Dirty Old Floor

Still not moved in.

We finally scored some beautiful weather here in Halifax this past long weekend. I celebrated by staying indoors to clean and paint like mad. Even then I feel like I did not make much headway. As I mentioned earlier, every original surface in the place is filthy. I have been up to my elbows in TSP and buckets of dirty water for the last two weeks. I think I finally understand how to wash a floor the old-fashioned way – hands and knees and a scrub brush. As I work, I keep thinking of Barbara Ehrenreich’s book on minimum wage slavery, Nickel and Dimed, where she worked as a maid for one of those franchise outfits. She was trained to wash the floors on her hands and knees, especially if the home owners were present. It gave them the sense that they were getting a better cleaning to see someone toiling on the floor beneath them. What they didn’t know was the maids were also trained to use only a half bucket of water, for everything. Yuck.

If I had unlimited time and funds, I would have all the floors refinished or even do it myself. They appear to be the original hardwood strip flooring and the condition is, uh, rustic. The upstairs floors and stairwell are painted blood red, if you recall. It looks like the paint was poured on straight from the can and slapped around with a straw broom. In the interest of DIY and saving time I decided to repaint them. I did a little googling on painting wood floors. The advice seemed to be primer, two coats of paint, and two coats of polyurethane. That would be great if I had an extra week to let everything cure. So I talked to my curmudgeonly local paint guy and he said, no way, just go with one coat of floor & porch paint. Sure the poly would protect the paint and add shine, but would have to be removed if I ever wanted to paint again. So I spent one day vacuuming, washing, rinsing, sanding, etc. and the next half day putting on the single coat of floor paint. It went on like a dream. The colour is dark grey with a hint of blue, which I am not sure I love, but once I get some other things in the room I am hoping it won’t be quite so in-yer-face.

Here’s a quick peek at the progress to date:

Before and after cleaning the living room ceiling joists. I put this cleaning job off for months. Not a fun day, but the results are good.

Front bedroom floor - before and after

Before and after of back bedroom floor

Clean vs. dirty brick. These Mr. Clean moments never lose their thrill.

Primed but not painted brick wall in stairwell.

Mirror in the shower. Turns out it doesn't looks as weird as it sounds.

New front door light. Not crazy about the glass shade, but now we know what Simulated Etruscan Glass looks like.

Butcherblock countertop with walnut stain and four coats of tung oil. I am pretty happy with how this is turning out.

Bathroom sink mock-up. Buckets not included.

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1 Response to Dirty Old Floor

  1. Maggie says:

    With every post I’m amazed at how much work (blood, sweat and tears) have gone into this little house. Your a superstar!

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