The poor dining room was quickly getting left behind by progress in the rest of the house. Glancing in to the dining room from was like looking into a timewarp, complete with two-pin sockets (and probably a few ration books, threepenny bits, etc).
So we set about ripping up the carpet, removing wallpaper, fireplace, shelves – pretty much everything went!
After patching up the rough bits of wall we set about painting. White (of course). Unfortunately the ceiling wasn’t too keen on being painted white – it much preferred to keep the 40 years of nicotine staining, despite several coats of emulsion. Two options to solve it were:
A) Sugar soap and a LOT of scrubbing
B) A coat of some potent Zinsser Cover-Stain primer
We went with option B, which worked a treat but the fumes from the Zinsser paint were absolutely horrendous, the Tesco groceries delivery driver certainly got a smelly shock when he came to the door that evening…
Once the painting was done we boarded out the fireplace opening – this will be purely decorative as the chimney will be capped.
And finally, we got to work on the flooring. The existing boards are actually quite sound, albeit stained a drab matt dark brown, but we didn’t fancy sanding them down – couldn’t face the mess after doing this in the living room. So we opted for laying a new solid wood floor on top of the existing boards.
After perusing the samples in B&Q we went for the “Hand Scraped Wheat” solid oak flooring. These boards are quite light in colour and have a slightly rippled uneven surface, giving them a slightly aged look.
The instructions gave a few options for laying solid wood flooring on existing floorboards: glueing the tongue and groove joints, using a self adhesive underlay or using secret/hidden nails.
The first two options sounded messy and a tad unreliable – nails seems like the best solution. A quick trip to the local tool hire shop and we were equipped with one of these:
It quickly became apparent that secret / hidden nailing was a good solution – it was really quick and easy to make progress – time for an action shot…
As per the instructions it was important to leave a gap around the boards to allow for expansion of the wood. The absolute best way to hide this gap would have been to remove skirting, board up to wall (with gap), then put skirting over the board to hide the gap. However we opted for the easier option of using some beading tacked on to the skirting – gives a perfectly good finish without the hassle of removing skirting…
Still plenty to do – like the fireplace, hearth, light fitting, mirror, remainder of beading, threshold bar, etc. However the floor is down and furniture is back in – hooray!
Oh, the next instalment on Barnacles Choice will show you our brand new windows!