Tag : sanding

Dismantling the Faux-erplace

It was the wackiest thing in the house, bar-none, and now it’s just a Kilz-swipe away from complete extinction. In a sense, I feel bad about destroying such a one-of-a-kind design element. In another sense, not so much. Before vs. after:

The cool thing is that if I reversed the order of the photos, it’d still look like I’d done something.

Yeah, all I did was knock the “mantle” part off of it. But still. Took at *least* 20 minutes. Prior to destruction, I showed this feature to a guest.

Her: They just painted the wall like a fireplace.

Me: Yeah.

Her: But it’s just a cold air return.

Me: Yeah.

Her: So what were they…?

Me: Yeah.

Her: Oh.

Me: Yeah.

In a few days, Kilz ftw.

Other than that, yesterday was another day of sanding and shop-vac’ing. You can’t tell me this doesn’t look like fun:

Unless you want to, then you can.

Here’s a run-down of sanding:

Drum Sander: 2.5 days.

Edge Sander: 1.5 days.

Orbital + Finish Sander: 2 half-days.

Clean-up with Orbital Sander: 2 hours this morning.

Doesn’t actually look that arduous when it’s typed out like that. OTOH, I blew my nose yesterday afternoon and whatever it was that came out was medium-brown.


Dark Day of the Edge Sander

The good news is that I’m now completely done sanding my floors I still have a lot more sanding to do.

In the meantime, here are ten infuriating things about the edge sanding experience:

  1. I don’t think that thing has more than a square inch of actual sandaper-meets-floor surface on it.
  2. The pig tail cord came out constantly.
  3. Running that thing within the confines of a 2′ x 3′ coat closet left my ears ringing.
  4. This position for a day (plus a few hours):
  5. The dust-catch bag kept falling off (which resulted in the thing shooting dust straight into my face).
  6. Sometimes it doesn’t want to go in the direction you’re pushing it.
  7. Left some really nice circular divots in the hallway.
  8. The inflating dust-catch bag was always in the way.
  9. Sometimes it catches something and goes shooting off in a given direction, banging your knuckles against a wall.
  10. When you’re done, it doesn’t look like you accomplished all that much.

Yesterday was probably my least favorite day I’ve had since I quit Toshiba. Granted, the competition for that designation has been less than stiff (yes, edge sanding my floors was less fun than rafting down the Tuolumne, hiking in Acadia, and fishing in Minnesota — shocking), but still. I mean, it’s been 11 months. Worst activity in 11 months!

I was thinking on Thursday that, no matter what I did Friday, I wasn’t going to do more sanding. And then I got to the Home Despot on Friday and figured that since I was there (at the location with the tool rental), I might as well just rent the edger and finish up the rooms. How hard could it be? Yeah.


Rental Edge Sander from Home DepotParked at the corner of Sanded and Unsanded.

My guess is that Home Depot’s edge sanders might not be the best specimens, but it’s what I had available. And now I still have to clean everything up with my orbital sander anyway. It won’t surprise me to find out that the orbital sander would have been better than the edge sander in the first place (at any rate, I know all 3.1415*(2.5^2) of surface area do work on my orbital). Then I probably have to hand-sand the deepest corners. It’ll be arduous. It’ll be back-breaking. It’ll be bloody (unless I wear gloves).

C’est la guerre.


800 Square Feet and a Cloud of Dust

I’m done with the drum sander. Could take it back this afternoon, but I paid for it through tomorrow morning at 10:46, so doggone it, I’m keeping it until tomorrow morning at 10:46. Plus I’m lazy and my back is sore.

I think it’s more sore from manhandling the washing machine by myself than from the sanding. I’ll do an A/B test next chance I get.

Before and after:

A pet stain shaped like the Virgin Mary.

You can still see some darker areas if you know to look there, but I think if you don’t know, you won’t notice. You’ll just think the wood has character. And imho, now that the crappy hunny-colored stain is gone, the wood is kind of pretty. It has some actual character (not just “character”) and some cool reddish color to it in places. I mean, yeah, I’m just going to cover it back up with a different shade of stain than before, but it’s sort of nice to know that the wood was decent-looking to start with.

A couple dust photos:

I’d say it looks like a “golden shower”, but I think that might imply something else.

If it weren’t for the dust, you might not even know an angel was hovering outside.

Bullet points with relevant (?) thoughts:

  • I’d been told to expect the dust storm to end all dust storms. It wasn’t that bad.
  • For instance, sanding drywall mud in a basement home theater is much, much worse.
  • I used a respirator — the kind for painting. It helped keep sawdust out of my nose and mouth.
  • The dust never spontaneously combusted. Sadly.
  • All the DIY websites make floor sanding sound difficult. As mentioned, all the DIY websites are stupid.
  • Actually the websites are fine, it’s the people posting on them that are holding down the bottom of the bell curve.
  • I used three different papers: 36 grit (x2), 60 grit (x3), and 100 grit (x2). The 60 grit created the most dust.
  • In order to get those urine stains “out”, I probably took off around a quarter-inch of wood.
  • The house no longer smells like cat urine and tile glue. It now smells like sawdust.


It looks like they’re having a lovers’ quarrel. The shop vac is the guy and he’s rolling his eyes, trying to think of somewhere he can go so he doesn’t have to deal with this crap. (OTOH, for a short fat guy, he did pretty well for himself.)

It looks like I’ve wallpapered my kitchen walls with ancient papyri.

Gonna hold off till Monday before getting the edger to finish the job. I’m also gonna try to fade out those stains a little more by bathing them in peroxide until I’m ready to start staining. I hear it might work. Tomorrow? Maybe I’ll find me a clothes dryer or something. Could probably stand to take all my doors down and vents off. Should also finally get rid of the sink cabinet in the kitchen. Plus there’s glue left to chisel and tiles left to scrape. And there are some gaps in the floor that need filling. Haven’t started the bathroom yet at all. Just got a new universal transponder I should install on the garage door opener. Need two new external doors and a new storm door, that could keep me busy. Have to replace all the light switches, not to mention map the circuits on the electrical panel. Gutters ought to be cleaned out. Kitchen floor needs to be pulled up. Still have to mud/spackle in the kitchen wall gouges.

Or maybe just play RDR all day. Mal sehen.