My hands and triceps are sore. And I smell like fake oranges. And my floor looks terrible. But not for long!
Last night was a lot of trial and error but I’ve got it figured out now!
Yesterday I left you with an image of some stripper on this burn. Initially I thought this was a lost cause. You can see the stripper worked great on the boards around the burn but there was no instant gratification here.
Can you believe it?? Granted, it took me almost 2 hours of scraping but check that out!
I know it’s not going to completely disappear but I went to bed with a huge sense of accomplishment from just this spot alone. Because I spent a lot of time working on this patch I didn’t get much more done so today I set out to really put a dent in this project.
I knew I was going to run out of stripper so I went to the hardware store after work and picked up the biggest bottle of stripper they had and a set of plastic scrapers.
Last night taught me:
1. 30 minutes is the magic time to let the stripper work
2. Applying the stripper and working it into the floor seems to loosen more finish with less scraping
3. The difficult bits scrape off best when they’re dry
So, while the stripper was working in one area, I used a narrow plastic scraper and scraped up all the dried bits of finish.
I’ve abandoned the sponge because this little scraper is a keeper. Kind of. The plastic edge wears down quickly so I went back and bought 5 more plastic scrapers.
(note: I have no idea what’s up with that square up there. Maybe an old floor vent??)
Henry is an excellent guard dog but he’s a terrible floor refinisher. I’ve had to go around the edges and areas that don’t get much traffic because he just can’t stay away so there’s no real line of what I’ve done.
Under the fridge fit the bill of a place that Henry couldn’t get to so that was one of the areas I tackled tonight. Obviously it was in need of a good cleaning!
Another thing I learned last night was to overlap new areas with ones that I have already done. Sure, it might be wasting a little stripper but I also see it as a little insurance. The stripper doesn’t do anything over areas that have already been stripped but every once in a while it will bubble up in areas that I thought were already done.
Once I feel like I’ve gotten up all the loose stuff I mop the area with some vinegar diluted in water.
In photos it’s hard to see what’s been done and what hasn’t (heck it’s even hard just looking at it in person!) but there’s no mistaking it when you feel it. The areas that have been stripped are rough and dry…but the same color as the rest of the floor.
I have no idea how many square feet I’ve done but I’m estimating it to be between 1/4 and 1/3 of the kitchen. Tomorrow Henry is staying at my parents house for a couple hours after I get off work to try to knock out the rest of the room.
My plan is it to get it all stripped by tomorrow and then spend Wednesday, Thursday and Friday scraping up the dried up chunks of finish and getting the floor cleaned up. Friday night my mom and I will hang plastic in the door ways and over the cabinets and move the fridge out (probably to the living room so it can stay plugged in!) so we can be ready to sand first thing Saturday morning!
I’ll probably be back tomorrow with the third day (and hopefully final) of stripping! I hope I can still type then-my hands are stuck in a claw position from holding the scraper!