Relocating, Remodeling & Readjustments ~ Ceilings and Carpets, and Floors, Oh My!

We had some painters come out the other day to respray all of the ceilings upstairs.  There were a few stains from areas where the roof had leaked before my parents put on a new roof a few years ago, but mostly it was just that as the bedroom furnishings got more and more cleared out, you could really start to see a lot of discolorations.  After 36 years they were really in need of a refreshing.

  This is a before photo I snapped of a portion of my daughter’s room that shows part of the ceiling.  All the ceilings in the upstairs are slanted/angled, but it’s kind of hard to tell from these photos.

And after…So fresh and clean!

The entire upstairs’ ceilings look like brand new!  Makes it hard to wait to paint all the walls now to freshen them up too!


But “all in due time, my pretty” because the next thing we needed to do was rip out the carpeting in my mom’s room.  Which surprisingly wasn’t really all that difficult to do.  That’s not to say I’m not completely and utterly exhausted after spending some time “on the floor” so to speak.  😉

But before we could get to the carpet, we had to move the remaining furniture out of my mom’s room which included a couple of very beautiful, but very heavy old dressers.

And that’s where this handy invention comes in.

Pretty nifty things for weak girlie people like me.  You just slip them under each leg of the furniture and they slide it along with ease!  Haha just like it says on the package.  😉~

Okay, so with the furniture out of the way, now we could get down to business.

Because I have asthma and allergies I thought it would be a good idea to wear one of those face mask thingies to protect myself from dying of a dust and debris overdose.  Funny thing is, wearing the thing actually made it more difficult to breathe.  Maybe I got the wrong kind…

My daughter snapped this goofy photo of me wearing it.  I look like I’m getting ready to perform major surgery or something.  “Scalpel.”  😉


I took the advice of several people and cut the carpet into smaller, more manageable pieces, and then just rolled it up and hauled it out, worked like a charm!~

Then I got busy on the pad.  That came up super easy.  Why, hello there 1902 hardwood floors!  They looked like they were in fairly decent shape too!

But as I continued pulling back the pad, I saw that there was a bit more going on there than just some hardwood floors underneath that carpeting.  Like left over remnants of some old linoleum…

Yeah… like some really freaking awesome looking old linoleum!  Omygosh I love it!  So much so that I wish the entire floor was covered with it.  I can’t even tell you!  I bet it was really cool when it was new, but I love that it’s all old and worn ~ just adds more character to it.But alas since it doesn’t cover the whole floor, it poses a real problem with making the hardwood look halfway decent until we can refinish it properly.

So my daughter set to work trying to set if it would come up.  And it did.  Not real easily though.

She loves that old linoleum almost as much as me so she tried to take it up carefully to keep larger sections of it intact if possible.

I gave her a wide putty knife and that seemed to do the trick, but it scratched the floor underneath quite a bit.  😦  But it couldn’t be helped.This was the main piece that needed pulling up, but some of the other areas were proving to be a bit more stubborn, so we decided to call it quits on our linoleum lifting efforts for the day and go back to work on it a little later.

I was thinking it might be neat to try to make something out of it.  Like take the intact floral part of the pattern, tear unevenly around the edges, then maybe mount it on something, stick an old beat up looking frame around it, and hang it on the wall as a piece of the house’s history.  Could be cool right?  🙂


I worked for quite a while trying to remove the tacking
strips around the perimeter of the room, but that wasn’t so easy either.  I couldn’t get at it with the hook side of a hammer as a friend had suggested I could pull it up with, so I wedged the end of a flat head screwdriver under it and tapped on it with a hammer to try getting it up that way.

But that was brutal.  Unfortunately, the wood just splintered and all I really succeeded at was managing to gouge and scrape up the wood floor.  😦  So I gave up for the time being. I don’t know what I’m going to do about getting those tacking strips up without wrecking the floor.  Maybe I can try calling a carpet place to see if they know of any other tricks I could try.  I’ll definitely be looking around on the Internet to see what can be done too, but I think I may quite possibly be in over my head here.  Wish me luck…


21 responses to “Relocating, Remodeling & Readjustments ~ Ceilings and Carpets, and Floors, Oh My!

  1. Hey Jewels, I have done lots of rehabing and what you need to get for the carpet strips is something called a wonder bar. You can get it at ace hardware or homedepot. a screw driver dosn’t work very well, the wonder bar is flatter and will pry up more of the carpet strip at a time and it won’t splinter the strip as much and gouge your wood floors. It’s designed to give you leverage when you use it.


  2. I was just going to tell you that myself, I just got off the phone with my Daddy and he suggested the wonderbar thing. 😉 Looks like you are moving right along, can’t wait to see the pretty new “history” project when it gets finished. 🙂


    • Well if your daddy suggests it then it’s sure to be the thing to do the trick! I don’t know when I’ll have the time to get around to making something creative out of that linoleum, but when I do I hope it turns out. 🙂


  3. Mint job on the ceiling! Looks great!!
    I always wondered how those things for moving furniture worked. Good to know they do.
    I can’t tell if that mask you are wearing is mint green or white? We can’t buy the green ones in stores here. They are for people in the medical field. When the SARS outbreak happened we couldn’t get any masks at all! I need them for work. Looks like you didn’t pinch the metal at the top of your nose to fit tight. But it is hard to breathe in them. You said it was going to be a bad picture! You are beautiful even with a mask!
    I had to tear up the same type of linoleum here. It was so old it cracked in big pieces as it came up. It’s pretty heavy too. I didn’t think so at first but when I carried the boxes of it down, I sure found out! No newspaper under it?
    I was going to suggest a pry bar. Probably taking the time to inch it up a bit but not pulling off the strip. Going along the whole strip, having the one side lifted just enough to keep it going smooth for the bit in front of it. Eventually it should just ease the process. I wish I could explain it better.
    I had to use a putty knife (the same thing you used to patch your walls) to lift some of our linoleum but we didn’t have to worry much about the floor underneath. Upstairs is still the old barn board flooring. It’s not supposed to look perfect.
    You must be exhausted after all that work! Way to go! Have you picked colors yet?


