Friday, March 14, 2014

Painting Wood Floors

So its spring break here, a much needed week off for me....trying to catch up with my shop and work stuff. Since this week has been so quite, I got to thinking about all the chaos of my job. It always seems like things should go smoothly....I know what needs to be done, my designers have their ducks it a row, the client is excited, what can go wrong....but somehow, something always happens, and you gotta just roll with the punches. 
I'm usually working with a deadline, and a line of contractors. Which means if the first guy screws up...we are all behind. Normally I'm the last person on a project, so I either deal with the incredibly frustrated client who's had it up to here, and really wants the whole project to be over...or the client that is so relived that I'm there, and that there's  a light at the end of the tunnel
Either way, I get to do the fun part! 

Lots of strange things have happened at job sites..believe me, I could write a whole book on the craziness. 
I had one client, who when I showed up, her whole house, and I mean the WHOLE house, was decorated for Christmas. The phone ringer was "jingle bells", the dogs name was Prancer, there were bout 2,000 Santa figurines, and the apple green laundry room had red washer and dryers. 
It was Christmas land.
 At first it was a bit creepy, painting next to a life size Santa, but after a couple days there, you really felt the holiday spirit, even in July :)    
As for the worst actual issue at a job site, had to be this super cute floor I'm about to show you. 
I was about 7 1/2 months pregnant, and yes, I worked all the way up to the day I gave birth. One of my designers asked me to paint a wood floor, at a model home. The wood floor, was in an upstairs loft area, which besides the bathroom, was the only thing up there. It was January, and pretty chilly for Texas weather. The model had been running behind already, and the heat wasn't quite on when we got stared in the house. We finally got it turned on, the day I showed up to do the base coat on the freshly laid raw wood floor. We fiddled with the heat but it never actually got warm. What we didn't know at the time, was that when installed the TWO units thermostats were wired wrong, and the down stairs thermostat was actually working the upstairs heater. It was never turned off, just figuring it wasn't working quite yet. The next morning when someone showed up, it was about 110 degrees upstairs. The heat just kept running over night, never registering downstairs that it was getting any warmer. Now I'm sure I don't need to tell you that wet, freshly painted wood, and super high heat do not mix. It was a complete disaster. With windows opened it took over 4 hours to cool the room down, and the floor had already buckled at every seam. Since the house already had a "shabby chic" feel, (and it would have been super expensive to replace) we left it. 
I had intended on snapping lines across the whole floor, to make the diamond pattern we were going for. With the very warped surface, there was no way this was going to happen. I ended up on my hands and knees, 7 months pregnant, hand measuring each diamond. 
Which led to an umbilical hernia half way though.....Ugg, painful!
But it all came out beautifully in the end. 

So remember, next time, your attempting a job on your own, things will NEVER go as planned, it doesn't for us professionals either, but you gotta roll with the punches, and make it work.
I will tell you when I went back to get pictures of the completed room, it was alot more rewarding knowing all the chaos that went into it!

So here is where the floor started, unfinished tongue and grove oak flooring. 

Here is the base coat of white, pre-disaster.

The base coat was applied with a flat pad applicator, with a pole extension attached. 
I did two coats of the white with this. No primer is needed with this paint. 

Next, starting at the top of the stairs (since that is the first spot you see), I marked the lines for the diamonds across the floor. Then I taped certain diamonds, to be painted with one of three colors, over the white base.
If you were only doing two colors, you could tape the whole floor off then paint the darker color, on top of your lighter base. The more colors you add in, the trickier it will be.

For the floor paint, I used Porch & Floor Enamel paint from Sherwin Williams.

You can see the buckling in the floor pretty good here. 
This is just the first coat of color on the diamonds.I just used a small roller to apply each color.

After two base coats of white, two coats of color in the diamonds, and a watered down white wash over the colored diamonds, finally a good looking floor.
No sealer is needed with this paint. 

 So there it is, after all that hard work, the ladies at Dy Lynne Decor, pulled it all together and made this space look great...buckled floor and all!!

1 comment :

  1. This looks so cool! I would have never known that all that drama happened! I bet the end result was rewarding!