Phew! I'm so amazingly glad these look awesome. I might have cried if they didn't. MAJOR MAJOR MAJOR shout out to Lovely Crafty Home for this and the instructions! You were fantastic!!!
Where I got the Idea: Lovely Crafty Home
Time: Multiple Days (break down is below)
Tool to pull up tack boards
Carpet Cutting Tool (we used a diving knife...don't ask)
Elmer's Wood Filler Max
Shop Vac (vacuum will work too)
Sander - I used 120 grain sander
Brown Paper (get a giant role or 2 large ones. My in-laws had a giant role they let us have)
One Gallon of Elmer's Glue
Red buckets (for glue)
Mask (I got the cheap back for like $1)
Paint Brush (we had two good ones that we used...)
Gloves (cheap latex that came in a back of like 8 for $1.50)
Lambskin Pad with woodblock
Cheap 3" chip brush
Minwax's Jacobean Finish
Sponge Pad on Wood Block
That list is really long, and I just meant to include the other tools I used. I'm going to put the instructions in phases, like we did them. This will help show the time for each step.
1. Prep work (4ish hours - Monday & Tuesday Evenings):
The first thing you need to do is remove the carpet. We had missing carpet from the wonderful two dogs we have, so part of the job is done. I was doing this in sections (cutting a few pieces at a time), which took much longer. HOWEVER, I was able to easily dispose of the carpet & padding much easier (i.e. sneak it in the trash can). After my husband came home from work (I took the day off, because the exterminator man was coming for our yearly check-up), we moved the rest of the furniture into the guest bedroom and removed the carpet. This made the process go by sooooo much faster!
If you have dogs (or I would imagine kids), be prepared...the stains/smells you thought you removed...come back to bite you! Yuck - I've decided carpet is the root of all evil and just exists to trap stains & smells.
So anyway, after you roll up the carpet & pads, you have to remove the tack boards. If you purchase a tool such as this at Home Depot, it will make life so much easier. Unfortunately, we basically used a paint scraper. It's not a bad tool, it's just not made to bring up tacks. A note to the people who put in the carpet originally - you are jerks. You put nails way too close together and it is unnecessary and made it that much harder to tear up. Thank you.
Also check where you can dump carpet. Our trash company doesn't take carpet, because it's construction material. Plan to make the hike to a local landfill (costs less than $10) to dump the carpet, tack boards, & foam pad.
After you pulled up the carpet, you'll want to sweep up first (the tack board leaves a lot of pieces of wood lying around), then use a shop vac (if you have one). We used a vacuum, but I'm almost positive we shortened the life of the vacuum. Be very careful with the nails...you may end up having to get a tetanus shot afterwards. Also if you have stupid dogs like we do, be aware. They will eat anything left on the floor - staples (that held the carpet pad in), nails, bits of wood, etc. Again....I have stupid animals. Okay it was just Lucy. Gus just got in the way.
2. Fill in Wood Glue (3 hours - Wednesday Night)
The wood glue was really not that much of a problem. We grabbed one container of Elmer's Wood Filler Max & two tubes of Minwax Stain-able Wood Filler. In retrospect, I wish we had grabbed two containers of Elmer's- oh well live & learn! So we filled in all of the cracks and edges of the wood. We used that paint scraper to smooth over the filler. It doesn't have to be perfect, because you are going to sand it. It does make the filler last longer if you occasionally wipe off the scraper. We were generous in many of the areas, because we were told it shrinks. I'm not sure whether this was true or not, but better safe than sorry. We initially were going to fill in the small nail holes from the carpet tacks, but after about 30 minutes we said screw it (no pun intended). This takes about an hour to dry fully.
So then we sanded the floors with 120 grit sander. When sanding:
A) wear a mask there is a whole lot of dust that comes up!!!
B) If you have glasses and wear a mask...they WILL fog up.
C) Open a window and don't do this at 10pm or you'll annoy your neighbors.
D) Have fun! I don't know what it is, but sanding was really fun. It went by quick too!!! You'll want to sweep then vacuum after this!
If you have time, you could go ahead and start papering the floor. Because we were doing this after work, this was all we did that night. Well that and rip & crumple paper.
