Step One: Stripping

No, I’m not looking to make extra bucks (at least not yet!) I’m anxious to get this floor refinishing project under way!  I’ve done tons of research and have found the products that I want to use and now I just want to start!


This morning I went to Wal-Mart and started gathering supplies.  In all my reading I found that stripping the floor with a citrus stripper before sanding produced the best results.  No site recommended a particular brand, just something non-toxic.  Since Wal-Mart had this, I bought it.  I also got some plastic sheeting (black so I can reuse it out on my tree lawn,) non-scratch pads, rubber gloves and duct tape.  The sheeting and tape are for when we start sanding which we won’t do until the floor is all stripped.


There are layers of finish, cleaning supplies and carpet glue on this floor so I’m expecting to pull up a lot of junk in the stripping process.

I was really hoping to strip, sand and re-stain the floor in the hallway when we do the kitchen but since that floor is covered in Pergo, I had no idea what I was working with.

So I pulled up the thresh hold between the kitchen and hall


I had my fingers crossed that I’d see either the narrow planks like in the kitchen or the wider ones like in my bedroom.


Dang.  Even if it is the same boards as in my bedroom, they don’t look very good.  While I still plan to pull up that Pergo, (I HATE IT!) that will be a project for another time.

I wanted to see how long this stripper would take (the instructions say between 30 minutes and 24 hours) so I cleaned up the floor in the corner by the fridge and slathered some on with a paint brush.


After about 15 minutes it looked like it was dry.  I waited another 15 minutes and then scraped it off.  Once I had most of it up I took a scrubbing pad and damp sponge to pick up the rest of the stripper.


My dad and I were talking today and we didn’t think there was much finish left on these floors and after stripping off this section, I have to agree with him.  There is an obvious difference-the middle section was definitely cleaner but there are a lot of weird spots still on the floor.

So I slathered on a thicker layer of stripper and covered this whole corner and set the timer for 1 hour.


Hmmmm.  I put another layer of stripper over my test spot and yet, nothing bubbled up.  I take this to mean that there’s nothing left there to strip.  Is that true?  I hope so!



The scraper takes off most of the finish, thankfully, and it’s easy to sweep up the scrapings (they’re light and fluffy!) but it does take some scrubbing to get the stubborn parts up.



So, because this little test spot went so well, I’m going to town on the whole thing!  The plan is to rent the sander on Saturday so I need to have the whole room stripped by then.  If you need me, I’ll be stripping!


PS-I know yesterday I told you I was going to show you my clean kitchen today but it’s boring.  Picture the buffet where the floating island was and you’ll know how it looks. 🙂


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