Well, we had a small window before the trim carpenter and cabinet builder will be on-site, and I REALLY wanted that second coat on the hallway and bathroom areas before they got started. Me being the patient guy I am, I rounded up my son, belt sander, and bucket of primer and headed out! :)
Now that the entire upstairs had received the full treatment: sanded, filled, primered, the floor was really beginning to take shape. Our builder even came out to take a look and was very surprised at the results! His skepticism was fading fast! Granted, we weren't quite ready to tell all of our friends what we were up to, but it was becoming apparent that this little project was taking on a life of its own and we couldn't be more excited.
...As a Baby's Behind
Since we finished up so late with the first two rooms, we gave it a couple days for the primer coat to set and air out. I came back that weekend and brought my father-in-law's belt sander to help smooth out anything we may have missed before. As it turned out, that was a good thing, especially since we left the windows open and the constant Oklahoma wind blew a thin layer of dust all over everything...some of it sticking to my first coat of primer as it dried :(
Introducing, The 'Edger'
So far we've worn out our arms, and broken in our little 'mouse' sander, but in order to get the results we wanted, we've gotta get hardcore. This brings us to our edger, rented from Home Depot. This beast had a 7" circular pad and weighed about 40 pounds. And let me tell you, anything our other prior sanding techniques left behind were QUICKLY smoothed out with this fella!
I took the day off from work, getting to the house around 9:00 after dropping the kids off at school. I spent the next few hours blowing through plywood seams, nail holes, even sanding out nail heads!! This guy did it all, as well as wore the CRAP out of my arms and hamstrings from trying to keep it from taking off on me. But by the end of the day, let me tell you that floor was looking GOOD!! It was exactly what we needed and we couldn't have achieved our results without it.
Starting with my son's room, we've lightly sanded the seams and nail holes and did our best to fill in the larger gaps with a store-bought wood filler. To get an idea of what we're up against, we threw down a quick coat of primer and gave it a day or so to dry.
As the primer went down, we could tell that although it was covering really well, it wasn't going to give us the results we needed. The seams were still plainly visible, we had missed a lot of nail heads, and the texture just wasn't good enough. Leaving the floor like this would have been an absolute disaster.
We had to change our strategy and come up with a new game plan.
So the decision has been made...paint the floor. Now what?
My wife and I go back to the internet to try to figure out exactly what this job is going to take. Hind-sight would have told us to use cabinet-grade plywood on the floor, since we were going to be painting it, but we didn't know we were going to tackle this project until well into our house's construction. Our builder insisted that no matter how much we painted and primed, we weren't going to be able to cover up the seams and imperfections that come with standard grade OSB plywood. But we already committed to the cause, so let's make the best of it!
You're going to paint what?!
That's what we heard quite often when telling people about our goal of painting the plywood subfloor of our new house, often followed by looks of confusion, concern, and disbelief.
My wife and I are building a new house, with it comes about 1000 square feet of upstairs flooring. We have dogs and cats, and she is DETERMINED not to have any carpet upstairs. With buying hardwood for the whole second story, or even tiling, extremely cost-prohibitive, we had to resort to a creative alternative. We did a lot of research and decided that painted plywood flooring would have to be the way to go.
Part 1 - The Early Stages of Our Boat Deck
Who doesn't want a room that looks like the deck of a pirate ship, right? Shoot, I'm not even 13 years old and I wouldn't mind having one myself...my son couldn't agree more, and we were anxious to get started on his floor. Given the nature of a 'weathered deck', we were allowed to be a little more lenient on the sanding and overall 'perfection' required of some of the other floors. Follow this series to see how we created an amazing looking boat deck for Mason's floor!
Read along as we update all of our new projects and show step-by-step how we worked together as a family to get it done!
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