We filled two trash bags of crumbled paper, and that was ALMOST enough pieces to do the edges. Make sure you separate the edged pieces out first in a separate bag (hence the two bags). We absolutely ran out out of the other crumbled papers so, we ended up just ripping paper as we went. We actually didn't even need to crumple it after a while, because we crumpled it as we wrung it out in the glue bucket. After you do the edges, it doesn't matter if you separate them or not.
This was the longest part. We definitely didn't plan that one out. So papering..yikes. Papering is NOT hard, it's just sole crushing and takes forever. The few times it was just me papering, I turned on Netflix & had Dawson's Creek playing. Alex put the kibosh on that so we watched Archer (a favorite, but you need a 40 min show or movie...stopping to hit play every 20-23 minutes is a little long.
Anyway, so back to the real stuff. We did the edges first. That didn't take too long. Alex and I moved on different sides of the room. First task is to mix the glue. We used these red buckets from Home Depot & mixed 1 part Elmer's Glue (I had to get this at Staples, as that was the ONLY place that had gallons) with 3 parts water. We ended up using pretty much the entire gallon. We used a plastic measuring cup to measure out the water & glue...mainly so we could just trash it later on.
The easiest way to smooth out the paper is to smooth out an edge and then push the paper out towards you. If the edges end up bubbling, it's not the end of the world, if you are going to but in quarter-round molding (which I suggest you do).
The floor is very rough like this, but looks very cool. Don't worry about the different shades. The glue will just dry differently. We did 6 hours of floors Thursday night. At 11:45 decided we needed to stop since we had work the next day. We had about 2 1/2 hours left Friday evening. Note: This time frame is with TWO people doing it...with one...you're in for a much longer time. We have a fairly large master bedroom.
We let the floors dry over night and started about 9 AM with the stain Saturday morning.
4. Stain (45 minutes to apply; 48 hours to dry)
We learned a lot of lessons with the stain. First, if you apply with a heavy hand you will absolutely want to wait 48 hours. Lovely Crafty Home said 24 hours, the varnish said 72hrs...we found it was about 48. We used two quarts of Minwax's Jacobean Finish.
Lambskin Pad with woodblock, a cheap 3" chip brush, the finish, an extension pole, and a paint tray.
Apply the edges pushing out towards the center of the room. If you happen to have a heavy hand (no names mentioned), be sure to have a heavy hand when you switch to the extension pole (hint hint). The stain is pretty smelly. I think it's more smelly than the polyurethane.
We had a fan going in the bathroom, but that just seemed to push around dust that fell from the ceiling fan (Note: DUST THE CEILING FAN BEFORE YOU DO YOUR LAST VACUUM!). Again, the stain did not take long at all to do. We used broad strokes. I tried to warn the person who did the stain to swirl around the stain to make it all match...it didn't happen too well. The circles are a little hard to do, but be sure you at least blend everything together. Again, you'll be thankful later you did!
5. Varnish (10 minutes to apply, 45 minutes to dry...times 12 coats)
So once the stain dries you'll need to put a whole lot of layers of varnish on. We used the more expensive stuff, and needed to buy a second can. Yikes! I did get Free Braves tickets for spending over $100 at Home Depot this weekend...that was a win! So Yes, Varnish. This is easy again. We opened the windows (turned off the fan), and didn't have any problem with the smell.
The varnish went on easy and the brush goes on easily as well.
We used a sponge this time (found right next to the lambskin pad). We have 4 layers down and have a few more to go tonight. It dries in about 45 minutes, so the layers go pretty quickly. I'm not sure I'd sand the floors yet, but it's nice to be able to walk into the room again!
6. Molding - We haven't done this yet, but we did buy quarter-round molding from Home Depot and will be painting that. I'll have pictures later.
I absolutely love the floors and thing they are really really neat!Everyone who sees them loves them! The edges did bubble a bit , but I'm not going to concern myself too much with that. We'll smooth it over with the molding. We did use 3 gallons of polyurethane though...I'm not sure if it's just because it's a large room or we wanted to be extra careful.