Destruction Before Reconstruction

in #diy5 months ago


I’m really good at breaking shit. And I like it, muahhahahaha.

My current home project is working on the junk/craft/storage room. I already took off the ugly ass laminate fake wood flooring a year ago and now I’m basically doing over all the surfaces.


Mind the gap!

I started from the floor, painstakingly scraping between every floorboard to get off all the old paint, dirt, and possible filling. Every time I vacuum here some pieces, but not all, come out and it always looks dirty and doesn’t feel nice. It took me a few evenings to clean out the cracks in a 12 square metre floor.

Gaps between wood planks in old houses is very normal because the wood probably had ~15% moisture when installed and with time it’s dried to ~5%, thus shrinking. The only proper way to get rid of the cracks is to take off every single board, put them back in tightly and add enough planks to fill the hole left on one side of the room. At this time I’m not going to do that because it would be a pain in the ass, especially with how close the drywall has been laid on top of the original floor.


I will be repainting the floor, which I could tecnically just do right over the old paint, but I want smoother results. This is the original flooring from the 50’s and it’s painted with linseed oil paint which is extremely hard.

There are a few options on how to remove this paint, but not many good ones. Heat gun is out of the question because it would be a surefire (pun intented) way to burn the house down since there is dry wood shavings under the floor. Another not-so-great option is paint remover and I tried that on one spot but it doesn’t work great on linseed oil paint and it still required lots of scraping and then washing it off is a bitch, and it smells. Third option would be to rent a floor sander with a ton of extra grit papers, having to emptly and seal the whole room and would still probably take quite a few days I’m sure. Option number four, the best option in my opinion, would be a Metabo power tool paint stripper thingy, which is on my list of things I want, but I don’t have it yet because it cost moneys.


The final option, the one I chose; a paint scraper and good ol’ elbow grease.

Takes forever and it’s very hard but the end results are pretty darn good. Linseed oil paint is superior, and you really learn that when trying to take it off when it’s fully cured. It doesn’t come off in strips like all the modern latex paints, but it chips into dust when violently scraping. I got almost halfway through the removal process when I saw a tip that you can brush on a layer of raw linseed oil first and that will bind at least some of the dust, it was such a lifesaver! The tip was meant for when you use heat but it worked wonders on here too.


I though the floors were originally this green but when I started scraping, the first layer revealed itself to have been dark earthy red, soaked deep into the wood. That’s how linseed oil paint works, the first layer of oil and pigment you paint on raw wood will soak in so that it looks more like a stain, not paint. The only way to get that off is by sanding the wood, but that’s only necessary if you want the wood to show and won’t be painting over it.


I worked about 2-3 hours every evening and it took me a week to get off all the paint. I am super sore and my knees are nicely bruised, but it’s worth it.


Because I’m mentally ill, I continued on working with tools that are way too small for a project this big, and ended up sanding the floor with my tiny little battery operated sander. I went over the whole floor with 60 grit paper, paying extra attention to the edges of the boards and any super uneven spots. On high traffic areas I went back in with 120 grit so there is less of a chance of getting splinters when I keep working here. When the pure wood revealed itself from underneith the paint, the temptation is so high to just keep sanding for forever to make it all even. But not here, not now, I will do that on one of the other rooms some day!

After some sanding it was time to leave the floor as is while I work on the ceiling and walls.


The ceiling is this ugly ass factory painted panel thingy that has no place in an old house. The only upside to this is that it’s quite easy to rip out. So down and out it goes, by-bye.


The panels were easy to take off but the boards they were stapled into, that’s another thing. It took me forever to get the huge screws out, having to move up and down the room with the ladder to get off the boards one by one. I had to leave couple of them up because I could no longer hold up the screwdriver. Alternatively, I could have left the boards but then I would have had to rip off a million staples from them.

