Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Clock Is Ticking

As it turned out, I did use the orbital sander to knock down the bubbly, lappy coat of rolled-on acrylic finish on my stairhall faux tile floor.

After having at it with the Bosch half-sheet orbital sander

Hilarious irony:  In the process the inevitable nubbins and high ribbons of paint got levelled down and eh voilà!  again is revealed the yellow-buff color under the brown.  Which I spent three days on my knees a week and a half ago concealing.

Yellow streaks and flecks after sanding

This time I wasn't so dedicated with the touch-up brush.  My sanity can take only so much.  Dotted over the really bad places and let the rest go.  The floor almost never gets direct sunlight, and what wattage bulb do I have in my ceiling pendant?  60, maybe?  All right, then.

Using the roller the other day pretty well cleaned me out of Polycrilic finish.  Got one complete coat out of the can on Wednesday, brushing it on with the 2" sponge brush, but you could still see the bubbles and uneveness of the rolled coat.

Just after midnight, Thursday the 31st

Another coat was mandatory, but only a few drips remained in the can.  Sailed into Home Depot just before closing Thursday night and picked me up a second can, nervously venting to the paint guy the whole time.. Nice having him tell me in the nicest possible way that the finish is likely to start peeling in a couple of years . .  .  But so does polyurethane.  (Long live shellac!)

So!  Late Friday night I get to it.  I get to it, I brush on another coat, and guess what?  Guess, guess!  Tell me, what did I notice after I'd used up the first can and gotten a few rows into the second one?

 That's right, I was so busy running my mouth Thursday night at HD that I neglected to check the can I bought to see what gloss it was.  I didn't even think of checking what gloss it was.  So the area at the foot of the stairs was satin, and the expanding area in front of the doorway was semi-gloss.

Oh, yeah.

Nothing I could do.  I couldn't take the stuff back. My paint brush had been in the can.  Sticking the semigloss on the shelf and buying another can of satin sheen wasn't an option--I can't be wasting money on supplies I don't use, just to cater to my perfectionist urges.  The whole thing was going to be semigloss instead of satin and I was just going to have to like it.

Coat No. 5 (dual sheens), early Saturday morning
  Late this evening I brushed on the all-semigloss coat.  The one-and-only, by golly.  This makes what?  six coats?  That.  Is.  Enough.

Last coat of acrylic, this evening.  The unevenness doesn't come up in the photo
 Enough, even though I can already tell the application and shine are not uniform.  Well, I'm sorry, but if it's my technique that's at fault, laying down a seventh coat isn't going to mend matters, especially after another sanding.  Try as I might, I wouldn't be able to apply it any differently.   What's done is done.

(Thinking again how much I like how shellac goes on . . . )

But I resolved before I started this phase of the floor project that I'd give the finish at least a week to cure before I took down the baby gates and allowed the dog (and me in street shoes) onto the surface.  All right, then.   The clock is officially ticking.   I'll continue to tiptoe over it till then.  I've got enough to do with the quarterround in the living room, anyway.

Though prior to removing the barriers I may apply a coat or two of clear floor wax to even things out.  Historically, didn't they wax those Victorian tile floors to give them some shine?  All right, then.