The upstairs hallway floor has finally been stripped. But unfortunately, as I suspected, there is water damage. (Apparently there was a leaky roof at some point before we bought the house.)
Here’s a reminder of what the floor looked like after we pulled the carpet up:
Spots and splatters everywhere.
I decided on a paint stripper instead of sanding for two reasons:
- I LOVE the texture of our old hardwood.
- With all of the layers of stuff on these floors, sandpaper gums up in no time, which causes you to throw away dozens of sheets of otherwise perfectly good sandpaper. (I tried it in the living room–awful.)
So, for stripping the hardwood without sanding, I used my trusty Citristrip(not sponsored), just like I did on the stairs. It’s easy to use and the fumes aren’t too bad if you keep the windows open.
The instructions say to put the Citristrip in a metal bowl and use it from there. If you’re stripping a flat surface, it’s an unnecessary (and wasteful) step, I just squeeze it right from the jug onto the floor. Brush it out with a chip brush.
I left it there for anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours, depending on how badly spotted the section was.
After it sits, scrape it up, and most of the varnish, paint, drywall mud splatters along with it. A plastic scraper is really what should be used, but I didn’t have one, so I VERY CAREFULLY used a metal putty blade.
I definitely recommend using a small cardboard box to scrape all the gunk into (shoebox-sized, only thicker, because it the liquid will seep through). You’ll want something sturdy, and there will be A LOT of gunk.
After the majority of the stripper was up, I wiped the area with a few paper towels to clean up the puddles that settled in the grooves of the wood. Then I followed with a very light, very gentle scrubbing with a plastic brush, which will get the varnish and paint out of all of the dents and grooves that the scraper couldn’t reach.
Even after the scraping and the wiping with paper towel, my brush looked like this every time:
Follow that with one more round of wiping with paper towel. Once all the visible stripper is up, mineral spirits need to be applied to neutralize the stripper and clean the area.
Wet some paper towel with mineral spirits and wipe. This job requires at least one roll of paper towel. Keep wiping with fresh towels until they no longer come up dirty. This could take some time. Quite a bit of time. I turned on a Pandora comedy station and made myself comfortable.
In the end, we had this:
Eh. Unfortunately, this is only “Part 1” because of the water damage. None of the boards are rotten or so damaged that they need to be replaced, but the coloring was left very spotty, and the grain of many of the planks is raised significantly.
Part 2: sanding, coming soon.
View all posts in this series:
- DIY paper light for under $15
- Loft progress!
- Ugly old sideboard to TV stand
- My New Wagon
- Our DIY pantry (from the only closet in the house)
- Sweet old bar cart, refinished
- yes, one more bar cart
- Future girly office and my first real mood board
- Craft room. Progress?
- DIY chalkboard tray
- Feminine office inspiration (yay, it’s finally Friday!)
- Front porch hopes
- DIY Rug from a drop cloth
- A bowl of mint-dipped cuteness
- Updated front porch rug and a spray painted pillow
- The (pretty much) finished front porch
- All new blue and gray (and still some pink) feminine office mood board
- The ceiling is blue
- Jewelry box turned into craft supply storage
- Painting a room that’s full of stuff
- Finished painting!
- Choosing the perfect sofa bed for such a small space
- Napkin holder organizers
- Updated eagle clock
- How to make a $2 wood grain binder
- Will the office work ever end?
- How to make your own matchstick blind valances
- DIY glitter thumbtacks
- Customized floating shelves for the office (Hacked Lacks!)
- What to do when you don’t have enough room for end tables
- Powder room plans
- The girly office/guest room is done! (for now)
- Decanter as bedside water pitcher
- The living room is finally presentable
- A fun change in plans
- Easy and cheap DIY fridge coaster
- Refinished thrift store lamps
- A mood board for the whole house
- Projects Happening
- The living room is lit!
- DIY birdcage chandelier
- Altering curtain panels: how to hide the tab tops
- Painted windows
- The living room is livable
- Building in hidden storage
- Breakfast table makeover
- A giant, invisible dry erase board
- The wall is back up and we built some furniture!
- Pretty, textured walls, if I do say so myself
- Setback in the powder room
- How to make a vessel sink from a serving bowl
- No more hazy grout
- Powder room reveal: 2 years in the making
- Easy shelf accessory: a painted toy
- Office Update
- Clothesline stand from an old pot
- Simplifying (Another post with embarrassing photos)
- How we fixed our odd cabinet layout with DIY open shelving
- The stairs are half naked
- A simple vanity update
- The best way to paint tile? Don’t
- Hiding more ugliness in the bathroom
- The cupboards are bare
- Finally, new end tables in the living room
- Painting the stairs
- And on a whim, the kitchen renovation has begun
- The big picture: our whole-house floor plan
- Kitchen style
- White walls in the kitchen
- A practical, $25 kitchen upgrade
- How to paint a range hood, from stainless steel to white
- Beautiful brackets
- The shelves for the open shelving
- We did it!
- The shameful basement
- The big kitchen reveal
- Silly half wall
- How to strip paint with a heat gun
- How about another basement sneak peak?
- Our dining room, at the moment
- A new, dark dining room
- DIY wall art for the kitchen
- Why dark walls look good in a room with little natural light
- Failed project: better-looking canopies
- Stone wall basement before-and-after
- Already a major upgrade to the laundry room
- DIY industrial lamp to replace an ugly ceiling fan
- Another unplanned living room update
- Turning napkin holders into wall organizers–again
- I did, in fact, get something accomplished this week.
- Every woman that owns clothes needs these
- The history of the bedroom
- The bedroom is looking way better already
- Giant furniture sale
- Things have to get ugly before they can get pretty
- Black doors and windows
- Our new closet reveal
- Jewelry on display
- We’re floorless
- Sneak peek of the dining room floor
- Dining room update
- Maintenance (The deck’s “before” photos)
- Major progress on the new deck!
- The deck is almost done
- Railings, railings, railings
- It’s here, it’s here!
- Bathroom shelves
- A serious upgrade for the cheap cabinet
- DIY tie storage
- Free slate trays
- A free upgrade for a drab light fixture
- The hallway before-and-after
- Bedroom update
- A small bathroom update
- Staging the bedroom, and a DIY headboard
- My fix for a peeling chalkboard
- Removing paint from vintage hardware
- Turning Moroccan lanterns into hanging bedside lamps
- Re-painting the kitchen cabinets
- We’re alive! And a bedroom update.
- We made progress on the kitchen renovation!
- Dining room update & a new project coming soon
- Building a built-in sliding-door pantry
- Giant update, guys!