Crooked House

A country life in France

Shopaholic Week

I don’t seem to have updated in a week. Is the back room finished? Far from it!

The painting is completed and everything looks light and bright in there. We decided that after having put in all of that effort, it was worth a little more and that we should do something with the floor. The floor has a history. It is currently bare boards. They were previously sanded and finished but they are made from Chestnut, which is a Tannic timber and reacts with some floor treatments. The previous owners applied the wrong kind of treatment and the floor turned black and was then sanded back again. Since then it has been left bare. We have been here for three years and I don’t believe that I have troubled myself to wash it in that time. I don’t know about before we arrived.

Cleaning and sanding and cleaning again was clearly going to be necessary.

Being liberated from Lockdown v3.0 on Monday, we headed off to Limoges to see if we might find a floor treatment at Leroy Merlin. We failed to find the correct department but we did come home with a couple of items; a new mail box and some weedkiller have provided us with the heady prospect of further project opportunities. We took the opportunity of calling in at Grand Frais and the Crooked Man bought me a birthday present in Darty. We took the scenic route home. The weather was sunny and so we had the top down on both journeys.

Thursday took us to Lussac-les-Chateaux to buy sanding discs and to continue the search for a floor treatment. A mammoth shopping trip: Lidl, Intermarché, and Brico Marché all in one go! We found the correct department this time but came home again completely confused by the choices available: “la cire, la peinture, le vitrificateur, l’huile ou encore l’imprégnant”. We did some Googling.

Friday had us returning to Leroy Merlin and this time we found the right section and actually managed to reach a decision. I had wished for an oiled finish but these seem to offer some complications, need three coats, and require both regular maintenance/reapplication and “rigorous cleaning” and well, we all know about my personal challenges with housework… so, the Crooked Man was tending towards a vitrificateur, which we had reached the conclusion is what we would know as a polyurethane sealant. Leroy Merlin had a wide choice of floor treatments, in fact a bewildering array but they also had treated wood examples and we were able to fondle them and that really helped the decision-making process. We were impressed by the l’imprégnant which stated on the tin its suitability for all wood types. We liked the finish that it gives, which is nicely matt, and also the fact that it requires no maintenance at all, dries quickly between coats and only requires two coats, with an optional sanding between. It took no thinking about, this was the right product for us and so we bought a large tin and the necessary applicators.

A whole week gone and no forward progress, but sanding started… only to find that the discs that we had bought gave up after a few minutes and fell off the sander. More were ordered via the Internet and should be with us tomorrow. In the meantime, The Crooked Man carried on as best he could and did manage to sand most of the floor before running out of discs entirely. It was an heroic effort in yesterday’s heat.

It’s looking lovely

Having been previously sanded with a proper floor sander, the floor is in pretty reasonable shape and as I don’t require a perfect finish, we hope that the light sanding that it has received from us will be sufficient. There are still some dark stains from the previous finish and I am happy to keep those; I don’t wish the floor to look new but to carry the marks of its age and have some character. What we don’t know is whether we will need to sand further should the previous finish make its presence felt. We shall seal a test area and see what happens.

Work in Progress; you can see the line between the sanded and un-sanded sections. Not far to go now.

It has turned out that the discs ordered from the Internet will not be here until mid-afternoon tomorrow. The Crooked Man is away to Montmorillon tomorrow early doors to buy some there so that he can carry on working when he gets back and get pretty much a full day in. There is no actual hurry to finish the floor but we do have a rendezvous on Thursday and I think that he would like to be done with the DIY before then. We may decide to go to Lusignan in the van, get me vaccinated, and then carry on to have a few nights away. The weather forecast isn’t looking promising but it would be good to have that option available to us should we want it.

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