30 Aug 2013

Finishing that floor project

Here’s the thing about paint on floorboards (and probably other old wood surfaces) – it’s damn hard to take it off. Paint stripper, sanding, all of it only gets you so far. So, after a while, I agreed with the writing on the floor and decided to let sleeping metaphors lie. But the floor did need to be finished in some way, shape, and form (let’s be honest – the shape would probably be a slight rectangle) – the options were all some combination of painting and staining, or not, and laying some sort of urethane over the top, assuming I didn’t paint the entire floor.

While I didn’t love the oddly distressed look of the partially removed paint, it did have a certain style all its own. I finally decided to leave it as was, and leave the bare, sanded boards in the middle; a nice seal would show off their return to life.




Discussions with both Sherwin-Williams and Watson Hardware led to the same conclusion – all urethanes, all these plastic-y seals, are made basically the same. Same basic method of application, same variations in finish for different surfaces, and same ‘wear a respirator if you’re indoors because they all smell and have VOCs’ advisory. Then Jerry at Watson had a flash of insight and recommended a water-based urethane that he noted ‘stinks a lot less’.

One can is supposed to cover 400-500 square feet; the room is at most 150. Since this was a first attempt with this product, and on this sort of project, I chose to do just one coat. I’ll see how it wears with a year’s worth of traffic, and consider sanding and removing and doing something different when I next pull up carpet upstairs.

CIMG8786 CIMG8798 CIMG8800


Which I hope to do no time soon…

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