Floor Enigma

Before Stripping After Stripping I’m working on refinishing the floor in what will be my master bedroom once the floor is refinished. And other sundry stuff taken care of as well. Anyway, the refinishing was going fine until I hit this strange spot where the stripper refuses to work. It won’t soften the paint or anything. I put up a question on Ask MetaFilter and while people are giving me other advice, no one really has a clue why this could be happening. The photos above illustrate what I’m talking about. The unstrippable area seems to be smack dab in the center of the room. Confounding. Looks like I’m going to have to use elbow grease to get rid of that paint. That’s certainly a mess waiting to happen.

[Update] It appears that the section that would not strip is paint over untreated wood. Thus, the stripper was soaking through the paint and lifting up the varnish on the easy to strip portions. Since the paint was on top of this it came right up. On the unvarnished portion the stripper must have just soaked right into the wood. My guess is that there was a rug on the floor in the center of the room originally and they just chose to varnish the exposed wood. Halfasses.

5 thoughts on “Floor Enigma

  1. Adam-
    Without seeing this I am not sure but this looks like the stuff we had on our kitchen floor.
    Did you strip off linoleum? Our son-in-law found that the stuff he couldn’t get off with any of the commercial stuff was actually water soluble. The only thing he had to worry about was getting everything to wet. He wet it down and it soaked into the stuff and then he could scrape it off with a putty knife. It was extremely messy and gunky but it worked.

    Depending on the age of the house and the pattern of the linoleum you might be able to research what they used as the stick um.

    Good luck. It sure is fun to watch the progress on your new home.


  2. That isn’t linoleum, it is just paint, it matches the rest of the flooring perfectly. That’s why I can’t figure out why it won’t come up with stripper. In the dining room, where there was linoleum on the flooring, I’ve been using the water method, but it leaks into my basement and I’m getting tired of washing my washing machine. 🙂

  3. I do hope you are taking lead precautions as this paint is undoubtedly lead-based. That might also be part of the problem with the untreated wood. The lead based paint really adheres to untreated wood. I’ve seen a few barns that haven’t been painted in 20+ years because the lead paint holds up so well. I guess that is why they used that nasty stuff for a paint additive.

  4. That’s why I’ve been avoiding sanding it and wearing a HEPA mask. I don’t know what other precautions to take. Thankfully I don’t have any children around to worry about.

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