    • Thanks, we are really happy with them! The face mask I’m wearing in the photo is green. The package said it was for dust so I figured it’d be fine for what I needed it for, but yeah I couldn’t breathe well in it at all. I didn’t pinch the the metal at the top of the nose part because it already felt tight enough against my face. Gave me a bit of claustrophobia too. And thanks, but I look anything but beautiful in that goofy thing. Although I was having a good hair day! 😉 That is, until I ended up having to pull it up as we got going with the work. No, there was no newspaper under the linoleum. Yeah, that wonderbar sounds like just the thing, and I know what you are trying to explain on how to do it. I am exhausted! Yes, I’ve narrowed it down to between two colors for my room ~ a lavender color called “Guilty Gray” or a pale teal called “Pale Nile.” Purple is my favorite color, but the Pale Nile color reminds me of the color of the ocean which I love too. 🙂


  4. We are DIYers too but this is definitely a B I G job. It looks to me like things are going very well. The ceiling is stellar. The floors are coming along but that linoleum is amazing. They sure don’t make it like that anymore. Get busy, can’t wait for the next report and pics!


    • It is a big job, but it is going well. 🙂 Thanks, we are so pleased with the ceilings. They really are just like new and make everything feel so fresh and clean. I seriously cannot wait to paint the walls! The work that is needed on the floor kind of overwhelms me and I’m afraid it’s going to be more than I can do on my own, but it’s exciting at the same time and I can’t wait to see what is under the carpet in my room!


  5. Julie, that pic of you in the breathing mask is so cool! Your daughter sure knows how to compose a photo 🙂 I think that headshot should be sent to TV casting agencies. You were born to be on a show like Fringe! (warning: terrible Photoshop job. Your daughter will shake her head in shame)


    • Funny Simon! That’s hilarious, I love it!! I know I look like a freak in that mask, and this shot was the least weird looking of the few that she took of me in it. I love the show Fringe! Have you ever watched it? I haven’t seen the last 2 seasons yet though.


      • I have not seen it, but I remember you telling me about it back at MCCS. Sounds interesting, but it’ll have to wait until we are done watching a bunch of other shows first 😦


  6. I love the picture of you in the face mask. That’s what my husband wore on his face both times he’s changed a dirty diaper. Good luck with all of that work! I’m exhausted just reading about it. 🙂


    • Thanks, haha “both” times? What a wimp! 😉 Seriously, all this work is exhausting! I think I bit off a little more than I can chew on this one, but it’s too late to turn back now ~ I’m in it for the long haul.


  7. I will echo the others regarding the coolness of the face mask shot. The lavender-tinted highlights are a nice addition; you really DO like that color! For your next post, I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say that we need to see a shot of you wielding a wonder bar. While wearing a HazMat suit. Please? 🙂


    • Yes, I really do like that color! I’ve had one streak of purple in my hair for about a year now, and I seem to be making it a wider streak with each color touch up that I have done to my hair. Before you know it my whole head could be purple! Yeah… probably wouldn’t ever do that. 😉 But I do like it! Haha sorry to disappoint you, but I’ve already completed my wonder bar workout and I didn’t happen to get a photo of me doing it. By the way, a HazMat suit probably would have come in handy, as I’ve discovered that old linoleum was installed using tar! Still working on getting it up…


      • Seeing that picture of the rolled-up carpeting chunks brought back memories. I, too, found that cutting it up into bite-size pieces is definitely the way to go:

        I can tell you from personal experience that getting a tar-based adhesive off the floor is almost impossible. When I moved into my condo, the kitchen area had the world’s ugliest linoleum attached to a cement floor with tar, and even the professional installers I enlisted to put in the new floor were powerless against it. They told me the only thing they could do would be to bring in some sort of modified jackhammer/grinding device and basically chip away at it and reduce it to dust. The downside is that it’s hard to keep from damaging the floor underneath in the process.

        In the end they wound up sanding down the edges of the old linoleum and installing the new floor directly over it. This worked well and I really can’t detect any grade differences with the new floor in this area. In your case, however, it will be trickier since you have a nice wood floor under all the tar that you want to keep. I am sure you are constantly asking yourself “what in the world was going through the minds of the flooring installers who thought it was a good idea to cover up a nice wood floor with tar and linoleum???”

        Keep fighting the good fight, Julie. And I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you’ll reconsider the wonder bar/HazMat suit photo request…


      • Haha well I kinda doubt I’ll be bringing in any jackhammers! 😉 I’m going to stop by Home Depot today and get some mineral spirits to try and dissolve the tar. I really hope that does the trick because I’ve just about had it. Goo Gone helped take up the tar a little, but only on the fresh stuff from where we had just pulled up the linoleum, and Goo Gone isn’t real practical. I really didn’t think this would be such a huge ordeal. I hadn’t planned on doing any “refinishing” (still not), I just want to get this floor cleaned up as best as I can and looking halfway decent, and then get to work on painting the other two bedrooms. The days on the calendar are ticking away and I’m feeling the pressure of a major time crunch. Kinda, sorta, okay really wishing I never would have pulled up the carpet in my mom’s room…


  8. Oh my goodness! I loved the old linoleum! I do hope you saved a bit — I certainly would have! It’s so exciting to find these treasures in older homes.


  9. Pingback: M is for Mom | Ramblings From Jewels

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