Day 25 (Friday) was long. For everyone. The sanding continued on the densest floor known to man until after lunchtime, taking longer than had been hoped for (so it seemed). No matter, though, as the Team managed to get a coat of stain on the floor! Likely the only coat of color, the process will continue with at least 3 coats of polyurethane to seal and protect the floors. The process seemed the most physically taxing on the guys – so much crouching, bending, squatting, being on their knees on hard surfaces, reaching, scrubbing, you name it – but it also seemed to elicit a different kind of excitement. An excitement at seeing the early stages of a finished room? Perhaps. Excitement at conquering the antique floors? Possibly. Let’s just say, the enthusiasm poured into their work, and the floors came out beautifully (from what I can see from the doorways and the outside porch – we can’t walk on them yet).
The day also came with some pretty interesting scents. First, the sawdust-y smell from the previous day’s sanding efforts (Thursday) was replaced with the distinct smell of pine. The old fir released some soft scent into the air that had probably been trapped in its cells for over a century. I knew at that point that they had cracked the beast, and were whipping it into shape. Later, when the stain was being mixed and applied, this absolutely unnatural, chemical-evaporation kind of smell overtook the house, tromping on the previous smell like a fledging plant underfoot in the woods. It was pretty powerful.
The day included a task list from Eric: to finish stripping the bead-board for the pantry nook, and to strip the hinges and fittings from the antique doors and jambs. So, today (Saturday), day 25 (b), Jeff and I worked on removing the hardware, giving it a dunk in some orange goo, and rinsing and scrubbing it within an inch of its life. We worked one door’s kit at a time, so as not to mix them up if the pieces are fussy about where they fit, which worked in our benefit. In the end, some of the pieces looked better before they were stripped, so we can save ourselves a bit of effort there on the next batch. (The unattractive pieces might be able to be fixed up yet – I’ll have to ask the guys on Monday what the best solution will be.) The task was not without its unpleasantness (methinks we’re both a little spent on doing house-related tasks), and I, for one, will be glad when my role goes back to simply being a reporter.
So, enjoy some photos, and enjoy your people! After all, what else in life matters as much? xoxo