March 11, 2014

Bit off more than we could chew!

I had taken Monday and Tuesday off and thought we would be able to 1) pull out all the carpets and padding (which were 14 years old and rather disgusting); 2) remove all the tack boards and the padding staples; 3) clean the floor; 4) paint the bedroom and living room; and polyurethane the living room sub-flooring (which I knew was 4 inch sold plywood - not particle board or low end ply wood.

We had taken a peak under the living room carpet when we first say the house and were delighted with the quality of sub-flooring. The bedroom had the original oil based linoleum glued down to the sub-flooring, so we were going to clean it and live with it since our funds are limited right now.

Pulling out the carpet and padding was really disgusting. There must have been an inch of fine dust which would have accumulated over 50 years. What would have taken a couple hours turned into a day and a half and we never got through the list above. Everything ended up with surprises. The linoleum was 50 years old and brittle, so when we pulled up the tack boards, pieces of the linoleum would crack off along with it.

The sub-flooring which I was simply going to clean and polyurethane. Had several large water stains and built up grim. I had to clean the floor three times and then sand the entire floor with a palm sander. The edges had darkened over the years and so I realized that a boarder would be necessary to camouflage the darker edges. One thing led to another. Basically I decided to do a trompe l'oeil floor. The following gives you a step-by-step pictorial of this 20 hours project.  And it's not done yet.

After cleaning and sanding:

STEP ONE - Mask off your boarder:

STEP TWO - Paint your boarder using flat latex

STEP THREE - Mask off and paint your wood planks - I used 4 inch spacing so that the 4 foot paneling seems would be camouflaged along with the other painted strips.

STEP FOUR - Mask and paint your plank diving lines.

STEP FIVE - Paint your Trompe L'oiel brass nails.  I used gold enamel and then highlighted them with watered down black latex using a very thin-tipped brush.

STEP SIX - Paint your boarder design.  I still need to detail mine out; but I am pleased with the look so far.

STEP SEVEN - Once all your painting has dried over night.  Coat the entire floor with water based polyurethane for Floors.

I will send a picture of the completed floor.  As I mentioned this was a a 25 hours process and if you decide to take it on, be prepared.  It's like doing squats at a Gym all day long for 2 days.

  It is amazing how one can turn plywood sub-flooring into a work of art that looks like vintage hard wood floors with an antique painted border.

So much more work to do on the house.  I wish I was 20 years young.

Michael did some fancy stuff with the power saws and a box of laminate flooring.  The hallway (where the old linoleum had cracked and chipped was in need of a new covering.  Before I new it, he had installed laminate floor in the entire hallway.  Which was no easy task, because he had to cut around all the doorways and moldings.  Here is a before and after:

I have to return to my regular job tomorrow, so won't be able to do too much until Saturday.  I will do my best to keep everyone posted.

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