As the weather continues to get nicer, I find myself gaining momentum in fixing up the house. In this leg of the marathon, I really saw things start to snap into place, and the vision starting to emerge from the piles of tools, paint cans, and trim.
Flooring And Finish
The watershed for a lot of this project has been the floor. I did not want to finish it too early in the process and have to baby it through some of the messy stages of woodwork teardown, but I also didn’t want to leave it to the very end when trim would restrict getting into corners and details.
With that in mind, I brought the finish on the china cabinet, window frame, and kitchen door frame to a nearly complete stage. It will continue to require touch ups and this species of wood (whatever it is) remains extremely thirsty for polyurethane. Where as new materials I’ve used (Poplar and Maple primarily) have been finished in 2 to 3 coats, the legacy parts continue to soak up polyurethane and go dull even after 4 or 5 coats.
I figured they were sealed enough to move on to the floor.
Since the great majority of shellac had been removed, sanding the floor was a straight forward if tedious process. I rented a U-Sand brand 4 point orbital sander from a local hardware store. Having used it successfully last time, I ordered 6″ sanding pads in advance which saved a lot of money.
I did two full passes with 36 grit (the first served heavily to mop up residual shellac). The second going over really started to cut the floor and erase the high spots and blemishes. Not all scratches and marks could be totally removed, but you can only expect so much from 100 year old flooring. Particularly stubborn was the color left from the carpet tack strips near the china cabinet.
But overall I was very impressed how much it cleaned up, and of the two rooms, this one came out much better than the living room, And I had time for 4 coats of polyurethane, so the durability should be quite good.
Trim and Lighting!
The room really got over the hump into starting to embody my idea for it when the trim started to go in.
The baseboards and shelf were the most important to level and align, the rest was just a matter of careful cutting. A few pieces are still being finished but the effect on the space was pretty night and day.
I also found this neat dining set!
Now that all the heavy hardware was mostly out of the room and the pile of tools in the living room or on the porch started to wane, I felt safe to put in the lights and start installing the glass.
I ended up having to remove the old metal cap and put up a new “bronze” ceiling medallion as the box underneath was not secured so well. It’s more green in real life. I’m very happy with it, though I may have to go to an LED dimmer and dimmable bulbs to get the right amount of light in here.
There were matching sconces available, but I was not optimistic that they could be installed without tearing up the walls.
While the dining room approaches completion, I have done a few staging and collecting efforts. The dining room furniture being an obvious one. The living room has received a few updates as well.
Most notably is the acquisition of a 92 gallon aquarium that will supplant the current one when I have time to set that up (and reinforce the floor)