The hope is to turn this into a sort of staging area, for when we get to the windows. So with some timing and luck, we’ll likely be transforming this room again in a few weeks. But for now, things look a bit more normal.
Liz applied a cleaner to the living room fireplace. It’s a coating that needs to set for a day or so, as it hardens and does its thing.
Apparently, the color was due to the shellac used, and has required several rounds of cleaning to get to this point. I think Liz mentioned that she stripped this three times, and there was still shellac seeping up through the pours (and eventually she just had to stop).
A huge point that both Bob and Nick made to us: tape the paper to the paper, not to the floor. The chemicals from the tape will seep into the wood, and when you go to remove the tape… you’ll remove some of the stain as well. And while it can be repaired, you’ll always be able to tell something happened.
Tape the paper to the paper, tape the Masonite to the Masonite. No tape to the floor, ever.
It’s a challenge with these images, as we only end up coming downstairs well into the evening (we need to wait around 90+ minutes after Nick’s done to walk on the floor). We don’t really get to see the floor much in daylight, as it’s dark when we actually can walk around.
Nick and Milton came by today, to have another pass at the floor. After their normal, full day… they stopped by around 4PM to put down the first layer of varnish.
Similar to the stain, once the varnish is down… we need to stay off of the floor for a set amount of time (about an hour to an hour and a half, until it dries).
We’re being really careful to watch gingerly along the floor. And I can’t help but feel like every step I take is going to somehow irreparably damage all the work that’s been done. It’s like the floor is some kind of delicate, beautiful lava, and I need to just stay off it at all costs.
Honestly? I was not expecting such a stark change, with the slight gaps between boards seemingly removed, and a continuity that stretched from room to room.
I got the last bit of primer on the living room done. And Liz moved her stain tests to the actual floor. In addition to the standard stains, she tried out a few custom blend variations of her own.
After work, I spent some time getting primer on the living room ceiling and walls. A slow discovery: I really, really hate priming walls. And probably painting, too.
I thought I’d be ok with it, but there’s a patience and precision that I just seem to lack. Maybe it was my mental state this week, but I was just impatient, easily frustrated, and just angry at the whole process.
This really is an amazing thing, and a tremendous milestone for me and Liz. We’ve been working for a long, long time on the house and so much of that work has been subtractive in nature: demo and removal.
To be at a point where we are adding new things, shaping the house anew, is incredibly exciting. Every time I come down and stand in these rooms, it just takes my breath away.
A lot of planning today, with a majority of the time spent figuring out what needed to be done, measurements for the fireplace tile frame, and framing up all the floor vents.
I also took the shop vac and went over every inch of the floor. This was pretty time-consuming, but ended up taking less time than I figured. In a lot of spots, the plywood had more dirt and grime than I realized, and lightened up considerably with each pass.
But those stressors aside, the fact that we have our flooring physically here? The fact that we’re at this phase in the process, aiming to get actual new floors down… it’s really remarkable. It’s a tremendous milestone for us. And amidst the whirl and bustle of everything that has happened (and has yet to happen), it’s easy to lose track of that.
One of the strong arguments against renovating your home while living inside it: the lack of available space. We’ve gotten used to shuffling things around, but things on the first floor are starting to get a bit cramped.