June 07, 2012

Ooooh... it stinks, it stinks!

Spring is moving rapidly toward the warm days of summer, and it is so beautiful here in the wine country. The valleys are green with grapes that promise an amazing harvest in the fall.

As much as we would love to go and play in the sun with rest of our comrades, we are keeping our noses to the grindstone and staying indoors. Overlooking the five million unfinished details, it is floor time. We laid the hardwood two years ago and covered them in layers of paper and ramboard for protection, and promptly forgot about them. But the time has come. Layers and layers of protective paper has been peeled up from the living room, the gallery, the breakfast room, and the kitchen.

When we installed the walnut floors, we made one of those "what were we things" decisions, and added hand driven cut nails to the surface. Two rectangular nails every sixteen inches, on each board. Eleven thousand nails in total, each one requiring a pilot hole to be drilled before the nail was driven in with a hammer. As the boards were also glued  to the subfloor, we chose to wait until the glue was cured before we did the counter sinking of the nails. After two unintentional years of curing, who would have thought it would take two years to get to the floors, we are now faced with countersinking nail after nail after nail.

Sanding was next. Two passes with a monstrous and heavy oscillating floor sander. 80 grit paper to begin with, to knock down any rough edges or scratches, followed by a screening with 120 grit. A fast and furious vacuuming and we were ready. Phillip filled in the edges and tough to reach spots as I mopped in the field with a lambs wool floor applicator. The first coat of tongue oil went down rapidly and the walnut immediately turned chocolate brown. So beautiful and very glossy, fortunately the gloss becomes a satin glow as the finish dries. Waterlox floor finish is so easy to work with and I have definitely learned the ins and outs of applying it, but, in case no one ever told you... it smells to high heaven!

Three days of lightheadedness (wow, who would have thought that would be one word!) On the second day I did a light screening with the 120 grit screen, vacuumed well, and then went right into coat number two. Day three was the final coat and then came the torturous wait for the finish to dry and the smell to dissipate.

Wet and glossy, like a large pool of water in the kitchen

The gallery about to get its final coat of finish

Of course this was not our first foray into floor finish in the house as we had done the Master bedroom and the Dining room just a few short weeks ago. But those rooms were so much smaller and less time consuming. It was also very fortunate that we had done the Dining room as it gave us a place to put our mobile kitchen island, and the stove.

Sad to see such a mess in the dining room

The floors on the East side of the first floor are finally finished, and we are so happy to have it done. Now its onto base shoe, and trim paint, and doors finishes, window stop, and roping and weighting.
And those things are just items on the first floor.

JUNE 5th, 2012

Phillips Birthday, and my timing worked really well. On Saturday the second of June, I had convinced him that we should go to our storage spaces and get our sofa and a chair or two to put in the living room. Now that the floors were done it would be nice to have a place to at least sit in there.
After a few stops here and there to stall for time, we arrived at the storage space, and to Phillips surprise he found waiting for us a piano moving company. Phillips baby grand piano, which came to him through his great Grandmother, and has been in storage for more than three years, finally came home to 227 North Street.

The piano boys bringing her into the living room

the legs go on

Phillip couldn't wait to play again.