I asked for it, right?
Before I go on, I will first let you know that I also cleaned the hinges of my two old doors.
While removing the hinges, I discovered that indeed the original trim was not white (or yellowed white), but a dark stain on the wood. My work is cut out for me! Before I paint the walls, I will, I hope, remove each piece of door trim and frame and strip them, then, if all goes well, refinish them in a dark mahogany. Of course, I’ll test a spot first. If the bottom coat of paint ruined the wood, I’ll STILL strip off all the coats on top (because they’re really thick and sticky) and then paint them properly. T.B.D.
Why do all that work, you might ask. Because it’s work I can do myself and for little money, because I’m a little obsessive about getting down to the bottom of things and because I need to do this stuff. It makes me happy. I have my materials all ready ⇓. Cross your fingers!
As I was saying, I asked for it. I wanted to replace the nasty old brass threshold between the dining room and kitchen floors. I decided to just remove it and take it with me to the store since it had a certain size and angle that would be easier just to compare to the ones on the shelf if I took it with me. So I pried it off and what did I discover, ol’ archaeologist me?
Well, I’ll tell you!
Now the kitchen floor was covered in fake wood vinyl laminate “boards” that I hate because they’re dark and, well, fake wood. I had put a colorful rug on the floor, but removed it because it was impractical. But while removing that little threshold, I found underneath that fake wood vinyl flooring…
…one layer of cheery blue vinyl flooring to which the fake wood was adhered.
Under the blue was one layer of that old vinyl sheet flooring that was just lying loose on top of…
the bottom layer of beigish-yellow, mottled FILTHY vinyl tiles!!!!
Here’s a few shots. Click on tap on them to enlarge and read the captions:
I spent two days on my knees crawling around pulling off dirty flooring and then scrubbing the bottom layer with a scrub brush. First I used all-purpose cleaner, later went with baking soda and a drop of Dawn in water.
As you can see below, “they” (my nemeses) had simply spilled paint all over the floor.
Most came off (see below), I’m still working on it. Getting the floor out from around the radiator was NO FUN.
Left: unscrubbed. Right: scrubbed.
Of course, you encounter the biggest problems when you think you’re nearing the finish line.
There had been a major grease spill near the range and tiles were missing. That’s when I had to do a web search for removing old grease. And near the “buttress,” tiles were also missing and someone had screwed down a sheet of particle board. I do not really want to know what’s under there. At least not now. Someday we’ll take a peek. A body? A stash of contraband? Gold bars?
Here’s a really fun article about things people find in their walls and floors while renovating old houses.
I still have to pull out the fridge and work under and behind it. Next week!
I’m not saying the old floor is great, nor is it mid-century (probably 1980s?), but it’s subtle, it’s usable and will suffice for my purposes until I rebuild the kitchen in 7-10 years. I covered the holes with rugs and rearranged stuff a little again. Here’s my new/old kitchen!