The floor had always been an issue but we had been choosing to ignore it up to this point so I guess it was a good thing that we were forced to do something about it. If we go back to the original photo of this room you will notice there is a large carpet that has been cut to exactly fit the room, with a one foot border around the perimeter.
|Carpeting was custom cut to fit the room|
However, when we pulled the carpet up we found this.
The good news is that it is the original floor. The boards are narrow, free of knots and very long. It also has the worn and rolling contours that only years of foot traffic can provide to a floor like this. The bad news is it had some major problems.
The first issue was that only the perimeter of the floor had been stained. If we wanted the floor a uniform colour we would have to sand the whole thing and then stain it again. The second issue was there was a reason the whole floor had not been stained. When this house had sat vacant for many years there had been water damage and this floor was part of that damage. Large water spots were visible across the room and numerous boards were actually rotten. A simple sanding was not going to fix these problems. To make matters worse the carpet that had been laid down to hide these issues was a real carpet. Not a rug. Carpeting has foam backing that provides an extra layer of comfort when fixed to a floor. However, in this case the carpet was sitting loosely on the floor and had been there many years. The foam backing had begun to break down and was actually stuck to the floor boards.
|Foam from the carpet backing had to be scraped by hand off the hardwood|
When looking at homes to buy we had viewed another farmhouse that had painted softwood floors. We had greatly admired those floors and wondered if we could do the same. It would cover up the water stains and replacement boards and would add a dash of colour to the room. If we didn't like the results we could always rip the floor out completely. We decided to paint.
The first step to prepare the floor was scraping off the bits of foam from the carpeting. We spent hours with small scrapers completing this job. Next the rotted boards had to be removed. This wasn't an easy task to accomplish but luckily Jody is pretty handy with tools and knows a thing or two when it comes to wood.
|You can see where the new boards are in the lower portion of the photo|
Then finally we were ready for paint.