Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Never. Ever. Again.

When you buy an old house and someone suggests that the original pine floors will be fantastically beautiful once they're refinished, don't grin and enthusiastically nod like a bobble head doll. Apparently all the nodding jiggles your brain loose or something.

Because... after a few days... you'll begin thinking "I can refinish these myself". And when you wake up and think, "I can refinish these myself!", do not stupidly run out and rent a sander, hoping to refinish them yourself. Instead, take you and your ridiculous thinking back to bed. Trust me.

But say you do, really, run out and get the sander and try to refinish those floors yourself. Whatever you do, please don't plug the machine into the one outlet in the house that throws the breaker every time you start the sander motor. And when you get mad and desperate, do not unplug the refrigerator "for a few minutes to borrow the plug" and forget while those "few minutes" turn into... say... long enough to melt ice and spoil milk. Yeah.

And when you do get the darn thing working and suddenly it starts shooting sparks out of the bottom - like a welding machine on Monster Garage - it would probably behoove you not to scream like the sky is falling and run out the front door, leaving the sander churning and spinning. Just a thought. (Turns out, it does that every time it hits a nail.)

Later, when the sander makes this violent jerking motion and suddenly spews grit and chewed-up sand paper toward you with the force of a tornado, don't do as I do and shove the machine into the wall and jerk the power cord out of the wall. It doesn't like that. And a wall isn't invincible. You learn these things.

And when the vacuum thingy on the sander quits working and you don't succeed in unclogging it, don't you dare think it's okay to continue sanding. It's not. You will inhale 100+ years worth of dirt, chemicals and sawdust. Your eyes will water, your throat will seize and choke, you'll cough puffy clouds for days and your boogers will run black for weeks.

Just saying.

I hated every second of this. Refinishing floors is a dirty, bad, dirty bad business. I, for one, want no further part in it. Never. Ever. Again.

But gosh. They do look pretty great, don't they? Not bad for a girl working all by herself. As in, without anyone around while she did all the work. Not bad at all, right?

Hmm. Wonder if that sander is available again this weekend? I'll bet I could refinish the rest of these floors myself...

35 comments:

Athy said...

Aww, Brin!! You're so brave!! I know exactly what it's like to go through remodeling nightmares all by yourself when you decide to be a gutsy girl and do stuff solo and get then get in over your head! :) I'm still in the middle of remodeling projects like you in my home. Your floors do look just beautiful though. Good job! Glad for your sake it's all done!!! At least now you know more about refinishing floors than you ever care to re-learn ever again, hehe :).

Best,
Athy

Mia said...

I've taken on a few of those "great idea" household projects myself, so I feel your pain. *cough* but they DO look pretty sweet!

cupcake studio said...

Oh my gracious! What a hilarious post! Your floor looks incredible!

Paula said...

Your floors look gorgeous. Makes me want to start mine so my dh will have to finish. Yeah, right, like that's gonna happen!

Becky K. said...

The floors are absolutely awesome!

What an adventure you had!

Becky K.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

This was so much fun to read! I marvel at your persistance, which certainly has paid off. I called the groom in here to see what you've done, his being a carpenter and all, and he had a good chuckle, too. He says you did a very nice job!

traci said...

wow, they look beautiful. what a great job you did. and all by yourself - that's awesome!!

Adrienne said...

What an experience! But what gorgeous floors. And you will be so proud that you did it yourself. Honest you will - someday! ~Adrienne~

Jenn said...

What amazing floors! I think you are braver than most. Hilarious blog entry. Happy Fall!!!

alice said...

They are beautiful!

Cori G. said...

They look so beautiful and the end result is always worth the sweat and tears. I once tried sanding my bedroom with a palm sander. By the time my husband came home from work my fingers had swelled to the point that I couldn't bend them. I love those huge rent able sanders!

Sue@CountryPleasures said...

I know you probably thought you'd never get to the end of that task, but the outcome is just beautiful! What a pretty color too, take a rest before you try it again! Bless your heart! :)

Carolyn (Harbor Hon) said...

