Not So Handy . . . Man

October 2, 2011 11:38 am

I remember the ambition and excitement inside me when I decided to take on: “Project Floor Ren-o-vation” approximately a year prior to this date. Riding high on the HGTV wave of do-it yourself shows and childhood dreams of “Old Yankee Workshop”, I dove ignorantly into the renovation attempt. With ambitions of chronicling and sharing my every step along the way to envious home status, I had hoped of informing and inspiring you the reader into tackling similar projects of your own.

I sit here today, proud to tell you, that in fact . . . the floor is in the exact same condition it was the day I began. I’ve gone from potential DIY home improvement Jesus to committing a substantial amount of credibility crushing remodeling sins. In the year that has passed, I’ve gone through a myriad of emotions starting with “lack of creative vision”,
translated . . . procrastination.
Which later gave way to the all-important, “I’m far to busy right now”,
translated . . . lazy.

So let me just get it all out of the way, and put it out on the table for you. I have no clue what I’m doing, and I’m scared to death of irreparably messing the whole damn thing up! I’ve always sucked at being a handyman, and I really, truly, honestly, loathe extensive physical labor. Shake that with ice and mix in a dash of naivety, and I would have been more productive if I swilled a cocktail of arsenic.

These are the facts . . .

-The house is 160 years old and the wood flooring has been with it from the start.
-It’s Heart Pine. Apparently there are a few types of Heart Pine; I’ve concluded mine is of the old variety.
- I’m a lover of Mid-Century design. I’d like some inspiration of this to shine through, but I understand the age and characters of the home need to be exploited first.
-The planks are slightly cupped. Once again, I concluded it’s this way because it’s old. I like this look and would possibly want to retain it.
-There are 160 years worth of grime, paint, and death on it (remember folks, it’s old), which I effectively want to remove without damaging my precious flooring.

These are ideas (I think) I want to do . . .

Potential Idea: White washing the floors and painting the walls and trim to match. I enjoy the idea of a very Sean Puffy Combs vibe, tastefully blended with Martha Stewart country cozy.

Potential Issue: Would the massive red brick wall clash with all this? Would the fact that the rest of the original flooring throughout the house is stained and cleared not work with the rebel yell attitude of this all white room? And are white floors kind of . . . stupid? Conundrums.

Potential Idea: Slather these babies up like a pornstar in Tung Oil. I really love this look and feel it would be a clean and modern way of bringing out the potential beauty of the floor.

Potential Issue: For some perplexing reason, everyone I talk to about this method tries to persuade me otherwise. WHY?!!!!!

Potential Idea: And finally, should I just cave to the standard stain/clear method? It appears to be the easiest, and it would match the flooring situation throughout the rest of the home. Also, this seems to be the most cost effective, resilient, and idiot proof way.

Potential Issue: There has to be something cooler than this.

As I continue to live in dust and squalor, I ask you loyal (substantially smarter) reader to chime in. I want to hear what opinions and advice you have on the situation. From essential floor tips and resources, to possible room theme and color ideas, any and all help is greatly needed. In fact, I’m in so much need and practically dependent on what you got, I’m officially washing my hands of all responsibility and placing it squarely into yours. Don’t disappoint me lads and ladies.

Oh, and for a little motivational gusto, the individual that dishes out the best advice (hell, whoever comments) will get to enjoy my first afternoon on the finished floor with a bottle of wine and some records. Now stop reading and get to work you bums!!


As a blunt reminder of just how little progress has happened, this bottle of beer and coffee have remained here since day 1, convincing me this is the longest period of time an empty bottle has knowingly and lazily remained untouched.

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