This is our second week working on Don’s room (here’s the demo that happened on the first week)! His room was, of course, in the worst shape (which is ironic since we really want him to have his own space and feel like he’s at home). This week was full of dry walling and removing paint from the floors!
First up, let’s talk about the walls in Don’s room (and most of the house). Instead of drywall, our walls are made of lath and plaster. There are some good parts to it- they are thicker which makes for more of a sound barrier. They are durable, but cracks can happen when a building settles. Also repairing the plaster is trickier than drywall because you have to mix new plaster, apply it, and then apply joint compound.
So when we took down the wallpaper and found one wall of plaster filled with holes and cracks (the damage was every few inches), we decided to rip that section down. Removing the plaster was also a pain because it came down in heavy, small chunks. But once it was down, we were able to add drywall and mud and tape it.
While my husband worked on the walls, I was working on the floors. As I mentioned last week, when we pulled down the fort, we found that the brown floors hadn’t been painted in some areas and were pink! After looking at the floor closer, it was evident that the brown hadn’t been painted evenly. So I decided it was time to regroup.
With the floors, I figured I had 3 options-
- Purchase new flooring and put it over the existing floors
- Sand the floors to get to the original floors
- Strip the paint off the floors to get to the original floors
I decided to go with option 3. I didn’t want to cover up the original floors and I didn’t want to sand them (since I figured it’d make an awful dusty mess). Plus, I stripped my stairs when I redid those a few years ago, so it felt doable to me.
Last week, I stripped a test corner and I was surprised that the floors were white!
how to remove paint off wood floors
apply the stripper
I worked in small sections and applied the stripper to the floors with a paint brush. They suggest to work out of a metal bucket, but I found the clean-up to be tricky with that, so I squirt it right out of the bottle into the floor. Next, I use a paint brush (while wearing rubber gloves) to evenly apply it across the top of the paint. Helpful hint- go thicker with the stripper than thinner.
Next, wait. Make sure the room is properly ventilated, close the door and don’t go back in for 45 minutes – an hour at minimum. You can leave the stripper on for a maximum of 24 hours though! Make sure to not step on the wet areas- you don’t want to track the stripper through your house and ruin the finish on your other floors.
remove the stripper
When the paint has gotten bubbly, use the scrapper to start removing the paint. If you try to scrape the paint off too early, you’ll have to work hard and it won’d be effective. Make sure the paint has lots of ripples in it (see the pink paint in the above picture) before you start on it.
As you scrape the paint off, you’ll get paint and stripper that you need to clean up. Have a broom, dust pan, and garbage can handy so you can clean up before starting the next round of stripper.
Although the steps are pretty straight forward, this is hard work! You’re on your hands and knees scrapping or applying the stripper. It took a full week and probably 8 containers of the stripper to do the whole floor.
Here’s how the floors are looking now. I need to mop them and then do a little sanding to smooth out the rough areas. I love the white floors and that they’ll be imperfect and full of character.
goals for next week
- get the floors to where I am happy with them
- paint the ceiling
- install beadboard to the bottom 1/2 of the walls
- add texture to the new drywall so its ready for paint
This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
Want to remember this? Pin this to your favorite Pinterest board!