Pantry floor home stretch, folks.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Yeah so, the floor was a federal disaster area when I peered in on it this morning.  Jaw drop and everything.  I thought I had tried to be all neat and tidy, scraping up as much sawdust grout goo as I could.

mess of sawdust grout in pallet floor
Medium bad, if you will
Hm.  Yep.  I was disappointed and a smidge irritated with myself.  I thought I had ruined the floor.  Ensue kicking of self.  The worst were the darker wood pieces and other favorites.  My already sad little heart sank.

more mess of sawdust grout
OH my gosh, the worst
Looks awful, huh?  Aw man, I didn't know what to do, especially after running my hand over it.  It was a train wreck of bumpy stuck on crunchy sawdust/poly bleech.

close up of sawdust grout
Best area of the worst
After pacing about the house, I decided to run errands and think about it.

Did I think about it while I was out?  Nope.  My brain is atypically distracted today.  Our lives have been brutally turned upside down and inside out, so I guess it's kinda excusable.

Upon returning home, I rifled around a tool bin that I keep handily nearby, only to get frustrated at what a zoo it is.  Why didn't I have "organize all your tools" on my to-do list?  I dunno.  On the next list it goes.

tools to clean up sawdust grout mess

I came up with my 7-in-one painter's tool, a plastic putty knife, and some sanding blocks.

Tried the plastic putty knife first, thinking it would do the least damage to the wood.  Did nothing.  Ok.  Sanding block?  Nope, nada, useless.  All righty, onto hefty 7-in-1.  Yikes, close my eyes.....It was the right tool.  After a bit of test scraping and scratching I realized, oh.  Hand scraping the whole entire floor.  Well, it least it's small.

So that's what I did.  I hand scraped the whole nine yards, cursing myself all the while.  On the plus side, it gave me the opportunity to bang in any errant brad heads that were sticking up, saving Mike's feet from being ripped apart as he's a barefoot kind of guy.  Somehow magically I was tidier towards the last pieces than the beginning which was confusing.  Usually I'm the opposite -- messier at the end of a project.  Guess it's opposite life for a while.

I'd show pre- and post-scraping photos but it was hard to tell the difference when I looked at them.  Heh, yeah.  Great, right?  But, the scraping was actually an improvement plus it allowed me to level out some of the sawdust grout.  I'll tell ya though, do not use planer "dust."  It was awful today -- it kept ripping out of the crevices and it looks like ground up munched dried maize.

After a few hours, I decided I had to stop.  I could have scraped forever it felt like and was just hoping and wishing and shaking my head, trusting that the polyurethane would now do triple duty by erasing the mess.

Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum, oh and a little more vacuuming.

Time to poly.  I opted not to exchange the poly for another type as in areas where some had puddled, it looked promising.

I was nervous.  Ho boy, nervous.  What if the poly doesn't take care of the messy scraping yuck?  Aw jeez, double over.  But, I had to jump in and do it.  I had to find out one way or another.

preparing to seal pallet wood floor

Oh my gosh, what a relief.....the poly was hiding the scrape-y scrape-ies and the mess.  Holy bejeebus, oh my gosh.  I almost passed out from that relief.  Or the fumes, not sure which.  Relief.  Definitely relief.  It was then that I was finally seeing all the hard work blossom.

beginning of sealing

I had gotten the right tool (whew) for the poly, which I applied by hand so as to get into all the cracks and crevices, all the multitudes of different levels.  Pat on the back for myself, thank you.  Sure, I cheaped out and didn't get one with a handle attachment, but it turns out crawling around with this paint pad sans handle was the best way to do it.  For me anyway.

As I kept moving along, the trials and tribulations and struggles and stress over this floor melted away into that smelly polyurethane.  It was coming to life and I was feeling better about it.  Borderline excited, even.  Hesitant though as it still has to dry, but hopeful.

first coat seal on pallet wood floor

Here it is with one thin coat next to that Lemon Curd paint color.  How I envisioned it.  Aw, whew.  Hallelujah.

This coat will dry and then I'll evaluate how many more I should do, or rather, how many more I can squeeze in before Monday.

I was going to make Mike his most favorite favorite favorite peach pie after I was done but I uh, trapped the flour in the pantry.  Rats.  Duh.  I'd share a winner recipe but it doesn't appear to be on the site I thought it came from.  I'll see if I can find it.  (Update:  found it.  Patty's Food.  Yay Google image search.)

I'll do a big reveal, as the kids say, with a nice summarizing post about this multi-month-long project when it's all wrapped up.


  1. This floor is SO wicked cool. Like a patchwork quilt made of wood. Love it.

  2. Thanks! Glad you like it. Looking forward to getting it done and sharing!


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