Here is a photo of the room from the real estate listing:
and the other side of the room:
Nothing terrible, but not really our style. There was wall-to-wall carpet which I am generally not a fan of. Also, a cat or two had lived in this house for the past 20 years and I am very allergic to cats and all I could think of was 20 years of cat hair in the carpet which kind of grossed me out. So, we knew we were going to tear out that carpet from day one and hope that the floor underneath was the original hardwood.
The actual removal of the carpeting was not terrible. It went pretty fast and I just cut it into smaller sections to roll up and Brian took them out to the trash. The time intensive part was taking up all of the individual staples and the tack that runs along the perimeter. This took me a while. But we did indeed have hardwood under all the old smelly carpet! Unfortunately they were pretty damaged.
After we had pulled up all of the carpeting I thought that I could live with these floors for a while until we could eventually replace them. We were going to put some large rugs down so only some of the damaged floor would be seen and I really thought that the old beat up original floors wouldn't bother me.
But after we painted the room, the floors seemed to look worse. And on top of the general unsightliness, a strange and yucky smell was happening in the two corners that had the most damage. It smelled a little of old cat pee. Brian would also like me to mention that I have super human smell. It didn't really bother him but it drove me crazy and I would stay awake at night angry over my gross floors.
And so I decided to paint them.
I went to my local Benjamin Moore retailer and they recommended Coronado's floor and patio paint and I had them tint it to Benjamin Moore's Simply White which I had used on the kitchen floors at our Lakeview House to much success and enjoyment. I painted two coats on the floor but the areas with the most damage turned a little yellow and the smell still lingered. So I then spot primed the two highly damaged areas with two coats of a Zinsser primer that we had on hand.
I ended up painting a total of three coats on the floor (plus the two coats of primer in the damaged areas) and was pretty pleased with the results.
Next, I painted a top coat of Coronado's water based polyurethane. Which immediately turned my floors yellow.
And then I cried.
Generally speaking, water based poly is used over white floors instead of an oil based top coat in order to avoid this very thing. But what can I say, the floors are 100 years old, have a good degree of damage and the Simply White color has a touch of yellow in the tint, so all these factors conspired against me.
At this point a normal person would probably stop painting the top coat and wait to see if it dried clear before going over the entire room. But I am no ordinary sane person and I had decided to undertake this project the weekend before we were having our party and overnight guests so time really was of the essence. Be yee not so silly.
The floors did end up drying lighter than the poly initially went on, but it was still yellow and basically looked like there were pee stains on the floor. Boo.
At this point I remember why it is always a good idea to give yourself enough time to properly complete a project without being rushed. But I was past the point of no return so I had to just work through it. I got down on my hands and knees and lightly sanded the whole floor so I could paint one final coat of white. This time the guy at the paint store recommended that I paint the final coat in the untinted basic white in case I ever decide to put a poly top coat on down the road as he thought this might cut down on the yellowing. But honestly the floor paint should stand up well for a few years assuming we aren't being crazy abusive to the floor. At which point I am hoping we are ready to just replace them.
I was literally opening the can of white paint one night to finally get this project finished when our power went out. At this point it was a comedy of errors and all I could do was wait it out with a nice little cocktail. When the lights came back on two hours later, at midnight, I painted that last coat of paint and promised myself I would would build in some time for "things gone wrong" on the next time intensive project.
In the end, all of the trial and error and learning along the way was well worth it because the floor looks amazing. There is no sign of the damage nor any trace of that smell. The white floor makes the room feel so much bigger and brighter and looks great next to the dark walls. We will be painting out the window trim the same color as the walls once we have new shades ordered but for now they are still white while the base boards and door trim are all dark gray. I plan on sharing some photos of the room in its current form later this week so you can see what it looks like with furniture.