Flooring: The tale of finishing projects
My wife and I have been trying to decide what to do with the floors in our house. Just to let you know this consideration has been going on for 15 years, and we still haven't made up our mind.
When we moved in 1998 the first thing we did is rip up all the carpet in the house. Never mind that we had no money to replace it, we still ripped it up. What it revealed was a house that had some really nice pine flooring in many places. Unfortunately in others linoleum had been glued down to the planks and in one room the floor had way too many patches on it to do anything with the surface that was there other than cover it up.
So for over the linoleum and for that one room we bought the cheapest carpet we could find to cover it, and then proceeded to paint the floors in the rest of the house (except the kitchen which is another story). It ended up being a deep green that covered the gray paint that had probably been there since before World War II.
Our intention was that within five years we would get rid of the carpet and the green paint and put down hard wood floors.
Well priorities changed and soon other things needed money more than the floors. Things like cars and ATVs and camp trailers and trips and...well you get the picture. We have no control.
But now we are determined that in our old age (which has only just begun contrary to what my kids may say) we want some nice hard surface floors to stroll upon.
But the original problem still remains; money. Hard wood is pricey and to install it (something I will not even attempt to do, because as you know I can barely write much less put hard wood down in a straight line) costs as much as the flooring itself.
And of course with my wife's impeccable taste, that can be ascertained by who she married, what she wants to put in costs about the same as a brand new four wheeler. I base all costs in my life on quads and the price of dog food.
So we decided to try and at least remove a little of the fifteen coats of paint, wax, dog drool and kid slobber in a small area of a cross hall that runs between the main hall and the living room. We just wanted to see what would show up if we had the entire thing sanded.
We started out with a little sander, then scrapped some of the paint off and finally I got out my half inch power drill and put a wire brush on it.
As I watched the paint come off through my goggled vision, what the wire brush was doing got my wife's attention.
"Look what you are doing to the wall," she yelled over the noise.
I looked up and green and gray dust was being sprayed all over the portrait of my great uncle Sam that hangs in the hall. I don't think he would have liked that.
So we dusted it off and then looked down. There beneath the multiple layers of intentional and not-so-intentional layers of crap was real wood; light, beautiful and with a wonderful grain.
"Hey I think they used some great wood for the floors when they built this place in 1928," I said.
But upon examination the beautiful color of the wood was obscured by the hour it took me to clear off a 12 by 10 inch patch.
"Let' see at this rate it will only take about five years if I work on it an hour every night," I said as I rose grabbing my old sore knees. Maybe my kids were right about my chronological maturity level. "I think I might go through a few drills and brushes in the process too."
We also noted that there was dust on everything in the house, just by taking the layers of paint off that little patch of floor. That was two weeks ago and that little hall is now partitioned off by dog gates so our pooches will not wander through it. We are still deciding what to do. However I worry it will be kind of like the kitchen ceiling I have never finished, the door jams in the house that are partially done and the mud room I started to disassemble. After while the closed off part of the hall with its bright patch of wood will just become part of the scenery and we won't see it anymore.
I always say that my unfinished projects, of which there are many, are where inspiration met reality and reality won.
My wife just says it is the unintentional consequences of marrying someone who is all gung-ho to do a project at first and then loses interest and moves on to something else he will not finish.
She says in finality, it is the "Ricky" way of doing things.