Thursday, November 17, 2011

Removing Carpet/Staining the Floors

We have spent the better part of our weekends for the last few months on a large house project.  We removed all the carpet except for our living room which we replaced a few years ago so it is in much better shape than the old carpet in the other six rooms (3 bedrooms, meditation room, school/art room, office).  We need to add transition strips between the stained concrete and the ceramic tile which we will have to wait to do as we are ordering it online and need to wait a few weeks for it to arrive.  Other than that, we are done. 

We started by pulling up the carpet in the master bedroom.  That meant carpet, carpet pad, and tack strips.  Little did we know that pulling those things would be the easy part.  Under the carpet pad was a nearly overwhelming amount of paint on the floor and carpet glue as well as notations done with a permanent marker for placement of light fixtures and electrical outlets.  On the first room we hoped that there was a product that could help with the paint removal so we bought two gallons of (pretty expensive) Ready-Strip paint remover. What we found was that soaking the paint in water, using a sharp paint stripper, and a lot of elbow grease worked even better and cost much less.  At that point, we had not yet decided what to do about staining the floors so we finished cleaning the floor and put the furniture back.  A week or two later, we stripped the floor in the school/art room but again put the furniture back without staining. 

Before beginning the next room we did some research and found SoyCrete Concrete Stain which is sold locally at House & Earth.  The folks there were happy to answer our questions and the stain is sold in gallons or small 2 oz. bottles to test. We got 5 sample bottles and stained some patches in the garage before deciding on our colors. 

For Chiara's bedroom we cleaned the floors and then stained the floor.  The stain had nearly no smell and we didn't even feel the need to open the windows. The staining process basically required wiping on the stain with a sponge and wiping it back off quickly so it didn't take in uneven splotches.  Both kids helped with the staining and we let Chiara put a hand-print in her closet.  We found that the Burgundy Wine was a little deep for our taste so we used the sample bottle of Carribean Blue to give it some depth.
Chiara and Mama working on her room.

Chiara's hand-prints


Chiara's floor

Chiara's room

Chiara's room in action!

The next weekend or weekend after that we took the carpet out of the meditation room.  Asher decided that he wanted to move to the meditation room so he and Chiara would be next to each other (that was always our intention).  We pulled the carpet out of the room and moved Asher's stuff to his new room - complete with a map wall. 

Asher's map wall

Asher's floor

Asher's floor/map wall/desk

Asher's room/bed

Next we tackled Asher's old room which we turned into a play/rumpus room. (The picture is above with the purple rug with rectangles on it. Blogger won't allow me to place it here or put a caption on it.)

Then we spent a weekend going back to the first two rooms: the master bedroom and the school/art room.  On the school/art room we used the concrete black with Burgundy Wine accent so it is a different color from the bedrooms. 

School/art room

School/art room with furniture

Master bedroom from the doorway

Master bedroom

My closet

That left us the room we knew would be the hardest/longest project - the office/library.  We tackled the project Veteran's Day weekend with Rachel, Chiara, and I moving books while Rachel repeated "Love me, love my books" over and over.  We also decided to rearrange the front two rooms so that one would be the library/piano room and the other would be office/school/art.  I think they both turned out wonderfully.

Book pile(s) #1

Book pile(s) #2

Books #3

Library/piano room

Library/piano room



A bit messy in front of the desk but a long view of the Office/school room

Most of the rooms now have rugs in them to dampen the echo and keep the house a little warmer in the Winter.  I think that the floors will be much easier on our allergies and just generally cleaner.  It was a great project and a really great project to finish!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!  I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe holiday.  We went to a Fall Festival at the school where Asher goes to weekly Math class/camp and a Halloween party and then the kids went trick-or-treating last night.  After they were done trick-or-treating, they handed out the remainder of our candy. 

They did all those activities dressed in the costumes that they requested and Rachel made: an atlas and bugs bunny. 

The kids practicing trick-or-treating.
Asher showing off his USGS maps.

Asher designed his pumpkin and did part of the carving.  Chiara requested a scary ghost on hers and Rachel carved it.