• Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
sunshine & unicorns: a blog about love, learning, and life in the upper midwest

09 May 2010

"i can see why they painted it" (a.k.a sunroom floors, part 2)

Ooooo boy have I had a fun weekend. I'm sure you remember the sunroom and its floors.

Well, this being my first weekend without homework in over 4 months, I was excited to get busy uncovering the hardwood. If you remember, this is what I found last weekend when I tested the paint stripper.

the paint came off very easily

Saturday was a busy day, but I was at least able to get started on the project. Here it is, doing its magic on the other end of the room.

the inaugural strip. hehe

Here's the result after I scraped it off.

sorta worked OK

It worked OK... but not great. Another coat took most of the remaining paint off. The difficult areas were mostly places where the paint had been applied over gobs of old carpet glue.

after 2 coats

I was able to do this much with the $8 can of regular-strength stripper I bought at Lowes.

getting the hang of it

On Saturday night, I went to Lowes again and bought a gallon ($25) of the maximum strength stuff. I was through messing around with triple applications! Here's what I did on Sunday.

more progress sunday morning

Obviously, getting better with the stripping. And it doesn't hurt that this new chemical was a LOT stronger. (As in, it melted my vinyl gloves to my fingers in about 5 seconds flat. OUCH!) I kept on going, as more of this kept piling up...

oooo yummy

Here's an example of an area with a lot of carpet glue. This took two applications.

more progress on Sunday

Here's some old glue getting a second application. You can see that the floor is far from perfect. There are plenty of gouges and scrapes and discolorations to go around.

getting up the tough parts

You really have to lay the stripping chemical on thick, also. I found that when I just painted it on, those areas did not come off as easily.

working my way across the room

Here is a video I took of the process. You will get the maximum experience if you listen to it with sound (you can hear the paint go "splot!", haha).

My gallon jug ran out right about here.

done for the day

done for the day

It was just as well because it was about 5 o'clock, and I was tired and a little light-headed! Here's what's left.

done for the day

The floor was all sticky and smelly, so I scrubbed it off with some of that lysol disinfectant floor cleaner. It probably wasn't particularly good for the unsealed wood. But really: was that horribly caustic paint stripper particularly good for it? Didn't think so. It's not like it is going to win any prizes for perfection in its present condition, anyway. At least it isn't sticky anymore:

i mopped all the sticky off

all mopped up and looking better

So! Things I have learned so far in this process:

1) Regular-strength paint stripper is probably not good for your skin, but it doesn't cause pain. (It does take off your nail polish.) On the other hand: maximum strength paint stripper burns the shit out of you, within SECONDS of contact. It also melts the vinyl gloves that they sell right next to its can in the hardware store. Go figure. Anyway, unless you enjoy chemical burns, its good to keep wet paper towels around.

2) You have to put a lot on. The stuff is a gel consistency, and there should be at least a 1/4" layer over the entire surface. Spread it thick and leave it on the recommended amount of time.

3) Leave the room while you're waiting for it to cure. Don't busy yourself in the room, even if it's well-ventilated. You WILL get dizzy. (I had 2 fans on, plus the door and several windows open, with a nice breeze from outside, and I still felt much better when I was NOT in the room).

I probably won't get back to this project until next weekend, but I thought you'd like to see it in progress. I am not sure what I'm going to do once I finish removing the paint. SOMETHING, obviously, I just don't know what. So far, a couple of Pink Hubby's [paraphrased] comments on the project have been:

1. "I can see why they painted over it."
2. "I hope it won't look like a saloon, where they have 'distressed' it on purpose."

But, he says he will trust me to make it look good. Now, I just need to figure out how.