7.27.2011

Swept away...

brooms
How many brooms does one house need? I'm guessing your answer wasn't 5. We found this cache of brooms in the farmhouse and there's also a pile in the barn. Odd. In other news, we're almost done sanding the floors. This is the first time we've refinished floors and scraping was exactly what I imagined...hellish. We bought a stripping gel called Citristrip and, to be perfectly honest, we simply didn't have the time to apply a stripping gel to a small section and wait 45 minutes for it to work its magic. We ended up using an industrial cleaning product that the guy at our local flooring store recommended, called Mex All-Purpose Cleaner. We mopped it on, let it sit for a few minutes, mopped again, and then used a putty knife to scrape off the old varnish, paper, and glue. Mixing it with very hot water at maximum strength seemed to work best. No matter what product you use, I don't think it's an easy job. All of the doors in the house need to be refinished, so we're definitely going to give Citristrip another try. Any tips (besides being more patient) for refinishing wood?

renovation

18 comments:

Gégé said...

No tips I'm afraid...just wanted to wish you "bon courage!!!".

Handbags*N*Pigtails said...

No tips but Im glad to read along here as hubby will be tackling our (1860) floors downstairs once the girls and I go back to school next month. Ours just need to be sanded and re-stained but its still going to be a big job!

meghan said...

For some odd reason I am excited about the brooms! I feel like there is some magical craft project you'll create with all that color and texture.

Jen Craun said...

scraping is the most awful thing ever. we are refinishing our century home right now, and we are smitten with the infrared speedheater paint remover...but it's not cheap. We refinished an interior floor last year, by hours of scraping and then MUCH power sanding -- it was a thick floor, so we sanded pretty heavily to be able to stain. We really want to get to bare wood [in both cases] and wanted to avoid chemicals if we could. The eco-strip speedheater is definitely the *fastest* method we have employed, but I still hesitate to call it "fast". At least the work bears fruit -- and is rewarding. Seeing the DONE floor will always make you smile.

Nicole said...

Wow, lots of broom, wood floors with years of stuff and glue on them. This sounds like us ten years ago. I don't believe there is any easy way to get the floor stripped. We used turpentine (please don't). Although it got a lot of the glue up we had to get a hotel room for two days until the fumes cleared. The Citristrip does work great though. I started to use that on our floors to get the wood a little cleaner, but it is tedious waiting for it. Good luck! Just know you will feel SO AWESOME when you finish them. Every other home task will be cake!

Paulette said...

I call dibs on the turquoise colored broom for the poet-in-residence room! No advice on floors--sadly my experience is along the lines of how to scratch the heck outta wood floors while dragging my furniture across it for the umpteenth time. Sigh...

Erin Lang Norris said...

Hahaha, I was actually going to say 5 brooms...that's how many we have. I like it because I can have one on the back deck, kitchen, garage, cat litter and my studio. If the broom is out, I'll sweep! If it's not, I'll put it off. Unless it's the kitchen...I can't stand crumbs on the floor!

Barbara's Thought of the Day said...

I'm not sure what your floor situation is, but we found hot water alone worked really well to remove the glue and bits left over from our old linoleum floor. We laid down some old towels and soaked them with hot, hot water. Then next morning everything scraped right up. And it's free!
barb

C. said...

My only tip - keep your fridge well stocked with ice cold preferably alcoholic beverages.

xo
Cortnie
http://tinyparticlesoflight.blogspot.com/

agoodehouse said...

I know from experience that refinishing floors are messy, time-consuming and back-breaking. I've done wood and concrete. I'm not sure if this would help you but we found GREAT products from a company called FRANMAR. They are environmentally friendly and made from soy beans. No harsh chemicals... just the slight odor of soy beans. The product I used to clean up our concrete floors saved our lives and marriage. They do make one for wood as well. You can visit their site at http://www.franmar.com and watch videos etc. (No, I don't work for them ... just happy with the product!) Take a look, it just may help. Good luck, it's going to be beautiful!

Lex said...

My suggestion is to use a coloured stain, then sand them. The result makes for beautiful colourful "natural" looking wood floors. You can still see the wood grain, only the floors are purple, green, black or red...heavenly! We did it in our old Victorian floors as a kid.

sécia said...

Those brooms are actually pretty cool.

♥ sécia
www.petiteinsanities.blogspot.com

Emma at The Marion House Book said...

This probably won't work for a large surface area like your floors but might work on the doors or trim. After putting on the remover, cover the area in saran wrap/cling wrap. It seems to make the job go faster!

leFiligree said...

i've only ever used aircraft stripper and felt bad about it the whole way.

Michele S said...

Funny about finding so many brooms. When I cleaned out my parents' house after my dad passed away, I found a surprising number of decks of playing cards and tons of pencils everywhere. It was like they were multiplying! Sorry I can't offer any advice on the floor situation--I've never needed to deal with that before.

(I've lurked around your blog for a long time without commenting before. But I always enjoy your posts!)

Amanda @geekdetails said...

My kitchen floors looked about like that after I pulled up the tile and hardyboard a previous owner put down over the mess. The stuff was just awful. Surprisingly, the thing that worked best to remove it was plain hot water. I'm not sure what the stuff was but water turned it to like silt or something It was weird.

Meg said...

Try a wallpaper steamer, that's what I have used to strip the varnish off the floors and the paint, varnish and contact paper off of the cabinets. It works really well and you don't have to be as concerned about lead particles.

AceProFinder said...

No tip but my heart goes out to you. There is always the "rustic" way to go. Good luck

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