Sunday, December 27, 2009

It's the Little Things...

that just drive ya nuts!

Donnie was working in the library and I was bored with doing prep work for tax time and tired of seeing this ugly little mess on the floor where the previous owners had a stove when they used this room as their "den".  It's been bugging me for 3 years and today I decided that mess was coming off since I didn't have anything else fun or interesting to do.

Under the stove, they had installed some brick veneer and had glued it to the hardwood floor.  When we took the stove out (because it got in the way of where we wanted to put furniture and we want to put a fireplace there one day) we pulled up the brick under it.  The good news was that it came off easily.  The bad news is that they used what looks like carpet adhesive-I think they loved the stuff or there was a huge sale on it somewhere.

So, today was the day that lumpy discolored nonsense came off the floor.  It will look like there has been something done there, but at least it will look-and actually BE clean and cleanable.  Woo Hoo! 

So, here's where today's little project started...creeeepy.

The tools of the day-1 heat gun and one putty knife.

I took a couple of hours so get it all off given that I took a few breaks and wasn't in a hurry.  When I de-funkified the half bath under the stairs, I learned about how well the heat gun works on that adhesive.  Apparently, someone had used it to apply mirror squares to the beadboard wall behind the toilet.  At some point the mirror had been removed and they just wallpapered over the lumpy adhesive and sections of broken glass.  They called it renovated, but I beg to differ.  Anyway, the heat gun worked wonders for getting the adhesive off the wall-as well as the broken glass, so I used the same method on the floor.

Since the removed stove was gas, there was a capped gas pipe right in the middle of what needed to be worked on and I was afraid of what might happen if I got close to it with the heat gun.  Using a little improvisation, I wrapped the pipe in a wet paper towel then covered it with aluminum foil to reduce the heat to the pipe.  Of course as an extra precaution, I kept a fire extinguisher handy, pin removed and ready-not that it would really do more than sneeze at a leaking gas pipe explosion, but ya do what ya can and hope for the best.

All went well and I managed not to blow anything up.  So, here we have one nasty section of floor stripped and rubbed over with mineral spirits and ready to go.

Fortunately, I was able to manage to shake enough tung oil out of the empty can to put a thin coat on it.  You can still see where the tampering was done, but at least it's CLEAN and won't try to rip the legs off the furniture if you scoot something across it.  Bonus!

A word of warning though.  The fumes created by heating that adhesive are possibly toxic-just something you may want to consider if you're thinking about using this method-and if the fumes don't kill you, the smell just might.  The stuff stinks!  (Think burning tennis shoes)

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