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Day 6: I want to kick Frederick Walton in the teeth

OK, to be fair, it’s probably not Frederick Walton himself for whom I harbor resentment, but rather some later party who “improved” adhesives.

Today’s post will be short, for two reasons:

  1. My cramping hand muscles make typing difficult (and need to be conserved for a long day of paintbrush holding)
  2. Most of the exciting pictures of the kitchen progress are on one of Amy’s cameras, the card reader for which is upstairs, while we’re stuck downstairs waiting for stain to dry.

In short, the conventional wisdom that removing linoleum is hard is accurate.  I had the last of the staples and newer subfloor up by mid-morning yesterday and got started right away on the underlying linoleum.  Amy worked on the stairs through lunch and then joined me, and the two of us worked on it continually until taking up the last piece around 11pm or so.

subfloor gone

(top) subfloor gone!


5 cans *filled* with subfloor staples

bottom subfloor

the subfloor we'll keep - finally exposed

The 3″ square pattern you see above is layer 1 of 2 of linoleum.  Actually I think that layer was lower quality vinyl squares, and the linoleum underneath (not shown yet, but will show up in Amy’s action shots once we get them off of the camera) was real linoleum (which actually, to Mr. Walton’s credit, was much nicer to remove than the adhered vinyl).  We’ll fill in more pictures of the floor removal when we can.

Anyway, the very, very good news is, it’s up! There were definitely moments yesterday when it looked somewhat impossible to complete, at least on anything approaching a manageable schedule. We tried a variety of tools, the big winners being:

  • handheld 4″ razor scraper (ended up getting 2nd one) – this is indispensable
  • heavy 7″ steel scraper (on a big stick)
  • heat gun (for removing adhesive)

The heat gun wins the (newly created) Jester/Heling Tool of the Day Award ™.  We’d be fully screwed without it.  The floor is still a bit tacky, but Amy is off at Home Depot now figuring out what to do about that.

stairs stained

stairs stained

Stair staining is also complete.  The stairs look a ton better than they did before, though our approach of not fully sanding the treads but rather just sanding where needed and obscuring the difference with stain didn’t work quite as well as we’d hoped (or as the one test stair we did 6 weeks ago suggested it would).

Yesterday had two albums of the day, both selected from the list of artists I’d bookmarked in Pandora in recent months, and both a bit disappointing, at least on an initial listen (Shinjuku Zulu by Shinjuku Zulu, and Charm School by Bishop Allen).  Dinner was delivery Indian food eaten on the front porch because it was beautiful outside and we were too sticky and covered with linoleum flakes to sit in the one accessible non construction zone in the house.

Today (Day 7) we’ll do the remainder of kitchen destruction (removing sink and countertops) and hopefully finish kitchen painting.  Countertop and/or floor installation is hopefully tomorrow.