Saturday, May 21, 2016

Redoing Our Parlor Floor. .

Here we go!  Today I'm sharing a project that took most of our free time for a full week. 
 We decided to tear up our Victorian floral carpet to refinish the floor beneath.  This is our after picture, but there was blood, sweat and even tears in the process. 
We started on a Saturday, and planned to finish the day with the staining process 

Our house was built in 1894. In Utah the hardest native wood is fir.  So though we do have hardwood details in our house that were shipped from the east, such as an amazing mantel and stunning stair case, the floors were made of fir. 

Above we see the builders answer to the hardwood shortage. Fir tongue and groove flooring was laid and then around the outside of the room, the floor was false grained, decorative painting that imitated the grain of red oak. 
Here's a detail of the faux graining. 
The central portion was left untreated and was then covered with an area rug.  Here is the unfinished wood a hundred and twenty something years later. 
Everything went well for about 30 seconds.  That's how long it for the paint and top laquer in the border area to gum up the sanding band. We eventually figured out that if we let the gummy build up cool and harden we could laboriously break off bits. We thought we'd be done in a day. Nope. I started using chemical stripper, while he sanded ....
The faux graining included a coat of yellow paint with and orange/red layer that was 'combed' to allow some of the yellow to show through.   Stripping off those two coats of antique paint plus laquer was not as fun as it sounds. 

In fact it was a was a gummy mess. We ran out f time and had to take the sander back ....  With the floor in the midst of its makeover. 

On Monday I spent my entire day striping the rest of the border.   
After work on Wednesday Scott brought home the big sander again. Without the paint,  things went more smoothly. I used our hand belt sander around the edges of the room. We finished up at 11:00 Yawn!  
The next morning I got the floor stained and wiped before heading to work.  After work that day Mr P got two coats of  varathane applied. On Friday it cured, and then during Fleaology on Saturday he hauled the furniture back in. 
The floor certainly shows some battle scars ... But I love the dark walnut, because... 

 My father once repaired a truck for someone in trade for a semi full of rough cut black walnut lumber. He had it milled into tongue and groove paneling and used it for two walls and the ceiling of the great room of the big house which he was personally building!  That's the house I grew up in, and black walnut will forever remind me of my father. 

So all is well that ends well, right? 

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