Lotta@TroublemakerStr's Profile

Display Name: Lotta@TroublemakerStr
Member Since: 10/27/11

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I hope somebody can help me out a bit here... When I first got my apt., I put in beechwood floors (tongue/groove parquet in appr. 15mm thickness, which has a pine base and a 7mm layer of beech on top). When I had to put in kitchen cabinets which move up and down electronically (with counters with no cabinets under because of wheelchair use - the whole thing is a unit which stands on top of the floor on some tiny legs, the lift mechanism is built into the side walls, so no metal shows when you have the cabinets in a lower position, but the downside with this, is if you want to do something with the floors, moving the cabinets would cost a fortune) and in the process also had to knock down some walls, hence I had to put in a new floor in that part of the apartment (I removed a large closet and used the space to make the kitchen and a bedroom bigger). But, a short time after, I got a new maid to help me out. Since I was very particular when it came to take really good care of these floors, I made lots of microfiber mops wet, then used the washing machine spinning cycle to remove most of the water, to make them only damp - since this was recommended and also a great way of doing it (so much easier, when one got soiled, you just moved onto a clean one etc., so no need to rinse the mop out, dip it in a bucket etc.). The maid came at 9 a.m. while I had gone to work, but when I got home around 4 p.m., the floors were still wet (and still dirty, since all the dirt was in the pool of water on the floor). I asked her over and over again, trying to make it work, but after 6 months, I gave up and called her agency, who immediately said they would give me a new one (I got a very clear impression that she had got many complaints, since she did an awful job in general and the place never got clean). Problem was, when those 6 mths were over, my beech floor was real damaged. It swelled up in the joins, the varnished loosened etc. But it got real bad when I got a little dog who sometimes had a little accident, as the swelled up joins really let water through. That and continued cleaning, has made the floor look so horrible, I'm really embarressed when I have guests...

I have debated over what to do. One thing is a limited budget, another is that I still have a dog (who's getting old and sometimes have accidents during the night, even if she uses a puppy pad, she sometimes misses), and I'm thinking that maybe it's not the best idea ever to go for new floors in the whole apartment (and it'll cost me a lot too, as I just can't do anything myself anymore and as it just happens, my friends and me both have been quite unlucky health wise, most of us are now wheelchair users for several reasons...). BUT, the past year or so, I have watched quite a lot of reality shows, and it has become quite obvious that dark floors have been really popular. And some of the dark brown ones I have seen, really seem so dark you can't see very much of the wood grain, I think. So I'm wondering if my best bet actually would be to paint my floor and seal it super well. I know that there are great floor paints on the market here, both oil and water based, and I hope I could get a nice color. I see though that some tell about having problems with everything showing. Here the floors are vacuumed and mopped twice a week, and I am not sure if that would be enough... The color I would love, is a dark, cold brown (with black/gray in it rather than yellow/red). But, I also really love taupe! Especially a darker taupe. Have any of you seen floors painted (or stained) in such a color? I have also been thinking about an old painting technique they used a lot way back to make a pine floor look more exclusive (my apt. bedroom way back had such a floor, in a house built in 1936, and as I remember, the owner said it was the original floor, done by his father in law who built most of the house for them). What they did then, was something they here called "Combing". They first applied a lighter color paint as the base coat (as many layers as needed to cover nicely), then used an oil paint thinned with water (now we would probably buy a ready mixed thin glaze). This was applied in only one layer, then a "comb" was pulled over it, board by board. This gave an impression e.g. of oak wood grain. I am thinking that what maybe could be something to try (test it before doing it, of course), was to paint with a dark taupe, then glaze/comb with a very dark brown. Hopefully it would be possible to find an expert on old painting techniques (or I could actually call my old landlord, he's in his 80's now), to find out what this "comb" was made of, and what it was called, so hopefully it would be possible to alter some existing painting tool to do the job today. I would e.g. guess that one could take a wide brush, then use some hair stylist thinning scissors, I do have two different ones myself, and cut away some of the hair - making a brush that would paint "stripes" of varying widths. Guess it must have a somewhat random pattern to look as it should. But in total I would think that you could get a somewhat richer look, and that I could get the feeling of warmth that I oddly get from looking at COLD colors... Or cut notches in a squeegie to make a painting comb from that, making it as wide as 2 boards (which is about the same width as the old pine boards used to be and which is the width each parquet board had) and use that to make the pattern... Then do it the opposite way, roll on the glaze, then use the squeegie to remove some of the glaze. Actually I would think that could work, as I have made similar combs from stiff plastic to use to make some texture when painting on canvas using acrylic paint...

OMG, I can't even stand the thought of having to paint these floors (or replace it, for that matter, both will be quite an ordeal). I have no idea of how we will be able to move all this furniture, huge book shelfs etc., so the floors can be done... Somehow I'll have to paint parts at a time, I simply can't remove everything I have, as I have no place to put it while at it. I guess I will have to use my kitchen and bedroom (and maybe something on my balcony, but a bit scary if the weather turns bad) - move everything from the living room and hall in there, then when that is done and has gone hard, we'll have to move everything and everything from the kitchen and bedroom into the living room and hall, then carefully sand the part where the two "portions" will meet (the door opening to the bedroom and the wide opening to the open kitchen), and hopefully be able to make a seamless join... I know that I many times have done something like that on walls and have a way of "fading" the paint into nothing by using a quite dry roller and give it a "jagged and faded" transition, but the floor sure is a lot smoother and have much less to no texture (and my walls have textured and painted wallpaper which is a lot more forgiving and also somewhat absorbant). I sure hope that you, by first fading the first part into nothing, then sanding the transition area lightly with fine paper before you start painting again by trying to use the fading technique in the opposite way, can get a smooth and pretty looking floor. I would love it if somebody have done a floor this way and can offer some advice on it!

Traditionally we here (Norway) do not use the wide (or is it high?) baseboards that are very common many other places (e.g. in the US) anymore (you do see them in old houses though). We normally also use the same wood/color on the base boards as on the floor itself, not the white or neutral color that I've seen so many times in homes in the US or England (and on TV from these and other places). I am a bit in doubt as to what would be best in this case, esp. if the floor ends out very dark... Would love to hear what you guys have done and why you prefer it like that (the existing base boards I have, are oak even if the floor is beech, since I could not get beechwood ones locally at the time and they suggested using oak to me, and it actually looks very nice, does not look very different than the floor, it's just slightly darker/colder without clashing at all). The base boards are not very high/wide, not entirely sure, but would think something in between 2" and 3". Should I paint them in the same color to become part of the floor like we traditionally do here, or would it look better with white ones (most walls are egg shell white, I have one colored wall in taupe in the living room, which I am planning to change soon, either using a dark brown or a plum purple - with lots of new light in the part too, so it won't get dark).

Sorry, this must have ended out super long. I am rotten at explaining such things in a short way (esp. in English, which is not my language) - hope you'll forgive me and can stand reading through it all!

Thanks in advance for any creative input, experience/advice or simply your thoughts on the subject! I'll appreciate it a lot!!! :)

Lotta :)

How To: Paint Your Floors and Not Screw it Up
10/27/11 05:25 PM