Exposing Hardwood and Removing Tack Strips

Last night, I attacked the wall-to-wall carpet in the office with pretty considerable vigor as the World Cup game was coming to an end. I guess I decided to hack away at the carpet to relieve a little frustration. When I stopped for a few minutes to sit on the sofa and drink some water, Marc asked me "so, are we painting the office this weekend?" I wasn't sure of the answer. That seems a bit ambitious, but my goal is to have this room reasonably done within the month, so we'll see...

Anyway, cutting the carpet up so it could be rolled up and removed from the room took a while, but I was happy that doing so revealed parquet that wasn't it the worst shape (the same floor in the adjacent room had tons of stains).

Geez, these pictures are depressing to look at. There just so much beige.

So the next task was removing the staples that kept the rug padding down and prying the tack strips up. Tack strips are the worst to remove. I hate them. I remembered the tack strips my condo's bedroom coming up so easily and looked back at the post about the work. I had a crowbar of sorts then...I have no idea where that thing is and my tools are totally organized. I must have borrowed it.

Anyway, my tools for the job were a flat head screwdriver and a hammer. They worked just fine.

I had started with a different scraping tool to get under the strips, but the screwdriver worked a little better. All I needed to do was wedge the flat head under the tack strip, tap the handle a few times with the hammer, and then pry up.

Of course, gloves are pretty essential since the strips are full of tacks and the wood splinters pretty easily.

The nails that hold the strips down obviously need to be pulled. Most of them are only about an inch long, but every now and then, the installers left a present - a 2-2.5 inch nail that was really stubborn. 

Marc came through and removed as many staples as he could and without a few hours, we had a pretty clean room and a box like this:

I'm not a fan of the floors, but replacing them is low on our priority list. A nice, large area rug will work for now. 

We're getting close to a blank slate! Tonight, I hope to wash the walls, scrub the trim, clean the windows, remove switch plates, and maybe even do some taping so I can prime over the weekend.


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