Friday, October 19, 2012

Battle Royale: Don't EVER Paint Your Floors!

First of all, I apologize for not writing anything sooner. We've been so busy at the farmhouse, and I forgot to take pictures as we were working. We've also been packing up our apartment and trying to purchase everything we'll need to get started in our house. It's been a crazy few weeks to say the least, but this house is beginning to look awesome!

Priming - finished. I did double coats of primer on the ceilings in case we decide not to paint them again. Neck cramps are not fun!

Heat Pump - we have our heat pump placed behind the garage, so we had to run a huge number of cables/connectors/insulated pipes through a 4 inch tube buried under our side porch to connect everything. After a bit of creative finangling, we managed to get that stiff black roll of pipe through the underground S-tube. All of this means that we will finally be able to heat the house in an efficient manner.

Electrical - so this mess of wires has finally been fixed. Dave and Dick (our resident electric consultant and fixer of our mistakes) have connected all of the wires to the box, so we now have working electric outlets and lights in every room of our house! Dick has been working on some of our 3-way and 4-way switches upstairs, and we still need to buy covers for everything, but we're almost there!

Being an adult makes you excited about things like cabinets... who knew?!?!  These were delivered almost a month ago, and they have been in storage in the barn. In the past few weeks,we were able to put the kitchen cement board down as well as plywood on the floor where all of the floor cabinets would be. 

Last week Dan and Dave installed all of the wall cabinets. We put boards between the wall studs about 6 inches down from the top of the ceiling so that we would easily be able to fasten the cabinets to the walls. We were extremely glad that we had taken photos of where these boards were - some of the spaces between studs had pipes in them as well as wires, so we were able to get them up without much mishap (which means we missed a few times, but eventually got it right!).

Ahhh! So pretty! These are solid oak Kraftmaid cabinets,
 Roman style (the top cabinet doors are arched in design) 
in a "fawn brown" finish. Also, please notice that we have
a sink finally!


This was actually something that Dan and I took care of 2 months ago. We went to a local appliance/furniture place in New Castle (of course, Dave knew the owner!) and chose our kitchen appliances. The store agreed to hold on to them until we were ready to put them in the kitchen. We aren't 100% ready - the tile floor isn't down yet - but our move in date is one week away, and we couldn't wait anymore!

Refrigerator and dishwasher - I can't begin to tell you
how excited I am about these two. Our current apartment 
does not have a dishwasher, and the refrigerator is almost
40 years old and makes awful noises sometimes. Brand spankin'
new appliances - I am so looking forward to this!

New stove too! Our apartment oven doesn't heat evenly,
so we bought an oven with a baking coil on the
inside to make baking faster/easier. Anyone who knows 
me knows that I love baking; I can't wait to make tasty
treats in this!

Upstairs Bath Cement Floor - We got our shower framed in, so the next step was the cement board floor. Had to vacuum, vacuum, vacuum everything to get the plaster dust and mud spots off the floor before we could even start. 
Dan "mudding" where the toilet will be.

Fini. Thanks to an odd floor height between the bedroom and 
the bath, we had to use two different sizes of cement board 
and lots of mud to make the floor even, but we got it right.
Oh the joys of an old house with new parts added on! Again,
We'll be waiting to tile until after we move in.

We spent the majority of this past weekend sanding all of the wood floors in the house. And like most things with this place, it took much more work than we were expecting. All of our upstairs floors are original pine boards that someone had painted at least a three times. Ladies and gents, please don't ever do this to your floors. If you have wood floors, for the love of all that is good and right in the world, don't EVER paint them. Use stain. Please.

Master Bedroom - Used a sander that had 4 rotating
 pads on the bottom. This room is literally the worst because of
the amount of paint on the floor. Not sure how it will turn out.

What happened was that we went through sanding pads every 5 minutes. Running the floor sander over paint causes the paint to fuse to the pad and burn through. It also made using the sander much more difficult because it would pull in different directions depending on the paint stuck to the pads. What a nightmare! We literally went through almost 80 pads to sand 3 bedrooms, and they still aren't finished. Paint stripper just eats at the floor, so we're going to try something else this weekend.

Spare Bedroom #2 - the darker half of the floor is original pine.
The lighter half is new pine flooring made for us by the Amish.
The old bathroom used to be here, and most of the floor was
rotted through, so this room and the hallway are new boards.
You can still see some of the brown paint around the edges, but
we got most of it off in this room.

Spare Bedroom #1 - what a joke! Someone put carpet on 
the floor and then painted the spots that were not covered.
3/4ths of the floor was a piece of cake to sand, but the sides
were (and still are) a nightmare. Don't. EVER. Do. This.

The downstairs was much easier. It was old polyurethane and stain that came up easily. Because the floor was uneven, the sander couldn't reach certain spots, so we had to hand sand a few areas.

My wonderful sister-in-law Amy Lynn :)

It was a long weekend to be sure, but for me it wasn't over. I spent Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at the farmhouse cleaning, patching, re-staining and poyurethaning the floors downstairs. If I do say so myself, I did a darn good job of it too!

Library after sanding.

Library after staining and polyurethaning.

Living Room after sanding.

Dining Room after staining/polyurethaning. You can tell in
this photo that we had to replace some of the oak flooring
in here (bottom left corner). With the stain on, it's hard to
tell the difference between old an new floor, unless you know
that it is there. So glad that worked out!

Dining Room after sanding

Dining Room after staining/polyurethaning. The "keepable" floor
in here was probably the worst. Note the large sections of dark
floor and the visible streaks. There wasn't much I could do about
that. Patched flooring is on the left by the grate, but it blends in 
alright. By the way, that grate there is original to the house. It is
real wood slats that we cut to fit a smaller area. Love it!

I have literally spent the last few days on my hands and knees on these floors. I'm sore, my knees are killing me and I have bruises everywhere, but my floors look really good! I used a Zar wood stain called Spanish Oak, and used a satin finish with the polyurethane. Stain is easy - rub it on, and rub the excess off. Polyurethane is evil - if you don't get it on smoothly, you end up with tiny little bubbles in it that make the floor rough. Luckily, I only found a few spots with bubbles right where I had started, so I don't think it will be a big deal. I dare you to go find them :)

It's Friday, and tomorrow we go back to the house for our final weekend of renovations before we move in! Praying that we can get everything working that we'll need to live there.