Sunday, April 13, 2008

All of the Swiffers in the World

I sanded and oiled the laundry room floor today. What a mess. The dust just permiates everything it had access to. It’s a small room so I did the whole thing with a rental edge sander. It took about three hours and it feels like I was doing crunches for three hours. Those things really give you a workout.

The only real problem was with the tinted shellac that was on part of the floor. You can see the area to the right in the photo above. That is tinted shellac and that is where the original butler’s pantry cabinets were. There was an area like this at either end of the room and it matched the witness mark in the paint on the beadboard on the walls. The rest of the floor most likely had linoleum on it. This tinted shellac is the same treatment done on the dining room floor. What I’ve never been able to figure out is, why they did it under the cabinets. It is very odd. If they knew there were going to be cabinets there, then when apply the treatment to the floor?

Anyway, the sander did not like the shellac. I knew it was going to be a problem, so yesterday I took most of it up with the heat gun. That wasn’t really enough and the shellac turned to a gummy paste quickly. A piece of 36-grit sandpaper lasted all of about 10 seconds before becoming completely gummed up with the shellac. After that it began to smoke.

So 5 minuets after I started I had to get some denatured alcohol and a wire brush and clean as much of the shellac off the floor as I could. In the end I didn’t get it all off, so I ended up going through a lot more sandpaper than I anticipated. In fact, I ran out. I could have used a lot more of the 36, 60 and 80 grit. The end results is, I didn’t sand as much as I would have liked to.

I just need to keep reminding myself, “Its only a laundry room”

So here’s what I ended up with. This just has BLO and turpentine on it at this point. It is still wet in this shot. It was nice to see that I had a piece of curly redwood on the floor. That will make for a nice conversation piece. I also missed a divot when I was making repairs the other day. It is not as big as the others, but still, it is too large to be called “character”. I’m going to need to deal with this. I'll be honest with you, I had hoped this would look better. I may be too soon to pass judgment, though, so I'll wait and see.

I also left the water heater in place. You see that skanky little piece of vent pipe at the very base of the pipe? That is a mistake, sort of. A few years ago I ran all new Type B vent pipe for the water heater. After nearly 30 feet of pipe I came up six inches short and had to get that little scrap piece out of the garage. I’m going to build a little box to raise the heater so I can get rid of the piece. This also means I don’t need to really worry about finishing the floor just under the water heater. When I put the baseboards in I’ll move it one last time, put the baseboards in, put the box in, and then reinstall the heater, and be able to get rid of that scrap of pipe.


Nancy said...

I hope you were wearing a dust mask????? I can't think about the color of your lungs!!!

Greg said...

Oh yea. Respirator, long sleeve shirt, hat, ear plugs. My Hinting Blue walls are now Hinting Red.