First task was to gut the kitchen. That’s always fun when you strip something down in a house. Beth and I love to play “Name that Smell.” Of course that’s always followed by the ever popular “Where’s that Smell?” Photos walk you through it. Start with the obvious and end with the demolition…appliances>cabinet doors and hinges>ranges>plumbing fixtures>counter tops>cabinets>flooring>flooring adhesives. That last one liked to kill me. Researched the “youtube” and it seemed the most effective was a floor polisher with diamond cutting strips that slowly ground the adhesive and tar off the wood by rough sanding into the wood surface. $250 and 18 hours later the floor is ready for finish sanding by “the floor guy.” Yes that’s right, I am not even going to try to sand every floor in this house and perfectly apply stain and top coat. We have a guy for that.

This is the Gene Spalding kitchen that we started with upon purchase. The thin lower cabinets at the far end of the room will be repainted, stacked, and used as a dining room built-in for linens. All of the cabinets will be rebuilt for the new space. Some of the base cabinets must be cut for wheelchair access. All of the doors must have flat panels put in them to give a 1920-30’s look. I’ll cover that in another post. Here goes the demo.

The TV shows always show people swinging sledge hammers. It’s actually a lot easier to remove the screws and take the cabinets down. If you don’t have TV remodel elfs then who wants to pick up all of those little splintered pieces. Besides we are repurposing the cabinets. Gene Spalding paid for top quality furniture grade oak. The wall with a giant piece missing is our special find. We won the game of “Where’s that Smell” and found old termite damage in the wall under the center window. Luckily it has no activity, but it will take a day to build back the wall. The white and black stuff on the floor is the leftover from the adhesive of the original linoleum. Today we think of linoleum as a low grade floor covering. In 1933 it was a new invention and was considered quite swanky. It is the final layer to remove before we could see the beautiful 3/4″ white oak wood floors. 

The hopes of having fun riding on a floor polisher were dashed as I learned to balance the thing as it screamed around the room. Felt like I was wrestling a bull for two days. It only kicked me once when I let go of the handle too quickly, the blades were still spinning, and the handles spun around as I walked away and hit me in the ribs. Luckily…nobody saw that and…”I’m good, I’m alright.” Didn’t finish until about 10pm on the second day. Dust flying everywhere as I beat the floor into submission. Now I see why “the floor guy” said “I’m not scraping that stuff off.”

     Fast forward to end of process…the floors look great, are very level now. They will finish up beautifully.