Friday, August 16, 2013

Can You Pass the Acid Test?

Behold, the Merry Prankster,

 garbed from head to toe

making dingy, dirty, rooms,

 radiantly glow.

But I don't actually like Ken Kesey.  Just check out the acid stain.

Acid stain is not that hard, so far.  As long as you like mopping.  Lots of mopping.  Like, I should have bought a commercial mop bucket and wringer.  And I am wearing the poor old retired kitchen mop into shreds.

Here's the story of how to do it:
The prep- This matters a LOT.  Lots of chipping up old floor (as you've seen), then general clean-up, then Bean-E-Doo mastic remover (it's magic).  The way I found most effective was to apply Bean-E-Doo to maybe a 300sqft area, let it sit for ~an hour, then throw down oil-sorbent (or cat litter, or dirt if you're desperate), and scrape with a wide drywall knife (mine was 8").  The oil-sorb traps the liquid and acts as a scrubber for the floor.  For thick mastic, you may have to do this twice.  Then degrease with your favorite organic degreaser (Simple Green, or other not-too-nasty ones are great).  The Bean-E-Doo is soy and citrus based, my degreaser was non-volatile and citrus also, and the house actually smelled NICE while cleaning the floors - go figure.

Chemical prep over.  On to mechanical prep.  Our slab had been pretty abused, lots of floors had come and gone, so I wanted to really hit it and get a clean top layer.  We could also have laid down a thinset prep layer to stain on, but that seemed, um, unsporting?  So on to Diamabrush - available wherever big whomping tools are rented (Home Depot did fine).  You put it on the buffer and get your brother-in-law to grind it off, and hey-presto, a clean floor!  You'll have to ask C. for his thoughts on what is involved in the hey-presto part, but it took about 8 hours and it's the kind of hey-presto where you need a respirator and hearing protection.  Then you have a preposterously large amount of hyper-fine dust to clean up.  CHANGE YOUR AIR FILTER NOW!

Next, the acid stain - Bought from Direct Colors, Inc. out in OK.  Used a 1:1 stain-water mix with Cola color in the garden sprayer.  Sprayed everything at about 7:45-8:30pm the first time.  Used 8qts of stain on about 1300sqft (more on the other floor in a while). Sprayed it again starting around 11:45pm, same ratio, but less generous with the spray, used 4qts of stain, ran out just about at the right time.  Put on the spiked acid-resistant shoes (it's like Zelda, right? they're an awesome thing to have in your inventory), and laid down corner and edge highlights with Coffee Brown, pure stain, used 2qts, ran out with about 3' of un-edged wall in the master bath - declared victory.

Next day, you have to slake the acid.  About 2 Tbsp of baking soda to a gallon of water, apply, let fizz, repeat until the floor is covered.  It took maybe 10-12 gallons of water to do the floor.  It's like playing volcanoes, only without the papier-mache cinder cone.  Then mop it up.  Then mop some more.  Then mop for a while.  Did I mention you'll want a good mop?  Mop.

Now, we've got work to do today and Saturday, so I will wait until Saturday evening to apply the sealer, that way it can stand for about 36hr to cure before people walk on it.  I'll report on that when I do it, but it's a sprayable sealer, so I'll just use the trusty garden sprayer.  It's a good tool - it's been intimately involved with the floors and ceilings (popcorn pre-scrape wetting).

Enough about floors.

In other news, the countertops shipped yesterday, so I ordered the finish today, and they should arrive at about the same time.  I have about 80% of the carcase of the corner cabinet done.  I think it will be do-able, but it will be a race.

Other news, much as I love my Grizzly table saw, the panel saw at Home Depot (or as Jr. says, "home DEEP-a-doh") is a champ.  And the 1x24s can fit gracefully inside La Morsa.  And I know that's not a real board size, but Ana White said it was, and I'm using her cabinet plans.  THANK YOU, ANA!

I made a corner bad.  It was late.  I was tired.  I checked one dimension when I needed to check two.  Thankfully, I can fix it with a shim, and it will not damage the usability of the cabinet.  Yeesh.  You'd think that building cabinets at midnight wouldn't be so error-prone, but you'd be wrong.

Plumbing supplies came in, too, so I should be able to wrap that up soon.  Need to get a shower rough-in valve so we can button up that wall...

Did I mention that I closed out Home Depot last night and then worked until ~1am?  I think I got to bed a bit before 2am.

PS- Mop.

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