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Painting a Wall or Refinishing a Floor: Which First?

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Now we’re going to help Irene in Rhode Island remodel her living room. Tell us what’s going on.

    IRENE: Love your program.

    TOM: Thank you.

    LESLIE: Thanks.

    IRENE: And I just have – I’m sure for you it’s going to be a very small problem. I’m about to do my living room and I’m just a little concerned about the sequence of it.  My painter seems to think that she’d like to do the painting first and I have – I’m going to lift the carpet and redo – refinish my hardwood floor.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm.

    IRENE: And I’m not too sure whether I would want it painted before I do the floor.

    LESLIE: Well, Irene, first of all I love that you said “My painter, she wants to do the painting first.”

    IRENE: Yeah.

    LESLIE: I think that’s excellent that you’ve got a lady working in the house. (Irene chuckles) But she is absolutely right because if you’ve got carpeting on your floor surface right now and what’s underneath is the hardwood that you’re going to refinish …

    IRENE: Yes?

    LESLIE: … why not use that built-in drop cloth?

    TOM: The last bit of service that your rug is going – your carpet’s going to render you is to serve as the drop cloth for your painting project, Irene.

    IRENE: Well, you know what? I was going to reuse the carpeting. It’s not really that bad. (chuckling)

    TOM: Well, if you want to reuse it then obviously you have to use the proper types of tarps and everything to keep it nice and neat and clean, which you certainly can do. There’s no reason. But what Leslie and I are saying is if you’re planning on using the – going back to hardwood underneath, then …

    IRENE: Yes?

    TOM: … just leave it down; let it be the drop cloth and go ahead and paint. Last thing you do is pull the carpet up, pull up the tackless, refinish the hardwood and you’re good to go.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And make sure that paint on your walls is completely dry because there’s going to be a tremendous amount of sanding, I’m sure, involved to sort of spruce up the look of the hardwood. So let that paint really dry on the walls, then go ahead and refinish that floor. Let it cure very, very well and then move everything back in.

    IRENE: Oh, well that was the part that was bothering me was because I know that it’s so messy sanding.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm.

    IRENE: And with a new paint job – it’s kind of a large living room – I thought, “Oh, my. I’ll have a mess cleaning up afterward.”

    TOM: One of the ways to minimize that is to cover the openings to the room with plastic sheeting …

    IRENE: Uh-huh.

    TOM: … and if you can take a fan and put it in the window and point the fan out so it pulls air from the inside out …

    IRENE: OK.

    TOM: … that will depressurize that space as the sanding is occurring and pull all the debris right out.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And a lot of the sanders that many people are using today have built-in vacuum devices that sort of kick up a lot less dust and self-contain the dirt. It will be dusty but you will have a beautiful room when it’s done.

    IRENE: So now you’ve answered my question. I really appreciate that.

    TOM: You’re welcome, Irene. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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