In my last post I said to stay tuned for: “My Mom’s Bedroom Floor is Trying to Kill Me,” and I wasn’t exaggerating. Well, not too much, anyway. 😉 The past couple of weeks working on it have been a nightmare! To say that I was regretting pulling up the carpet in my mom’s bedroom would be a huge understatement. I knew the floor wasn’t going to be in great condition, but I didn’t realize it was going to be so much work just getting it cleaned up good enough to be liveable. My aching body…
The first issue at hand was trying to figure out the best way to pry up the tacking strips that were left from the carpeting. After getting advice from a friend and a few of my readers, I went out to buy a Wonder Bar. But when I got to the store I didn’t end up getting one because the thing weighed like 1000 lbs and was way too big and heavy for my weak little girlie hands.
I found these nifty things and figured they’d work just as well for getting the job done and be much easier for me to maneuver and work with. They worked like a charm and I was glad I got them because as it turns out, having a variety of sizes of these things came in handy. ~
I toiled long and hard prying up all those tacking strips and even with my handy dandy variety pack of pry bars, it was no easy task. One of the times while I was in there slaving away, splinters flying everywhere, I thought of asking my daughter to come in and take a photo of me in the midst of “tackling the tacking,” but she was busy doing something else and couldn’t, so you’ll just have to take my word for it that it was excruciatingly laborious for me.
But as much work as prying up all those tacking strips was, that was nothing compared to the nightmare it has been trying to get up all of the tar-like substance that was underneath that old linoleum. I looked online, asked friends, called around, and went back and forth to Home Depot more times than anyone would ever want to, and each time got a different suggestion on what to use. Because we aren’t going to be actually “refinishing” the floors for quite some time, my mom wanted to try and preserve the original varnish and stain as well as possible, so that limited us significantly in how to go about it.
In the end, as impractical as it was, Goo Gone is what we used. It took an enormous amount of elbow grease, but it was the thing that we found worked the best at dissolving the tar.It was extremely tedious ~ especially when using a plastic putty knife (to help keep ourselves from damaging the floor’s finish while scraping).
I also picked up some mineral spirits to try to get up some of the old paint splotches that were on the floor. That didn’t work as well as I had hoped it would. Turns out it’s more for fresh paint clean-up, and not paint that’s 36 years old. Even with letting it sit on there for a while, it was still very difficult getting it up.
And my mom even lent a hand.
This is how it looked after all our scraping, scrubbing and toil.Pretty dang nice considering how it looked originally! (Click here to see)
There are still this rough patches around the perimeter of the room and one particularly stubborn area, but even after all three of us each spent a considerable amount of time working on it, none of us could penetrate through whatever that was. It probably needs some sort of stripping or sanding done on it, but that is not something we are doing right now.~
Since my sis was back early from her vacation I enlisted her assistance for this part. Making yet another trip to Home Depot, we picked up some 12ft oak flooring strips that we thought would do the trick at covering the gaps and also help give it a bit of a “finished” looking edge. We figured we could just lay it on top of the floor, press it up against the molding, tack it down in couple of places, stain it a neutral color, and call it good until the floor gets refinished properly.
This confusing mess of a photo is my sis pointing at the lousy hammering job that I was doing. Apparently I was “doing it wrong.”Hey that hammer was heavy, I needed to have my hand that close to the head! And besides… it’s kinda hard hammering correctly when your sis is tickling you behind the knee while you’re trying to hammer. Just saying…
Unfortunately, one of the walls of the room is pretty warped, so using the oak strips to cover the gap on that wall was practically worthless. Off we went back to Home Depot again (good thing it’s close by) to get some wood putty to fill it in with. My mom took this blurry photo trying to catch us in action as my sis and I were filling (glopping) it in. As you can see, my side is much tidier. 😉 But maybe that was only because my sis was laying sprawled out on the floor while applying it hahahaha! And she made fun of my hammering? But I shouldn’t poke too much fun at her “techniques” for applying wood putty because heck, she knows how to use a freaking miter saw (which she skillfully wielded to cut the ends of the oak strips at 45 degree angles for the corners) and that’s more than I can say for myself. Besides… my sis helping made it fun, and hey, I’m all about the fun! Bottom line is, I sincerely I appreciated her assistance and expertise ~ even if it was gloppy. 😉
Before calling it “done” I took some Restor-A-Finish and went over the entire floor. I also used it to touch up all of the existing woodwork (doors, windows etc.) in the whole room. Talk about “My Mom’s Bedroom Floor is Trying to Kill Me” ~ there are all sorts of toxic chemicals in this stuff and frightening health warnings on the label, which scared this “keep everything natural and organic” girl, but I didn’t see any similar products that I could use that were any less dangerous.~
All I know is, I’m filled with dread at what horrendous amount of work may be lurking underneath my bedroom carpet. Dear Lord, please let it be in halfway decent shape. We’ll find out shortly because once my mom is all moved into her new room, we’ll be painting mine and my daughter’s rooms, and then the carpet people will be coming to install the new carpet in my daughter’s room and rip out the carpet that is in mine. Yeah, my carpeting and tacking strip removal days are over. It’s costing us all of $72 for them to do it for us while they’re here installing my daughter’s carpet. Totally worth it!
And I leave you with this…
Even though my mom’s bedroom floor may not have really been trying to kill me, being over there working on it has been detrimental to the health of my house plants at my apartment. Basically all I do here anymore is sleep and shower, so I haven’t given them much TLC.
My poor Peace Lily looks anything but “peaceful.” Pay no attention to those dust bunnies that are congregating for a family reunion there on the floor. Unfortunately, they’ve been busy producing several generations of offspring while I’ve been busy with my mom’s floor.