I hinted to my family in an email that I would have something fantastic to show on the blog by the end of the week. Of course, that was on Monday when everything was going according to plan and it seemed like I'd have the entire thing wrapped up by the weekend.
I really should know better.
The big project was sanding and refinishing the floor in the laundry room/closet. Here it was before I started doing anything:
The area on the left had never been finished at all. I think that there was probably a rug there (that wall wasn't there originally - we added it - so the unfinished area was centered in the old room), and the previous owners had just painted around the rug's perimeter. The brown area on the right was painted. The unfinished area was a snap to sand. The entire thing took a couple of hours with a handheld belt sander. The first 8-10 inches of the painted part wasn't much more difficult; it was painted directly on the floor. But the last two feet on the right hand side have been a battle hard fought. Somebody actually did their prep work 80+ years ago with some kind of indestructible oil-based primer. Here it is now:
I've used CitriStrip, mineral spirits, rubbing alcohol, pure acetone, and a heck of a lot of elbow grease to get it to this point. After all those chemicals I was afraid to use the heat gun for fear of setting the house ablaze. But the good news is that the paint is gone (in areas that will be visible - I haven't been able to get really close to the wall, but baseboard will cover that), so it should just be a matter of doing a light sanding.
This picture does not do justice to how gorgeous this wood is now that it has been sanded. To quote Wayne White, it's so beautiful it hurts my feelings.