From what they looked like then to what they look like now. Yes, I'd have to say you did a really good job. So lovely having the sunlight hit that gorgeous wood. Can I sleep on your floor? :) xxoo

betty r said...

What a gorgeous floor Brin..I'm glad you perservered..but hey try and get some help for the rest of the floors!

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

What beautiful floors! Don't you feel so proud of yourself. Now every time you look at them you will say to yourself that you really really did it by yourself. Great Job!

Amy said...

I want to say "I can't believe you did that"...but I can.

They look good. I think you've stumbled on a new career.

Amy said...

Oh yeah...saline nose spray...it's unpleasant, but it'll get the gunk out.

Cottage Mommy said...

Oh, your post is too funny! We were foolish like that once too. Someone told us how easy it was so we though no problem, we can refinish one bedroom. Ugh, it was hell. Really horrible and took forever. I can just say I relate. The floors do look beautiful though and now you have the pride in doing it yourself and a funny story to boot!

Kathi~Lavender, Lace and Thyme said...

You are so funny! I would get the sander and try as well. It looks incredible! but there's more work to be done I'm sure!

MN Kathi :)

Rosa said...

Oh my! giggle.
Ahem.
Floors look great though. . . :)

Linda Z said...

Wow, the floors look beautiful! There's nothing like the patina on an old wood floor, and you are hilarious trying to do it all yourself!! Maybe you should get a face mask next time!!

We are in the midst of getting ready to put in floors as I write. I have furniture moved all over and I'm living on top of boxes of handscraped American Cherry in 2 different widths. I can't wait until the pro gets here, cause there's no way we're tackling this one!

Julie said...

Oh, Miss Brin!

They are absolutely gorgeous.
You must be so proud of yourself and those beautiful floors -- at least, you SHOULD be!

Many Blessings,
Julie

Sweet P said...

Great job on the floors! I would never do that job alone!

Janine said...

Great job Brin! I know it is super fun to think, ya, I can do this, no problem! I've seen it done on tv, so what's the big deal! I know but they really did turn out great, just brush a few strokes of floor varnish on them and you are good to go woman! Cheers!

Lady Farmer said...

Sounds alot like giving birth. You go through all that pain and "labor" and swear you'll never do it again until you see that beautiful creation and know that it was all worth it!
The floors are beautiful! Can't wait to see more.
Raeann

Tamara Jansen said...

Aren't renovations great fun?!

Polly said...

Beautiful job, Brin. One thing about nasty jobs - just think of the feeling of pride and accomplishment when they are done!

The Quintessential Magpie (Sheila) said...

Your floors look great, Brin! And I loved (and identified with from many years ago) this post. ;-)

Happy Fall!

Sheila

Ruthann said...

Brin, the floors look as rich and mellow as an autumn pumpkin pie. Just beautiful...so warm and homey.
Blessings to you,
Ruthann

my house by the river said...

Congratulations! The floors look lovely :-)

Yes, it is a very dirty job...but once it is done - ahhhh

lovely :-)

mari

Corinne said...

OMG....how awful, but you know what, those floors do look pretty amazing. Great job!

Daisy said...

The great ideas always take longer than expected, too. We've found that a "weekend" project usually takes several because our house is old enough that the corners and not square anymore! And (get this) the 2X4s are actually 2" by 4".

Emily said...

Randomly came across your blog - those floors look awesome!!! I am so impressed. I love hardwood floors and respect anyone who refinishes old ones instead of covering them up with ugly carpet.

Dolly said...

Laughing....
Not at you Brin...
With you!
Honest!

I remember our old floors....when I pulled up the musty dusty old wool rug that was in the center of the dinning room the floor under it was not varnished....so I started scrubbing the whole floor with pine sol... the finish was coming off really easy so I got the wild idea to get the sand paper out and sand it...
no biggy right!
Those big floor sanders intimidate me... so believe it or not I sanded the whole dinning room floor with a block of wood wrapped in sand paper!
Crazy I know!
But so worth it when it was all done!

Hugz, Dolly

kelly said...

wow! incredible! what a sense of accomplishment... despite the "what have i done" feelings... ;)