Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Painting Hardwood Floors DIY

Today I walked in my mom’s house. We are moving here soon. It is a wreck.

I am staring at piles of dirty clothes, knowing most donation places don’t do laundry, but I don’t want to hire one of those services because I need to see what’s being thrown away. During this process, I’ve found some sentimental things that a stranger would never have known to be emotionally valuable. Still, I need this stuff gone, so I can ... paint the floors.


Now this blog shifts from sentimental-my-mom-died-too-young-of-evil-cancer to DIY MOMMY BLOGGER EXTRAORDINAIRE! There’s no chalkboard paint gender reveal, but I do have to find a solution for the hardwood floors.

Our original plan had been to double the size of the house so four adults with two home offices and two growing boys could live here comfortably. Plans change, and I need to be in this house for the summer for mental health reasons.

Now we are quickly trying to make an accessible suite for my dad, while making the rest of the house inhabitable. I’ve got some bad dust allergies, and this house is a hundred years old. I’m also allergic to dogs, and I’m still finding dog hairs, years after the dogs died.

My task today is: What to do with 100-year-old oak floors that have been peed on by many, many dogs for the last fifty years?

I’ve googled. I’ve talked to hardware and hardwood flooring folks. I’ve examined every plank of wood, to the point where I developed bronchitis from inhaling so much dust.

These floors cannot be saved. Sanding is not effective, as the stains are all the way through the wood. Even the slightest sanding releases the odor of urines-gone-by (not nearly as bad as cat pee — so at least there’s that). The wood itself is solid, but there’s no subfloor. In an effort to re-use what’s already there, save some resources and time (and money — that is better spent on making accessible rooms for my dad... yes, someday we will lay new hardwood flooring on top of this), we are going to paint the floors and seal them completely.

At first I assumed we’d go dark — brown or black or grey or something, so people wouldn’t necessarily notice at first that we had dared to paint original hardwood flooring. But in my grief, in incorporating the idea that my mom would FLIP OUT if she knew we were painting original hardwood, I’m trying to imagine what she might like. I think if she walked into anyone’s living room and saw something like this, she would love it:

So now my task becomes, not should we paint the floors?, but how crazy should I go? It’s not quite a “what would my mom have done,” because David, after all, is a bit more conservative in his design taste than mom was. Remember the dining room?

This morning a friend is coming over to help me stay focused, to help me put things in large ziploc bags, to help me clear out the room and see the disgustingness that is the beagle pee. What kind of floor will I end up with? Stay tuned! I am back to the blog, folks. For realsies!

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