Tuesday, 28 July 2015

It's More Fun: Bleached Floors

When I do something, I find the dreaming of possibilities as part of the fun.  My husband, however, thinks this is ridiculous.  He is Mr. Action Man.  Three months ago, he made my seven-year-dream of white wooden flooring come true.

Sometimes deciding fast and living with the consequences is the only way to get things done.  

Not only did I learn that life lesson, I also learned a thing or two about bleaching floors.  
It's totally worth it.

(I should take more pics when the rooms aren't in a KonMari transition - my next project!)

(I also have no proper before pics : that's how fast things went. I came home and the work was underway)

First an obvious disclaimer: I am not a DIY-er in the literal sense.  I just love dreaming up ideas and I happen to live in labor-friendly Philippines.  I can't imagine how moms can hold down a corporate career, a family and a creative home otherwise!

Three guys took about two months to finish three rooms. Read on why it took almost forever.  It was actually pretty fascinating to witness - a daily thrill to see such big changes happening.  
I would come home excited to see how three steps could be so dramatic.

Step 1: Buff away the old finish.

This was the reason why the whole project took so long - we wanted it sanded by hand instead of renting a sander machine (otherwise it would have been done in a day or two!).  But I was living with a husband who had asthma attacks so that was non-negotiable.  

We had considered ripping out the parquet flooring altogether but it was made of narra wood with each piece glued down - such good quality compared to the fast and easy options nowadays.  

Before and after sanding the area

Step 2: Bleach, bleach then bleach again

A second reason this all took very long.  I wanted the lightest shade it could go so that meant going up to the strongest bleach solution (#3) and applying it three times.  

I tell you, that stuff is deadly stinging to the eyes and nose.  The smell would largely be gone or confined to a closed-door room by the evening when we would come home.  Some days were pretty bad and we had to escape to the mall or let Ladybug stay at her lola's house during the afternoon.

A dramatic difference after the third bleach!

Ladybug Girl's Room : waiting for the bleach to dry.  It's so toxic, all metal surfaces should be covered up from splatters
Step 3: Clear polyurethane coat.  

I was happiest with the freshly-bleached raw wood but I knew that wouldn't last long.  It's a yellowing risk to apply a top coat of varnish but it had to be done.  

Top : clear varnish | Bottom : unvarnished

What do you think?  Doesn't it make such a big difference?  The furniture blends better and everything feels so much lighter and fresher.  And fun!

The floors make all the difference in this room.  See our library makeover here

It's definitely not perfect.  I've got some permanent footmarks on the floor where I had to go inside the room to pack for a business trip.  And the hallway is far from perfect because we just had no choice but to step on it before completely drying to get from one side to another.   

It's all part of loving our home one wooden tile at a time.

Here's to dreaming and doing!  It's the perfect combination, pains and all.

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  1. I love happy endings! Thank goodness you and the floor survived. All your hard work paid off because the top looks fabulous! I need to redo our dinning room floor but now I'm scared. ;)

    1. Thank you, Brenda! It's been almost a year and I still think it's worth it. Are you going to DIY your dining room?! Go for it!!! At least it's just a room that you can seal off from folks! :)

  2. You are right, the floor looks so much lighter and fresher. I bought my house 10 years ago and now I want to replace the wooden floor. But it is quite expensive. Now I'll try to bleach it like you. I hope the floor will be better. Thanks for sharing your tips.

    1. Thank you, Nancy! Best of luck! The pain was worth it :)

  3. wood flooring is the best choice. it makes the house becomes more fresh, more clean. but its problem is very easy to scratch. you have to really be careful if you want your floor to be clean.

    1. I've made peace with all the scratches on my floor! Hahaha

  4. Great ! you are smart mom

  5. This room is so beautiful! I am sure your daughter will love it.

  6. Beauty room! So glad this worked out for you! I am considering doing the same!

  7. The difference is amazing ! Great job, cute kid too :D ! Keep posting !

  8. I think the end result was totally worth it! It is like doing a distressed look but on a wider scale!

  9. What did use to bleach the floors? I am in Malaysia and they don't have any wood bleach here

  10. Too lovely! I also want to create these objects for my children. They surely will enjoy. Thank your post so much!


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