Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cleaning the floors

With our floors repaired, puttied, and sanded, there was one more small step remaining before we started to apply finish: cleanup.  It was a bit of a drag, and took a few hours, but I didn't want to cut corners here.  It seemed silly to skimp on the easy stuff, and have all of our hard work result in a product that wasn't as good as it could have been.  So we pulled out the ShopVac (to which we've added a bag and a HEPA-quality filter), and gave all of the rooms a thorough vacuuming.  Actually, we started out extra-paranoid, and vacuumed the walls and ceilings, as well as the floors.  After a room or two, we decided that was overkill--there wasn't much dust clinging to these surfaces.

The traditional next step is to rub down the floors with tack cloth.  But our favorite flooring book (which is also the newest one out there) agreed with my gut instinct and suggested reusable microfiber cleaning cloths.  I already own a stash of these, and love them.  To spare my knees and speed the work along, I clip them into my Swiffer mop--they're just the right size to fit in there.  The Swiffer makes fairly quick work of going over the room, and the cloths pick up a LOT of dust that the vacuum missed.  I had to go over each room 3-4 times before the cloths no longer picked up much additional dust.  So a few hours later, we were finally ready to start applying finish.  And that's when things started to fall apart....

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