Well, it's been almost three weeks since the big move into my new home, and I am finally beginning to get settled in and-- dare I say it? --even a little bit unpacked. Now, because I've bought the house, the good news is that I can do whatever I want in terms of color and decoration. The bad news is that half my stuff is in limbo in various rooms and/or boxes while I finish visualizing and executing whatever I want on the walls and floors.
While I was initially trying to rush a lot of projects before my move-in date, eventually I had to settle on just one: finishing and painting the attic floor for what will eventually be my design studio. Look, I found a use for The Chronicle!
Which meant first pulling up the icky powder-blue rug. That's the easy part- once you find a loose corner and start pulling, the visceral satisfaction of freeing the carpet from the tackboards is akin to popping a handful of bubble wrap. Then, as suddenly as it started, the fun is over, and while the dogs snooze on the discarded carpet, you're left wrestling the foam cushioning from the staples, wrestling the staples from the flooring, and wrestling the tackboards from the tiniest of crevasses and corners.
The herculean task of filling and sanding all the imperfections in the wood came next. And this wood was a mess- my dad guessed it was pine, which is a very soft flooring wood. The patching and sanding easily took three days to finish. There were some gaping cracks that I first had to fill with nylon rope or folded up newspaper, and two metal plates covering major damage that had to be replaced. And enough wood putty to fill a bathtub.
Of course, the joke's still on me because after the first layer of primer, the notches, scrapes, and divots that I missed became even more glaring and another round of patching, sanding, and meticulously wiping up dust with a wet cloth commenced.
By the second layer of primer, however, the floor was starting to look a little classier. I finished it off with a third and final coat of primer before moving on to color. Each layer of primer was a low-VOC all-purpose floor and deck primer, applied about 24 hours apart. I was, nevertheless, using a face mask and kept both attic windows open through the whole process.
I followed up with three layers of Sherwin-Williams floor paint in a white named 'marshmallow,' with just the tiniest hint of pink. No particular reason I went there; they were just having a sale.
With the primer and basecoat applied and cured, it was time to let my anal-retentive Scorpio Scandinavian personality shine: I plotted out and then applied what felt like miles* of painter's tape to prepare for applying the multi-colored stripes to the floor.
*Actually, I went through about 9 rolls of 60 yards each, which totals 540 yards, or 1,620 feet, or just under 1/3 of a mile.
I chose my palette with the assistance of ColorCombos.com
, a great website to check out if you like pretty colors and aren't particularly adept at matching new and novel combinations. Although my palette initially included a burnt orange and a pale, creamy yellow, I whittled down down four colors: two shades of turquoise, a slate grey, and a vibrant, classic car red. Ultimately I think choosing four colors instead of six was not only better for my sanity, but ultimately far less hectic and busy in what is already a small space with a pitched ceiling contributing to the 'coziness' factor.
My genius invention: four mini paint trays taped to a floor board. Eat your heart out, MacGuyver.
Waiting just-barely-patiently for the third coat of red to dry.
The colors only required two coats each, except, surprisingly, the red, which required a third. The third coat of red was applied exactly 36 hours before move-in, after about 12 straight hours of packing at my old apartment. Crunch time!
The tape was pulled up exactly 12 hours before move-in. Disappointingly, some of the 'Marshmallow' base coat, primer and all, came up with it. Also disappointing to me was the fact that most of the lines were a little blurred, and some were downright messy. This was, of course, due to the fact that it was old, damaged wood, and the painter's tape, no matter how meticulously applied, simply couldn't get into every groove and crevice in the old wood.
After thinking about it for a while, though, I decided I liked it. So I spent literally dozens of hours working on this floor and it didn't come out exactly as I'd hoped. Big deal! It's still painfully evident to anyone who looks at this floor that it was a labor of love. I think the messy stripes and the bald patches give it a 'shabby chic' character!
Ugh. Did I really just type that? I think I did. Anyway, forget it. Here are the photos of the finished floor! Taken literally as the movers were unpacking the truck out front.
There you have it! Now my lovely floor is partially covered by all sorts of furniture and a cute little Ikea rug, but the beauty still pokes out in plenty of areas! I still need to paint the staircase, which my dad wisely advised me against doing until foot traffic could be stalled for a while. Good advice, dad!
While the studio still has plenty of work to be done (I need storage for all my fabric, and pronto!), I'm happy to say I am able to work up there for now, having just sewn my first set of curtains! Finally, I can walk around my house naked! And I'm off to do just that. Thanks for reading!