Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Rambling Post

I’m probably going to ramble here a bit today because I have a few things on my mind that I must get out.

First of all – the refinishing of the dining room floor. I have to admit that this has been a true learning experience. I have swung from determination to  exasperation to anger and back to determination once again with a little hope thrown in.

After a long week of applying a total of seven coats of polyurethane,  I finally remembered my brother’s advice to call the company that makes the polyurethane and ask them the correct way of putting this stuff on the floor. It was no where near how HOME DEPOT told us how to do it – and that was from the guy at HOME DEPOT who was demonstrating how to refinish a wood floor!

With proper instructions from the company, Sam (my winter house guest) and I sanded for 6 hours in an attempt to take off a couple of layers of the stuff.

Let me tell you. Sanding with a long pole a room about 20 feet by 15 feet is very hard work. My body is in complete rebellion, which, added to my health problems is not a good thing. However – anyone who knows me knows that I do not lay down and relax when I am not well – I attack all manner of work to be done (mostly renovations) and I work as hard as I can to forget what ails me.

After 6 hours of sanding and then finishing with a complete vacuuming and then wiping down with mineral spirits – which  HOME DEPOT told us was the same thing as Varsol (which it definitely is not) Sam and I sort of melted into a puddle and with weakened limbs crawled off to our respected corners of solitude and tried to deal with it.

Today we will apply another coat of polyurethane to the floor and see what happens. This time I think we have the proper procedure to follow and we have our fingers crossed!

If anyone wants to know how to do this for future use – here’s a small list of what NOT to do according to HOME DEPOT and what TO DO according to the manufacturer. (Can someone tell me what has happened to knowledgeable service? Anyone? Anyone?)

Crap! I could work in all departments at these hardware stores because I know far more about everything than the people working there do and that’s just from doing it myself!

Anyway – sorry about that small digression there – I had to rant.

First of all – sand your floor down to the bare wood starting with a large grit and working your way down to a fine grit. A sander is a good thing to rent for this purpose and please don’t forget to wear dust masks and wipe down the walls afterwards.

Then use a lint-free cloth and MINERAL SPIRITS to wipe down the entire floor and allow to dry completely. (HOME DEPOT told us to use a water-based varsol and just to go at it after we had wiped it down. First of all – water-based products DO NOT mix with oil-based products. Rule one. Then – a completely dry floor is needed along with a completely dry applicator – either sheepskin or something similar. And be aware – fake sheepskin sheds all the time and that then stays in the polyurethane and stays on your new floor. The applicator has to be vacuumed and washed with mineral spirits and allowed to dry before being used. This may take a couple of days. DO NOT soak it in water-based varsol and then use it to apply the oil-based polyurethane to the floor while wet.

Thin coats are best – not thick coats. Sanding is needed between each coat to remove any bubbles or (hairs). Do NOT just keep applying the polyurethane once the coat is dry. HOME DEPOT told us we “could sand if we really wanted to”. Uh NO! You need to sand. Not only to remove debris and bubbles but also the surface needs some scratching up so the polyurethane has something to adhere to.

A maximum of 4 coats is what is needed. Not seven and on into infinity which is what we were looking at! Thank you again HOME DEPOT!

Finally – let cure for at least 72 hours before walking on it. And don’t forget to seal off your room and wear gas masks as the fumes are dangerous (believe me – even if you are not applying this stuff and are just sitting in another room – the fumes affect you.)

So there you go. We are going to be applying polyurethane today according to the way we were instructed by the manufacturer. Hopefully this is the last time we have to do this in this room.

Then I have the adjoining living room to do and a hallway as well. I should be an old pro by the time this is all done.

One last thing. Those names did not reappear once we started applying polyurethane. I was sort of disappointed but there’s still a chance something will show up in the next areas!


Maggie May said...

Oh my..... that sounded like hard work! I take my hat off to you! (Well not literally!!!!!!)
Pity the names have gone.
I think I will be leaving my boards as they are............ covered by carpet!

Nuts in May

FlowerLady said...

Oh Aims ~ I'm sorry you and your house guest had to to do so much work all because of mis-information. Home Depot is lacking in the knowledge dept. that is for sure.

I hope you end up with beautiful floors now that you've started over with right info.

Thanks for your comments on my blog.


Leslie: said...

Whew! I think I'd just hire someone to do it for me, no matter the cost. :(

Leslie: said...

But I DO commend you!

Bernie said...

I am impressed that you tackled this big job.....and that you figured out the proper way to do and did it......good for you.
Hope tomorrow brings another productive day for you.....:-) Hugs

Leatherdykeuk said...

Crap! What a job! You have my admiration, Aims!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

It's terrible that the assistants don't seem to know what they're doing. You seem to be doing a really good job, it's so satisfying being able to get on with it yourself then look at your work.

I do hope something does reappear in other areas; I think it's very mysterious.

CJ xx

Akelamalu said...

You'll be an expert by the time you get to do the other room and the hallway! Sounds like REALLY hard work.

Lola said...

You certainly know how to work hard - seven coats! I hope the revised instructions work better.

Melanie said...

I hadn't heard of varsol. Yes always use white spirit when using oil based products. I can't believe they told you to use a water based product. Unbelievable! 7 coats too! Did they have a lot in stock which they wanted to shift? The staff member definately needs training.

So glad you have it sorted now.

TSannie said...

Please come redo my floors for me! :-)

Dr.John said...

Sorry that Home Depot got you so confused. Hope everything goes well now.
Thank you for your nice comments on my blog.

Mickle in NZ said...

Such a lot of unnecessary extra work, hope the floor looks great now. Thank goodness for Sam and his sanding plus help,

Mickle and Zebbycat, xxxxxxx and .... silence for now from him (hooray!)

Polergirl said...

Wow - can we see pictures of the finished floor please? So much hard work, I have no doubt it will look stunning!

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