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Monday, April 26, 2010

Not in my lifetime

So, Risa's kitchen floor -- which was a horror to look upon, when the family moved in, in 1993 -- got, at the time, the same treatment as the dining room floor, with a difference.

There were no asphalt tiles, broken or otherwise, and no holes where roof leaks had swollen and burst chipboard underlayment, as in the dining room. But there was an unsightly black, green and yellow linoleum that looked as if it had been there since the house was put up (owner built) in 1949.

In places the linoleum was worn halfway through to the wood (not chipboard) flooring beneath. If Risa were young, spry, and full of boundless energy, she might have tried cutting up and disposing of the linoleum, and come up with a treatment for the wood. But the stuff had been glued down very, very thoroughly. Another layer, in colors we could stand, might be what to do -- but money was in short supply, having been scraped and scrounged for the down payment.

So she painted the whole thing white, lined it off in squares with a pencil and straight edge, and painted brick-red tiles over the white, covering the whole thing with two coats of satin polyurethane. (We have a thing for white with brick red and forest green trim. Our kids' friends called it "the Christmas House.")

Seventeen years later, it was obvious that thousand of steps, and the occasional dragging about of tables and stoves, had had their way with the paint job.

Time to renew. With a small brush, Risa traced over the white "mortar" ...

...switched to a larger brush to cover the red "tiles" ...

... then sealed with high gloss poly.

Not too bad.

"Think we'll be doing this floor again?"

"Probably not in my lifetime. Yours, maybe."

You don't need to wax over a urethane-finished floor. To remove dirt and stains, simply clean the floor regularly with a mop dipped in a solution of one cup of white vinegar and ten quarts of water. If your floor is particularly dirty, increase the amount of vinegar. Earl Proulx, Yankee Home Hints


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