Thursday, December 27, 2007

Linoleum Removal: Chemistry 101

Remember the first project I posted on the blog about the linoleum removal? I kinda lied when I gave the post a title of 'One Project Down'. Instead, it should have read, 'One Project Started'. As it turns out, pulling up the old linoleum was cake, but pity the backing and glue remained on the floor. I kept staring att it wondering how I was going to get in off of the floor without damaging the hardwood floors. Hmmm, gasoline perhaps? No, then maybe creosote?

Project in action:

I ended up mixing up a mean batch of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen, H2O and using brute force (wax on, wax off -- the 80s were useful for something). Basically, I smeared the area with water, then I'd wait. I'd wet it again, then wait. Then, I'd start scraping with the plastic scraper. The 2 dollar plastic scraper was perfect, because it doesn't damage the wood. With the scraper, I'd get all the paper off and the only thing remaining was the big brown blobs of adhesive. Turns out that if the adhesive was left wet long enough, it became water soluble and would wash off of the floor. All in all it took about 2-3 hours to complete the entire task.

Finished product:

That's much better. I'm kind of happy the linoleum was there in the first place, since the floor is in excellent condition as it was protected. I finished the job off with a highly potent concoction of Murphy's Oil Soap and -- yes, more H2O.

Now the floor is nearly ready for the next step: complete sanding and refinishing. And with that, this bungalow floor will be ready for another 100 years of service.


Mike said...

The gasoline approach would have made a better story for the blog.

Milliscent Morgan said...
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