Monday, January 28, 2013

Disaster, Tragedy, and Woe

Well, more or less.

First a photo of what makes it a tragedy.

. . . Well, good grief, looks like I neglected to take a picture of how my 1st floor hallway floor looked once all the painting and touchup was done.  Guess I was too heartily sick of the effort to  think of it.  Suffice it to say that by the afternoon of the 21st I finished getting the second coat of the brown color (Lowe's Porch & Floor Latex Satin, tinted to match Pratt & Lambert's "Brandywine" tone) onto the 2x6 fake tile shapes on the floor of my 1st floor stairhall. The yellow/buff attempt was covered, and the too-bright "Hot Pepper" tone on the 6x6s was supplanted by the more-appropriate "Barn Red."

It looked pretty good.  It looked even better that night when I peeled off the striping tape and revealed the "Slate Gray" ersatz joints.

(Got a cute squeeze ball out of it.)

Only thing is, in some very obvious places the brown didn't wholly cover the yellow. In fact, the yellow had seeped under the tape in several places, so I couldn't expect the brown to cover it.  To be frank, the red-orange and the blue had seeped here and there too, despite my best efforts to burnish the masking tape down, but they weren't so glaringly noticeable as the yellow.  The daylight of  Tuesday morning revealed that the yellow was showing a lot more than I'd thought.  The brown "tiles" had a nice build up in comparison to the "joints" which gave a nice, realistic effect.  But you could often see the yellow under the brown along the edge when the light hit it the right way, especially towards the front room end where there were two coats of the lighter color.

Thus ensued three, yea, four gruelling days of creeping along on my hands and knees with gray paint on a fine detail brush trying to cover all that yellow, trying to get a hair or two of the brush just to catch that thin but maddeningly visible edge peeking out along my nice gray joint, repeatedly thinking I'd got it all and what I still saw was just highlights and shine, and repeatedly having to go back and try again once the sunlight or the illumination from the ceiling fixture fell upon it.  In all, picking up spilled salt with one's eyelashes would have been preferable.

 By Friday the 25th the yellow wasn't completely covered, but the effect was good enough considering normal lighting conditions.  So I began applying my clear sealer topcoat.  Since I was using floor paint, you'd think four coats total over primer would be enough to stand up to normal use.  But I've used fhe same product in the basement, and after a year or two it does begin to wear.  I've put too much work into this paint job not to give it some protection.  Due to its non-yellowing properties (I don't want my blue squares turning green) and going on the advice of the paint counter guy at Home Depot and following the example of Jayne over at The Kelly House, I went with the Minwax Polycrylic finish.  I wanted a bit of texture to it; maybe I should say, a bit more texture added to what I'd already rolled and stippled on, so that night I applied the first coat using a four-inch long, 1/8" nap mini-roller.

Meh.  Didn't work.  The roller didn't hold enough of the liquid so it dried too fast.  Rolling it back and forth left visible tracks and they didn't level out.  Carp. 

So on Saturday after hand-scuffing it with 220-grit sandpaper,  I said, "Oh, all right," and used a brush, like Jayne did.  A good-quality, synthetic one, like the can recommended.  Focussed on getting the stuff down and not overworking it.

Well, the mini-roller tracks were no longer obvious, but I'd missed several places.  "Holidays," real painters call them.  So I went online to see what the forums said about rectifying holidays in a Minwax Polycrylic finish.

Oh, crumb.  Carpity carp.  Found a site that addressed the problem, but it was referring to furniture finishing.  All the forums were uniform in declaring that Minwax Polycrylic is not recommended for floors.  Including the Minwax website.  And the back of the Polycrilic can.  But what are we supposed to do if we don't want our painted finishes to turn yellow?  There's really nothing else out there that'll dry clear.  So I guess we're stuck.

Maneuvered over to a YouTube video where somebody had done a tromp d'oeil painted wood floor and coated it over with six (count 'em, six!) coats of clear acrylic.  And another one where a professional floor finisher was using the product to redo a wood floor.  He was using a paint roller on a pole.  It appeared that he was getting good, even coverage without premature drying or lap marks.  Hey, it might be a good idea for the next coat.  And it would have to be a whole next coat, because not only did I have holidays, I had brush marks as well.

So on Sunday I put my roller and pole together and went to work.  Aaaaggghhhh!!!!  Lacymosa, dies illa!!  It left lap marks.  Baaaaaaad ones.  They showed up white even after the finish had dried.  And even though I tried to be careful and not push it, the nap on the roller left bubbles all over my beautiful painted floor!

Lord, don't let me cuss.   Though I really, really want to.  I really, really, really want--!!

I don't know.  It looks so bad.  All that work, to come to this.  I don't see being able to hand sand that out.  I'm considering using the orbital sander.  Which might rip up the whole paint job, even with 220-grit paper on it.  Whatever happens, it'll need another coat of the Polycrilic afterwards.  This time I think I'll do what I should have done in the first place:  Lay the finish on with a sponge brush and apply it to the "tiles" individually.  And do it very, very, very gently.

Though gentle is not at all how I'm feeling right now.  Aaaaaaagggggghhhhhh!!!!  Disaster!  Tragedy!  Woe!!!!!


Sharon @ Laurelhurst Craftsman said...

I hope you're feeling better. I know it probably won't help, but it looks good in the pictures.

Blue Shoe Farm said...

This floor is g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s.