16 January 2010

The Beautiful Wood Floors Hiding Under The Glue

They're finished. Finally. After weeks & weeks, our floors are done. The company we used was not big on speed, communication or customer service, but they really did an amazing job bringing the beauty back to our pitiful hardwood floors. Remember this?

Our first time in the house. Carpet in the living & dining rooms, linoleum in the kitchen & hardwood everywhere else. So I tore up the carpet & we did this for 2 and a half days:

We breathed in toxic fumes. Lots of them. The floors looked like this when we were done:

Notice the rectangle in the middle of the floor? At one point there was a giant register vent there. That needed fixed. So here's the before & after of the floors:

Didn't they do a great job of fixing the rectangle in the middle of the floor? You'd never even know anything had been there.

It's beautiful when the sun hits it.

Here's the dining room & kitchen floors. We'll be putting the transition pieces in soon.

The bedrooms & hallway all have painted white trim & I love the way the dark floors look with everything else light!

The only problem besides the time it took to get it done was the baseboards. We painted them before the floor guys came, but apparently not soon enough for the paint to cure completely. Plus, the tape they put on the baseboards was on for around 4 weeks. When I took it off paint flaked off on every single baseboard. I'm assuming they left it on because the didn't want to deal with the flaking paint & have to answer for it! Looks like we'll be doing a bit of touch up.

Honestly, though, at this point, fixing that paint is the last thing I want to do. I'm thinking the tape on the guest room window will be there until spring. I'm just all painted out right now.

On the other hand, I have a dilemma. A paint dilemma. You may have noticed that the dark wood floors do not match the unpainted woodwork in the living & dining rooms. I did that on purpose. Not because I didn't want them to match, but because I don't like the current stain color on the woodwork. It's orange-y and not in very good shape. However, it really is nice woodwork. Here's where my problem comes:

I love painted white woodwork.

I really do. In fact, when we were looking at houses, I was hoping for one where someone before me had already painted the woodwork white so I wouldn't have to deal with the guilt of "ruining the wood." Every room in shelter mags or design blogs that I love has painted woodwork. I love the fresh, clean, bright look of it. With dark wood floors. So when I chose the floor color, I really had it in my head that at some point we would...please still like me...paint the woodwork white. Like this:

Isn't it lovely & fresh & beachy? Vino was iffy about painting until I showed him this photo from This Old House magazine. So I'm taking a poll. Who thinks we should throw caution to the wind & paint the woodwork white? Who thinks that the original wood should be cherished & left as-is? Keep in mind that this is a very small house. We won't be living here for years & years, but we do want it to be "ours" while we're here and not the future buyer's. So please leave me a comment with your opinion about painting the wood. I could really use some good advice!


Vino Rodriguez said...

Paint the woodwork white!!!

Big Sis said...

I have had mixed experiences with painting/not painting woodwork. When I was 11, I helped my mom strip about 10 layers of white paint off of a huge fire place. She griped the whole time about how no one ever should've painted it. It did look nice back to its original surface, thought it did match the wood floor!

It seems to me that design-conscious people like painting wood white. It seems to be the correct thing to do if you care about modern interior design. I lived with a roommate who painted all her cabinets white.

I just don't care either way. I have no interest in design or improving a living space. So my answer would be: do what you want! The human population is split 50-50 on this issue so either way you will upset half the population. It's your house now, and the next owners will either like it and leave the wood white or have a project of their own.


Shelley said...

Definitely paint it!

miss lynn said...

ohhhh miss erin!
i love your home!
it is a*dor*a*ble..
just like you...
the stain is
orangey and the
dark looks perfecto
with the white.
you won't regret
i miss you and
can't wait to
get together for
an art afternoon!
happy day!

Back At Ya Babe said...

Paint the woodwork? Are you nuts? Gasp! Yet, after looking at the gorgeous dark color against the fresh new coats of white, I love it. So, with my permission (like you need it) it will flow with the rest of the house and look amazing. You have such an eye, go with it! I won't even gasp when I see pictures of you painting it, okay, maybe a small whimper. Love you!

Adrienne of Noon To Two and Handmade By Ade Etsy Shops said...

Your floors look GREAT!!! White woodwork with those dark floors will look AMAZING! I say paint it.

Mindee@ourfrontdoor said...

Those baseboards would have made me cry! I think you have done enough to improve the value/appearance of this home that you can do whatever the heck you want as far as painting. So yes, go white!

Holly said...

Oh, I know what you mean about being hesitant to "ruin" the woodwork by painting it. But I do love it painted white, and it would look fabulous with the dark floors! I think you should go for it!
I'm going to mention something here that you may already know, but just in case....if you paint over an oil-based paint with latex paint, it will peel right off. That's the first thing I thought when I saw your baseboards...maybe the old paint was oil and you used latex?

Erin said...

Ooh, Holly, I bet you're right. There were so many different paint layers on our already painted woodwork, I'm sure some of it was oil based! And most likely the oldest layers were lead based!

Mom said...

Don't paint the woodwork! I love the old dark patina in the living room and dining room. However, this is YOUR house and you can do whatever you want with it, and it will look fabulous. BTW, I'll help you fix the ruined baseboard paint.

Cafe with Kim said...

the only time you should probably not paint woodwork is if it's brand new... when it's old, you can leave it for character, but Painting it is definitely ok!

Rachel Lundy said...

I love the white. Paint it!