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 Replies

  • 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.


  • 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. 🙂

  • 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.

  • 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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