Ply­wood floor for cot­tage can look beau­ti­ful

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - DEB­BIE TRAVIS

DEAR Deb­bie: We have built a small cot­tage from scratch and are at the stage where the ply­wood sub­floors are in place and our bud­get is to­tally de­pleted. Have you any tips for a su­per low-cost floor cov­er­ing that will last for a few years? I’m hop­ing paint will do the trick. Thanks, Ben

Dear Ben: As long as the ply­wood is good one side so that you have a smooth sur­face on which to work, then you can­not only paint, but have some fun with de­signs, too. I have painted over ply­wood floors in kitchens, bath­rooms, and in the rus­tic cot­tage liv­ing room fea­tured here. By ap­ply­ing tex­tured paint tech­niques such as rag­ging and sten­cilling, you not only add char­ac­ter, but the var­i­ous tex­tures cam­ou­flage any im­per­fec­tions.

The smooth ply­wood was primed and given a base coat of cream paint. Di­a­monds were taped off, and ragged with aqua and apri­cot glazes. The glaze recipe is one part wa­ter-based paint and one part wa­ter-based glaz­ing liq­uid. I had some fun with the border. Ask a friend to help you. We used chicken wire as a sten­cil, held it down tightly against the floor and painted over it with a dry brush us­ing the aqua glaze. It is meant to look slightly un­even. Once the paint was dry, I sealed the floor with four coats of var­nish. It’s im­por­tant to let it cure for at least four days be­fore you move any fur­ni­ture back in.

En­joy your cot­tage. Build­ing it and paint­ing it your­selves is just the be­gin­ning of lots of happy mem­o­ries.

Dear Jean­nie: You have cho­sen good qual­ity pieces, so it is well worth hav­ing them re­cov­ered. The curved de­tails and wood fin­ish will be hid­den by slip­cov­ers, so in your case I rec­om­mend hav­ing them pro­fes­sion­ally up­hol­stered. You will find an end­less range of fabrics, and your up­hol­sterer will help you with a choice that wears well and is within your bud­get. The couch and chair do not have to match, but they should com­ple­ment each other in some way. Fab­ric de­sign­ers have done this for you, and you will dis­cover mix and match so­lu­tions in the fab­ric books.

Dear KK: There should al­ways be a sealer primer rolled onto new dry­wall be­fore hang­ing wall­pa­per (or paint­ing.) This seals the dry­wall and pro­tects it from rips when the paper is later re­moved. If you are hav­ing dif­fi­culty tak­ing the paper off, then that im­por­tant first step was skipped. Pro­ceed with cau­tion. Work in sec­tions, start­ing at the top of the wall. Gen­tly score the paper us­ing a scor­ing tool, not too sharp. Ap­ply wall­pa­per re­mover, which comes in liq­uid or gel form. Don’t soak the paper as this will dam­age the dry­wall. Wait for 10 to 30 min­utes and gen­tly pry paper off with a putty knife. Check that you are re­mov­ing the wall­pa­per back­ing as well. Let the dry­wall dry, then sand off any paper or glue residue left be­hind. DEAR Deb­bie: I have a couch and chair made by Flexs­teel that I bought used a while back. I love the colours and de­sign in the up­hol­stery — it’s very graphic south­west­ern. How­ever, it is time to re-cover them. Would you sug­gest re­uphol­ster­ing them or hav­ing slip­cov­ers made? They are odd shaped, large pieces with wood frames on the out­side and the arms curve out. Jean­nie DEAR Deb­bie: Do you have any tips on re­mov­ing wall­pa­per that has been hung di­rectly onto dry­wall? It was in place on our cabin walls 30 years ago and it’s time for a change. Thanks for your help. KK

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