Thursday, March 6, 2014

the neverending story

I'm still in the midst of the classroom/sun room redo.

Have I mentioned it's been really slow going?

This week had barely begun when I ran into another little stumbling block in terms of my plans for the room... specifically, my plans to put a good, water resistant laminate wood flooring on the giant "steps" on the side of the room where the porch roof is. I'd already bought the flooring, it had been sitting in the room acclimating, and was all ready to be laid when I started having second thoughts.

I took a close look (and took a good measure) of the horizontal tops of those "steps" and of course (why was I surprised...), nothing was square.  And as I thought about trying to lay the flooring planks square, on a surface that wasn't square, and the strange angles I would have to cut (and all the flooring I would probably waste in the process!) I realized there was a high probability that it would turn out not-so-great.

So, I slept on it Sunday night and woke up Monday morning feeling like the best thing to do would be to try to salvage the wood that was already underneath the tile fiber board I was getting rid of... and only if it wasn't salvageable to start trying to lay new flooring in those areas.


I had the crowbar out by 8:00 Monday morning and started tearing the tile board off.

What I found wasn't pretty... old water damaged (but not rotted, thank goodness!) tongue and groove, with petrified liquid nails smeared all over it from when they'd glued the tile board on.

Once I had the tile board off, most of the rest of that day was spent trying to remove all the liquid nails residue covering the old tongue and groove. I tried scraping (haha.. the liquid nails laughed at my attempts to scrape it off!)... then I took the blow dryer to it (temps above 140 are supposed to soften the liquid nails so it can be scraped off), this was marginally successful.

Finally I stumbled on the combination of paint stripper followed by a razor blade which cleaned off most of the liquid nails.


It was still looking pretty rough at this point... and I kept checking here and there to make sure the wood wasn't rotten in spots.

The wood seemed to be in decent shape, so by Tuesday afternoon I was
trashing the roomsanding the last of the liquid nails off and wondering what had possessed me to start working on this room.

After two days of fighting with old tile board and liquid nails  I wanted nothing more than to close the door to that room... and nail it shut!

Thankfully I didn't, because by Tuesday evening when I was starting to stain the newly stripped and sanded tongue and groove, I started thinking that maybe it would turn out ok after all...

Yesterday was polyurethane day... and the day I could finally see that old, water damaged, tongue and groove start to come alive again.

When I first started this project, I hadn't wanted to use the old tongue and groove because I use those steps to hold plants during the winter... so they get wet sometimes.  And I for sure didn't want to ruin all my work with a leaky plant. So I knew I needed to protect and seal the wood against water as much as possible.

That meant lots of coats of high quality polyurethane.

Here's where I ended up yesterday...

The old tongue and groove on the giant steps has been stripped, sanded, stained and polyed.... and I do love how it's turning out. I'm so glad the steps weren't square enough to use new wood, and the old wood that Annie and Carl (original owners and builders) put in is exposed and beautiful again.

Up next is caulking around the edges, then adding corner and quarter round trim around the edges and staining and sealing it.

It would be nice to be finished with the room this week, but I don't think it's going to happen...

Next week though... for sure.

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