I knew it would be hard but ...

blackcats13July 18, 2009

Man! I *thought* I would spend some time this morning cleaning paint off a small part of the floor where I'd pulled up the carpet last weekend. And then I could move on and pull up more carpet. Oh my gosh! Now I know why people decide to just refinish or replace. It's a very small area but I've been at it for a couple hours this morning. I've pulled a muscle in my right thigh and I've decided that the $16 I spent on knee pads 2 days ago is the best money spent EVER. I'm not even half done!! But I certainly won't need to "workout" this weekend! I've settled into using a paint scraper for the thicker/worst parts, then using denatured alcohol and a scrub brush to get out the rest. Tried just the alcohol first, then just the scraper. That's probably why it has taken so long. I hope now that I see how/what to do it will go a little quicker. I've never been so glad that we DIDN'T get one of the houses with "nice" trim. I can't image going the dental pick route at this point!

No new pics in the link below. Yet.

Here is a link that might be useful: rug demo

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Oh man. It hurts to even look at it. Are you planning on doing that whole room of carpet next to it the same way? Been in the same situation on a house several years ago. Thankfully they hadn't glued it to the floor, but there was nice 100 year old hardwood underneath. Of course they didn't bother with dropcloths when they painted the walls and ceilings.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2009 at 12:21AM
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My sympathies go out to you. Most of my floors had been painted battleship gray when we arrived & I knew they would have to be sanded because they were in rough condition but still I hand stripped in corners & weird areas that I knew a big sander might not get to. I used a heat plate, paint stripper, & a belt sander at various times - & none did a remarkable job. Sometimes it's best to have them done professionally but be sure it's someone who understands old floors & that you don't necessarily want them to look like new. BTW, have you tried OOPS on the paint?

Calliope, when I read your remark about not putting down a dropcloth, it reminded me that in one of our rooms some slum lord painter had dropped a wad of cheesecloth when he was painting the floor - & then painted over it!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2009 at 2:56AM
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"...hand stripped in corners & weird areas that I knew a big sander might not get to."

A drum sander does most of the floor, followed by an edging sander.
Only the corners require hand scraping, and an actual scraper is the preferred tool.

When used correctly it leaves a finish that is better than sanding.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2009 at 9:44AM
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Painted OVER the cheesecloth? Oh my. And really, the scraper is now my least favorite tool in my toolbox, despite its effectiveness. Can they be resharpened by us? Or not at all or only professionally? I imagine I'll be going through a lot of them. I did try the oops, but it didn't work any better then the denatured alcohol, and it smells a whole lots worse. DH bought some abrasive pad thing at the store yesterday. Supposed to be good for removing paint among other things. I'll give it a try on a corner somewhere, though there's nothing terribly special about our floors. I'm not even sure they are the originals.

Yesterday after nearly killing myself getting all that paint off I pulled up another section about the same size. The first corner that came up looked almost good. Too bad the rest looked just as bad as last weekend's section! And then I came across the area that had been ... patched. Sorta. And an area that looked like it had been covered in some sort of tile at some point. Well, that's what area rugs are for ;) And yes, planning on pulling up the entire dining room and living room, except under the larger/heavier/less movable furniture (for now).

We'll get a pro in at some point, someone who understands old floors like you say. They can make the repairs needed, etc. But that's a long ways away. For now, I just want that wall to wall gone. Today I am contenting myself with some regular cleaning.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2009 at 4:21PM
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AFTER I'd cleaned the corner, etc, I found out that the drum & edge sanders get everything - at least I only did a lot of hand work in one room. I've used a scraper in conjunction with the heat plate & stripper but never tried it alone. Oh well, I still have stairs that needs work - some day.....

    Bookmark   July 19, 2009 at 5:48PM
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We sanded our floors with an orbital sander using 40 grit paper. Then we filled the cracks with Woodwise Wood patch. It's a great product and our floor came out beautiful, in spite of some issues.

Sunset Magazine!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2009 at 11:44PM
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"I've used a scraper in conjunction with the heat plate & stripper but never tried it alone."

