Floorelegance

While I’ve been in Colorado, I’ve anxiously awaited news of progress TBM is making on the floors. His plan of action this week is to complete one room and make certain when I return that I like the color before he continues. He’s starting with the library, mostly because it’s easy to isolate, but also because two weeks ago I moved the books, bookcases, bric-a-brac, and all but two pieces of furniture into another room in preparation for staining. It was the least I could do, literally, with a few hours I had before work one day. Well, methodical man that he is, TBM decided to HAND SAND the damn floor before cleaning and laying down stain. His words: “I thought I needed to be exacting in trying to get the wood to look new.” So he spent two and a half days carefully sanding, then cleaned the floor with TSP. Only late yesterday did he actually start staining and only today did he send visual evidence: Image You might not think this looks special, but I was moved to tears when I saw it. Yes, it’s just a brown stained floor, but it’s not yellowish or orangey or red, and IT’S NOT PAINT!!! There absolutely is a time and a place for painted floors, but our home is neither (sometime after I return and have access to a “before” picture to share, you’ll see what I mean). Here’s a little technical info that TBM shared via e-mail about the process: “I brushed the stain on by hand and because the wood soaked it up pretty quickly I had to wipe off almost as soon as I brushed it on so it didn’t become too dark. Some places are still drying so look a little darker in the photo. Different boards took up the stain differently, naturally, so there is some variation… I worked in fairly small chunks and after each section I used the roller to apply mineral spirits and then wiped up and it became lighter. As the spirits evaporate the color is a bit lighter still. Certainly with Waterlox it’ll be a touch different but probably not too much. I probably won’t put on any Waterlox for three days, just to make sure everything is dry. The floor also looks better live and I think we’re going to need more elegant furniture.” I love the part about furniture, because it comes from a guy who has been saying our 12 year old, faded Ikea sofa “is fine;” a guy who doesn’t notice when things are starting to look like Sanford and Son (that mess on the table was almost entirely his). Nice to know there’s a decor-minded man inside, confirmed by an email late this evening in which he said he’d done a little window shopping while walking the dog. He saw a pair of fuchsia lounge chairs for $4000 “with deep penetrating color that would look great with the floors.” It goes without saying that four grand for two chairs is not in our budget, so TBM suggested, “Maybe recovering the chairs in the bay window will do” (uglyolchairs with good bones, story for another time). He ended with the most lovely sentiment, to match the lovely floors he is creating: “Definitely makes one think about what will go on top of them.”

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