What I’m going to replace the panels with is with a very traditional paper material. It’s kinda like thick craft paper or wallpaper, about 150cm wide and it’s nailed on the ceiling or walls damp and when it dries it goes tight and smooth. In Finnish it’s called pinkopahvi = tension cardboard, because of the way it’s installed. You can paint or wallpaper over it and it’s such a beautiful material with a sort of softness to it. If you look closely you can see the remnants of the old tension paper edges on the ceiling, and we do have paper ceilings in a couple other rooms so it’s more than fitting.

I have quite a bit of prep work to do before I can start installing the paper; last of the boards, taking out the old nails still left from the original papers and securing the electrical wiring and possible changes to those.


So here’s where I am with this room now and slowly as I take it apart, my vision for its future is forming. I honestly didn’t have a plan or colour scheme in mind when I started, I just waited for the room to reveal itself for me, and it has. But I’m not giving anything away yet, stay tuned!


Congratulations! You are doing a very long and important work, if he saw my friend who likes DIY very much, he would be immediately ready to come and help you!
I am looking forward to seeing the final result!
P.S.: Although it is very hard work, sand the whole floor, you will have a terrific result!

I prefer doind DIY alone, but I wouldn’t mind some help with the endless cleaning up and taking away the renovation trash 😅

Eh, but then you get to keep all the fun! (ahahaha)

paint stripper thingy,

One of the most legit of the strippers.

continued on working with tools that are way too small for a project this big

That's dedication and persistence right there, and I applaud people who show it. The results that come after will be more valuable.


Everyone should have pinkopahvi in their life...and that it'll be better. I've not heard of this material but now I have...well, I need some.

You're doing a really great job and it's so cool you're doing it yourself. I like that. #fearless

I'd like to write a whole comment about it but one word sums it up.


Now...I'm off to get me some pinkopahvi.

One indicator of being a professional is knowing the correct terms for technigues and right names for tools, hence I’m anything but 😂

I’d be interested to know what pinkopahvi is called in other parts of the world, I’m sure it’s not just a Nordic thing, or even European. It’s definitely a material of the past, but here it’s having a resurgence with people who appreciate old timber frame houses.

Oh yeah, and if you don't know it make it up...because most others probably don't know it either.

I don't think we have pinkopahvi here, I tried to look it up but couldn't seem to find it. Maybe it has lapsed into disuse or maybe it was never used here.

There is a reason the word PAIN in in paint...I know this after being a life long journeyman in the trade...
But it could just be you’re masochistic...

Hahaha that’s a good one, I’ve never heard that before! I think the actual painting part on any project is like a reward after all the hard prep work. Much respect for the people working in trades!

There is nothing as satisfying as uncovering old wood.

100%! And the scent is sooooo good!

It is so satisfying to do things like this personally, harder but the self-satisfaction is worth the effort. I'm looking forward to the big reveal of what you have planned.

Becca 🌷

Honestly, even if I had the money to hire someone to do this, I probably wouldn’t because I like doing things with my hands. I’d only hire someone to take away all the discarted layers 😅

The clean up is less exciting, I agree. I do it of course, but its just not fun.

Becca 🌷

You’re doing a great job.
Great work 😊

Thanks, I do think this will end up quite nice :)

Damn girl, that's a lot of work! Congrats on your efforts and determination tho!

A lot of work but it’s quite fun most of the time and as a visual person the end results will always be worth it!

Your approach of scraping off the old paint and cleaning the cracks is a meticulous but effective way to prepare the surface for repainting. The linseed oil paint is known for its durability and can be quite challenging to remove once fully cured, but it seems you've found a good technique with the linseed oil application to bind the dust.

I appreciate your detailed description of the process and the challenges you've encountered. Home improvement projects like this can be satisfying as you see the transformation unfold. Best of luck with the rest of your project, and I hope the final results meet your expectations!

In the end when I can admire the visually pleasing results and say ”yep I did this all myself”, it’s the greatest reward and makes all the blood, sweat and tears worth it.

Great job, I can't wait to see the outcome, I will stay tuned.

It’ll be quite a long time for the end results because things escaladed 😅