A scraper for finished wood is not exactly the same as one for stripping.
A finish scraper has a very sharp edge and leaves a smooth surface on the floor.
It is a little work, but the area on inside corners after the edger is not very big.
A couple pulls with the grain and the job is done.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 3:42PM
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A paint scraper needs to be sharpened often during use. Carbide-blade scrapers are a different animal, they don't rapidly get dull, but you must have a diamond plate to sharpen, and never really do have the same keen cutting edge you can maintain with a file on a steel-bladed paint scraper.
Brickeyee refers to a cabinet scraper, a woodworking tool capable of imparting a very fine surface to hardwoods, and of some utility for final prep of floors. Extremely problematic to sharpen without special equipment and experience, and paint dulls its edge very rapidly. I use it only on new flooring. A regular pull-type paint scraper 1 1/2" wide is the most useful for floor refinishing work.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 7:22PM
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Thanks for sharing the great photos of your house and 'labor of love'. Keep telling yourself that once the paint is gone, you won't have to remove it again! Sometimes, that is the only phrase that helps me cope with paint stripping.

Btw, the chandelier is gorgeous! I wish I found a clawfoot tub in my bath. Instead, I had to strip an old 1940s tub that was painted white with latex paint and the original color is 'battleship grey'. I guess the grey tub was supposed to match the pink foil wallpaper. Barf...

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 2:25PM
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There are bladed cabinet scrapers with handles suitable for cleaning up inside corners of floors, as opposed to a cabinet scraper that is just a square of steel.

The major difference between paint scrapers and floor scrappers is how fine and sharp the edge is.

Floor scrapers need a decent amount of sharpening, a few licks after each corner, to leave a surface that does not require any further work before finishing.

A carbide paint scraper is not sharp enough even when new for cleaning up a floor.

You can limp a little with a molding scraper and a lot of sharpening.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 2:26PM
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"I guess the grey tub was supposed to match the pink foil wallpaper. Barf..."

That one got me LOL. Every era has it's catastrophes. Ever live in a house painted in the 30s? I still have a few walls forest green and dark rose pink somebody updated to in that decade. I also bought my first home in the seventies. I was totally bombarded with green shag carpet and orange appliances I still can't look at either without getting barfy.

Speaking of clawfoot tubs, I have a house with one still in great shape. My desire is to move it to my home before I ever sell that house, but do you have any idea what those old cast iron tubs weigh? I honestly believe it was hauled up to that upstairs bath by crane before they finished erecting the outside walls. LOL. I don't think I could pay somebody enough to move it here.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2009 at 12:31AM
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LOL...I never described the lovely wallpaper. The pink foil wallpaper had these lovely pink soap bubble designs all over it. Nice, shiny pink bubble printed wallpaper and a grey tub.

I'm sure it looked lovely transitioning from the mint-green living room (walls, trim, doors and brick-fireplace...all mint green...) into the pink foil shiny bathroom.

Well, 50 years from now someone will probably be cursing me for painting the walls a soft, pale yellow I suppose!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2009 at 1:36PM
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I had no idea there were so many types of scraper! The one I have said "paint scraper", has a handle and a removable metal square with a blade on each side. 2 of the sides say 'rough' and 2 say 'fine'.

I may be dead before this labor of love is finished. Or the house might just fall down around me, judging by the way the "roof project" has expanded in the last 24 hours (other post). Our chandelier is matte black spray paint over the standard brass!! Thank gods something was done easily!

Pink foil wallpaper huh? Nice! LOL My parents bathroom when I was growing up (inherited from the PO) was black tile floor tub and toilet (which I learned just never looks clean), white counters, red sinks, and the wallpaper ... oh the wallpaper! Silver foil, black and red! And I think it was some exotic bird print. It may have been flocked as well hehehe

I often wonder what people will think of our choices 50 years from now!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2009 at 2:18PM
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been there done that.
have you tried brillo pads and comet ? we removed the carpet in my moms house (3 rooms) and there were splatters everywhere, we paid the kids $1.00 per brillo pad, for their labor, and it worked like a charm.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2009 at 2:28PM
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