Sosa Hardwood Flooring – Making My Pine Floors Beautiful, Finally

A few times I referenced “drywall deja vu” with my first painter. What made it easier for me to pull the plug was learning from the mistake I made by allowing Roland Hardwood to continue restoring my hardwood floors when I had clear signs that the end result would not be right. I was under the gun. I had a buyer for my house that wanted a three week close. Once I got Roland confirmed from their projected start and finish date I would have approximately a week before I would be moving in. Delivery of my kitchen cabinets and appliances were set assuming the floors would be complete. After sanding the kitchen floors it was obvious the original flooring needed to be replaced, it was too far gone. Roland had five days slated for my project and they were unwilling to extend their time to do what was needed to do to make the floors right. I’ve only lived in my house two years and yet my first floor pine floors look like I’ve lived here two decades.

Sosa LogoThanks to old pine flooring given to me by a Camp Board Member, Lacey, I finally decided to make the floors right, With the outside transforming so beautifully, I could no longer stand the sight of my kitchen floors. While I thought about tackling this myself, I knew this was not a skill set in my wheelhouse so I called Sosa Hardwood Flooring, a company referred to me by a son of a longtime friend. He said he’d stake his life on the quality of their work. That was a good enough reference for me.

Sergio Sosa is so busy that it took three weeks to get on his calendar. When he came to give me a quote I showed him the wood and all my equipment, table and miter saw, router and router table. I said he was free to use all of it, which would save him from hauling his own. To prepare I had to move everything out of the guest room, office and kitchen that was movable, so stove, dish washer, and frig.  I had to remove all the shoe moulding. I also hung plastic to block off dining room from kitchen and zipper doors leading to my master and living room to minimize the dust that would be created.

Sergio and his crew man, Martin, took two days to rip out the rotten floor and replace it with Lacey’s boards. Her boards were wider than mine, so he not only had to rip them down to the right width, but router in a new groove. They also had to shore up under the kitchen counters. As a suspected, which is why this fix should have been done before the counters were set, they landed just shy of a supporting floor joist. Cutting the flooring flush to the cabinet would mean they weren’t supported. Fortunately I had plenty of 2×4 scrapes for him to work with.

The grain of Lacey’s boards weren’t as tight as my original, but I knew instantly that once sanded I would finally have the kitchen floors I expected. Wednesday they did all the sanding and filling where needed. In the office it was discovered that one area replaced by Roland Flooring was done without hitting the joist. Sergio had to go in the basement and shore it up otherwise the entire board could snap if something heavy hit at that location. Roland had also encouraged me to stain the pine floors. The oak floors in the dining and living rooms had to be stained as the new oak that they installed would never match the original. I decided to stain both sides the same. Once the stain was applied to the pine I knew I had made the wrong decision. That was corrected by Sergio’s sanding.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings they applied the protective poly coating. Roland only applied two coats because they considered the stain the first coat. I got to enjoy a nice staycation at the brand new Lytle Park Hotel, a $35 million re-development of the former Anna Louise Inn, since I lost access to my master suite and 1st floor bathroom. What a gorgeous property. It is now my new favorite hotel in downtown Cincinnati.

I can’t get over how great my floors are now. This is what I had envisioned when I made the decision to let these pine floors be my flooring versus covering or replacing. All the shoe moulding has been returned and I’ve even installed the moulding on the kitchen back wall and pantry, which I had left off intentionally until I got this mistake corrected.

Window Sill and Frame Restoration

20200622_201043My prized stained glass window, exterior frame, was in rough shape.  While removing the paint I discovered two areas where large chunks of the frame had been filled with something that looked like plaster and it was not done well.  They were already loose, so I decided to remove them and search for a better product to use.  I was already familiar with wood epoxy, I used it to restore the inside frame, but I wasn’t sure if the product I used could be used outdoor.  I turned to Google and stumbled across several YouTube videos that talked about Abatron’s LiquidWood and WoodEpox.  I decided this was the product I wanted to use and with luck the Clifton Ace Hardware store carried the kit.  After watching Abatron’s video several times, I decided this was the product to use to also restore the window sills.

Since I wanted to finish installing the new plinths, I started with those sills first. As per the video I prepped the wood making sure all paint was removed and I used my vacuum cleaner to remove all dust and in the case of the bathroom window, suck out all the paint chips that had fallen in the huge cracks. I mixed equal parts of the LiquidWood parts A and B and applied it to the wood with a cheap bristle paint brush. The video suggest drilling 1/8″ holes in the wood to allow the product to seep deeper. I did this on the bedroom window sill since it was not as cracked as the bathroom window. That window sill felt brittle/frail to the touch. As you can see from the pics below the sill darkened after applying the LiquidWood.

The video states you should apply the WoodEpox while the LiquidWood is still tacky, so after about 30 minutes I began mixing equal parts of WoodEpox A and B. The video suggests you can add LiquidWood to the WoodEpox to thin it out, if desired. I did not do this on my first use, but did for the remainder of the project as I felt the frosting like consistency was easier to apply with my putty knife.

I let it dry a couple of days (I had things to do), but before installing the plinths I sanded them until smooth. First with 60 grit, then 120. They felt and looked stronger. This was definitely the right decision and right product, so I turned to the stained glass window next. It turned out awesome.

The original kit I bought contained 12 oz LiquidWood and 12 oz WoodEpox. I got the plinth sills and the stain glass done with that kit. I ended up purchasing two additional, pint sizes (pint each of A and B, total four pints) of LiquidWood and one pint size of the WoodEpox to complete all the window sills and some minor repair on the rear portico. The process did not change, but I would suggest not working in extreme heat or direct sunlight. I repaired the dormer window sills from inside the house and was holding the cup of WoodEpox outside in direct sun. The product sets faster in heat, so I ended up wasting most of that batch as it hardened before I could spread it. With that lesson I also started mixing smaller batches as it only got hotter as this project went on.

On a few of the windows the filler used to fill the notches that probably once held shutters were missing. The Abatron product is expensive and I didn’t want to buy any more WoodEpox, so to fill those areas I used a product called ScupltWood that I’ve had for months. I can’t even remember why I bought it, but it is also a two part epoxy putty like WoodEpox. I did apply LiquidWood to the area first in some instances, not all. The outcome was the same in both cases; that product worked great too.

The windows and doors are now ready for paint. I’m ready to see paint. We are now heading into week five since Lyle’s Homes started (June 9) and he’s still scraping paint from the second floor. I can only hope that once he does start with paint that it goes twice as fast as prep because at this rate a Labor Day Drive By Open House is questionable. He’s still exceeding my expectations, but clearly his three week projection was misguided and it all can’t be blamed on the weather.