After my friend Ruth and her husband were here in June, I went upstairs to confirm that the floor in the bath was really as bad as I remembered. Only guests and our children use it; I had been avoiding it because it was so ugly. But I had dreaded ripping the whole thing out. I decided the floor, at least, had to be fixed before we had more company. Whatever was under the fake-pebble tile, broken and crunching when it was stepped on and impossible to clean, must be an improvement. I pried a piece up. Underneath that was asphalt tile cement, but beneath that was clearly old linoleum tile, black and white checks just like the den, but half-size.
I always feel so professional in my knee pads, even if I’m barefoot.
Discovering how to remove the adhesive was fairly easy – coat with Goo Gone, scrub to dissolve, add dishwasher detergent, straight, scrub to dissolve, add water to dilute all that, mop up. It is straightforward, messy, and time-consuming. It seems to have taken forever, but apparently it was only two days, because company arrived two days after this picture was taken, and the floor was done.
Unfortunately, once the floor was stripped, the cracked plaster and peeling woodwork looked grim. Oh, yes – that was the part that took forever. The woodwork had 8 coats of paint – about one a decade – and clearly needed to be stripped, not just sanded. All the corners and edges of the plaster were cracked, and a strip across the middle. So I patched or stripped until I couldn’t stand it, and then went downstairs to research 18th century land grants. Robert eventually took over the stripping. While the furnace was being installed, I stripped. When the carpenter came to give us an estimate on opening the ceiling an installing, I was stripping. When he came back weeks later, I was finally painting. Robert installed new lights to replace the commercial flourescent strips (really) on either side of the mirror. We had more company coming, and finished just in time.