This stage comes with its own challenges. Compared to sanding, it is also hard, messy and smelly. Make sure you have good ventilation for the lacquering stage.
When you don't have a lot of money to spare on a renovation, you have no choice other than to be creative and resourceful when you do the job or not do it at all. Doing it yourself also means you will need to use various tools to complete the job. If I needed any additional tools, I just went and bought the cheapest ones I could find.
In 1999 I attempted a very simple kitchen makeover in an average 3 bedroom house. Overall it only cost around $250 which also included the various tools I had to buy to get the job done. I spent the bare minimum to update the kitchen and give it a new look.
The original kitchen was built in 1981 with bright orange benchtops and brown woodgrain laminated doors with antique copper handles.
In 2019 I removed an old kitchen from a house that was built in 1975 and replaced it with a secondhand kitchen that was only around 10 years old. The secondhand kitchen was very large and worth around $15000 installed and still had a lot of life left in it, however some of the vinyl wrap was peeling in parts. This damage is why the previous owners offered it for free, but only if new owners removed it themselves. The secondhand kitchen didn't come with a sink, rangehood, dishwasher or pantry, but it did come with a gas cooktop and electric oven.
After I finally brought the whole kitchen back to my house I wondered if I had bought off more than I could handle in terms of the work effort required to put it all back together, especially when I was half way through sanding the floors in the lounge room and now I'm storing the whole kitchen there. Picking up something secondhand is about being in the right place at the right time as it took me several months to find the right kitchen and on top of that it then took me 18
hours over 2 days to dismantle and transport it.
I love saving money and turning something old into something new, but this kitchen renovation made me very nervous and my anxiety went through the roof as I stressed over all the many unique alterations that were required for it to fit nicely and look good. Even though I picked up the kitchen for free, I still had to source a double sink, range hood, gas oven and pantry.
In the end, I successfully put it all together over several months after work and on the weekends for under $1000.
The sanding stage of the job is tough. It is very hard on your back and your knees, but if you persist it will get easier once you establish a technique. This is the dirtiest, most difficult and challenging stage of the job. Don't be too fussy about your floorboards, particularly if they are old, or in bad shape as each floorboard is going to exhibit its own unique imperfect character.
Should I replace or repair the floorboards? Ultimately it depends on floor condition, wood availability, cost and whether you will be living in or selling the house?
Sanding floors is not an easy job! I know because I recently sanded, repaired and lacquered a 3 bedroom house with my partner without any professional help. During the whole time this job was being done, there was no one living in the house and it still took several months. Most of the work was done after work hours and during the weekend.
It's important, before tackling this project, that you are honest and objective in your initial assessment of the condition of your floorboards and standard you are striving to achieve as this will determine how long it will take. In other words, the job will take longer if the floorboards are in poor/bad condition versus new/good condition.
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