So while I was at SNAP a couple weekends ago I got to meet some of my favorite DIY bloggers, Beth and Nick. They are amazing, hilarious and have two of the cutest little girls ever! They blog over at Sawdust & Embryos and some of their projects have inspired some of my projects so I totally think if you like me you’ll like them! Anyway. I was telling Beth this story about our kitchen nook floors and how I had been working on them. She asked if I’d blogged about it yet and I was all like “no, it’s not done”…and then I realized that so what if it isn’t done. I would hate to ever give you wonderful readers the impressions that EVERYTHING I do is easy peasy. Cuz it’s not. Not even close. So I’m going to share with you the saga of our floors, at least to the state they are now…
Okay so this story begins like most good stories do in a totally harmless and unassuming way. It was a Saturday (five days before I was set to leave for SNAP) and the hubby and I were having a “date weekend”. This means that on Friday evening I had driven the kids to his mom’s house and they weren’t set to come home again until Sunday morning. It’s a pretty amazing deal and something we try to do every month. It is such a blessing to have her so close and so involved in our kids lives. But anyway…so going into this I knew that my hubby was going to have to work on Saturday. Big project, deadlines, impending wife departure…blah, blah, blah. So I got up Saturday morning and had the whole house all to myself! It was glorious. I went grocery shopping, alone. I picked up some last minute travel stuff, alone. I grabbed some blog post supplies, alone. AMAZING. So around 3 I wrap all my projects and packing and give the hubby a call, but he doesn’t answer. I figure he is on his way (no cell service) and so I start planning a romantic dinner for that night. Around 4 he calls to tell me he is going to meet up with some friends and have a couple drinks. That’s cool right? I have lot’s of projects to work on right? Hmmmm….I say yes, because I am nice and I want my hubby to be able to hang out with the guys. And I am always telling him that he should go out more. And it is easier when the kids aren’t here and I’m not left alone with them for hours and hours and hours on end. But on the inside I’m sad. Now don’t get me wrong, I could have told him right then and there that I really wanted him to come home and he would have. But one of my goals for the year was to give him more of his own time, and so that’s what I did.
So as I’m standing there in the kitchen all sad/mad/hurt/annoyed I turn up the pandora to an awesome 90’s girl rock station and start making myself a not romantic dinner. As I’m dancing and singing and cooking around the kitchen I catch a glimpse of our sad kitchen nook out of the corner of my eye. I swear it flipped me the bird. Stuck its fingers in it’s ears and said “nanny nanny boo boo you can’t get me”. I mean that’s what awkward rooms do isn’t it? So in my hyped up, girl power, rawr mood I decide that I am going to show that space who’s boss. Now maybe you can see where this is going…but I couldn’t.
I go down to the basement and grab a bunch of tools. I make that first slice into the linoleum and start pulling. I don’t know if you have ever pulled linoleum up before, but I’ll just say now that it’s not quite as easy as it sounds. But don’t you worry, I wasn’t going to let a little glue stop me.
Before too long all the linoleum was gone. This posed a new problem though. Now I had a plywood floor. I’m a little less amped up at this point and not quite as emotional, so I decide to tread lightly and start with just a corner. You know to see what’s down there.
This is no joke where the warning bells started going off. See, before this point I was 90% sure that I was about to find beautiful original hardwood floors. You know the exact same ones that are in every single room in the entire rest of our house. We’ve already pulled carpet from our dining room and both girls bedrooms. Upstairs and down the entire house is beautiful hardwood floors. Except apparently this room. But it was too late to turn back. There was no way i could restick all that linoleum (and I didn’t want to) so I kept going.
So let me start by saying that the plywood was glued, stapled and screwed into the floor below. So I used my brute strength to just rip as much of it out as possible. But after the actual wood was ripped out I was left with about 500 staples, 100 screws and a floor covered in felt underlayment. I spent hours and hours pulling staples and extracting stripped screws.
So let me tell you, briefly, what happened when my hubby finally arrived home. First off, at one point during the process I might have called him to let him know that I might have started a big project, and it probably wouldn’t be done when he got home, but not to worry I would wrap it up quickly. I also made him promise to love me no matter what, forever. Just covering my bases. By the time he got home it was dark. And I think that the darkness really didn’t help the sorry state of the floor at this point. I mean staples and screws sticking out everywhere. Weird felt stuff stuck everywhere. Not a good look for a floor. So he might have looked like this.
After a lot of heated discussion he went to bed and set about pulling all those staples and screws out. One by one by one at a time. The felt underlayment perplexed me so I took a few pictures and went to my local Home Depot. I went and talked to my favorite associate and we discussed all the possible ways to remove it and what might be underneath of it (the million dollar question). In the end I bought a razor scrapper and decided to just try scrapping it up. That actually worked really well except that it is hard. Harder than peeling linoleum off, harder than ripping plywood up. As annoying as pulling staples and nails, but far more time consuming. It took me hours to scrape the underlayment off the floor by hand. but in the end it looked like this.
My sweet hubby is less upset at this point and so he brings me home a heavy duty belt sander from work so I can sand it down to the bare wood. Mind you this is day after day after day of working on this floor. I am two days away from leaving for SNAP. I haven’t been blogging, cooking, cleaning or anything else. I’ve been working on this floor. So I call in a favor from a friend and she takes the girls for me for a couple of hours. I taped a plastic barrier up over the doorway and got sanding. Two hours later it looked like this.
And I’m not going to lie…it still looks like this. By the end of it my arms were like jelly and I couldn’t flex my wrist. I still need to go back and sand the rest of the felt off around the edges and in some of the high spots, but it is getting there. and it is going to be beautiful when it’s done.
Have you ever started a project out of sheer adrenaline? How did it turn out? Did your spouse get upset with you? Tell me your stories so I can feel better about mine!