in the movies, I was afraid to ask him if I could take his picture. =-) So, I took a picture of his Amish hat and his lunch cooler where he was working on the porch. I waited until he was in the house putting down a plank to swoop in for that picture. Anyway, onto the floor.
So, after he replaced the planks, then Benn used hickory sticks to fill in where knot holes had fallen through, and it was time to sand. You can see in these pictures the condition of the floor at this point. In every room, at one point, the wood floors had been painted, but only around the rugs that obviously had once been in the middle of each room. What a lovely thing to do! What you can't see in the pictures is how rough the wood was and how many splinters were secretly waiting to attack.
So, our mission was clear. We rented a sander and began sanding on Saturday morning, hoping to put the first layer of finish on the floor on Saturday night. Here you can see my sweetie sanding the floors on Saturday.
And here you can see him sanding the floors on Sunday.
And here you can see him sand the floors on Monday.
Maybe it took so long to get it done because he is always sanding the same spot? Really, I probably sanded as much as he did, and it really did take three days, almost the whole of each day, to get those floors sanded. The lovely paint around the perimeter of the room was truly villainous. We spent hours trying to sand it down. Then we pulled out stripper, and did several layers of that. Then we pulled out a power scraper and I sat and scooted around the floor, trying to scrape the paint off the floor. Finally, we called it good and decided we were finished sanding. This whole sanding fiasco was like a wake-up call that I am no spring chicken! I am sure the fact that I just had a C-section 3 months ago played into it, but I was barely walking when it was all over. I have since recovered, thank the Lord! So, finally on Monday evening, I began to apply the first coat of finish.
We decided to use a product called Waterlox on the floors. Janice, from Canadian Cottage, had a post on her blog about her beautiful kitchen. You can see that post here, and while you are there, you should check out the rest of her house. I love her style, and I especially love that she does it all on a budget! When I saw the rich color and finish of her floors, I had to email her to see how she had finished her floors. She was so kind to respond so quickly with the information, and when she said that she used Waterlox on her floors and that she had lived with it for more than two years and was still very pleased with that finish, I decided that was what I wanted to use on mine.
Here you can see me in my really cute super-renovator rags. =-)
You can see here what the floor looked like as I was applying the finish. It was really easy to apply, pretty much like mopping, which I discovered is a difficult motion post- C-section.
So, once again, the splinters threatened to defeat us. When I looked on the Waterlox website to find where to buy it, there were two places about 45 min. away from us, but in opposite directions. So, early Saturday morning, when I left to pick it up, I decided to go to the store to the south. When I got there, I found out that the store had recently been bought out and no longer carried Waterlox. So, then I had to drive home, then 45 min. to the north to the second store. By the way, I did call first this time to be sure they had some. When I got there, I found out that because of VOC laws, they no longer carried the gallon size, only quarts. And, they only had 5 quarts in stock - which was only enough for about the first coat. So, I bought all they had and headed home, thinking that at least we could get a first coat on, and then drive to Rochester, about 2 hours away, to get some more. Unfortunately, because the wood had been untreated for so long, the first coat ended up requiring 7 quarts. You can do the math. So, on Wednesday, we headed to Rochester, where we purchased plenty to finish the floors. You can't keep a good man down.
So, after 5 coats of finish, this is what we ended up with:
Here you can see one of the knot hole replacements:
Even now, the splinters threaten. lol I had taken several pictures of the finished floor, but can only get these two to upload from my camera.
So, be gone, you pesky splinters! Wherever evil lurks, never fear, the super-renovators of 126 North East Street are here!
Why does this post read like a comic book?