Three Flooring Issues (I Could Use Your Input)

I have finally started working on the floor in the hallway and home gym. Since I decided to use foam mat flooring in the home gym and forgo the refinishing process on the hardwood flooring in that room, that meant that I really didn’t need to waste time and money renting the big drum sander since I only needed to sand the small hallway. That’s a job that I can do with my hand held belt sander.

Because this flooring has been sitting here unfinished for over a year, I had two spots that needed some extra attention. One was where Cooper knocked over a quart of blue paint that I was using in the guest bedroom, and the other was where I had knocked over a quart of polyurethane.

On both areas, I thought the best way to handle it was to let the paint and polyurethane dry completely, and then see if I could get it off of the floor. I figured if I tried to clean it up when it was wet, I’d just smear it more and make an even bigger mess.

That actually worked well for the majority of the paint. Once it was completely dry, the bulk of it peeled up very easily in one big layer. But then it left the flooring below stained blue.

hallway hardwood flooring before sanding 1

(Note: If you’re reading this post on any website other than Addicted 2 Decorating, that means you’re reading on a site that is stealing my content. I hope you’ll consider joining me on my actual blog by clicking here.)

I thought that the polyurethane spill would be easy to get up with the 36-grit sandpaper that I had on my belt sander.

hallway hardwood flooring before sanding 2

I could not have been more wrong. That 36-grit sandpaper barely scratched it, much less sanded any of it off. So I tried two different floor scrapers. Those didn’t work either. I finally had to use a little pry bar and a hammer and chip off the polyurethane one small bit at a time.

hallway hardwood flooring with spilled polyurethane

So lesson learned. It’s a really bad idea to leave hardwood flooring sitting unfinished for over a year, especially in a high traffic area, and when it’s right outside of a room that is under construction and is constantly being used to store tools, paint, etc. 😀 (Yes, I knew that, and I did it anyway.)

I managed to get all of the polyurethane up, and it looked just fine after sanding.

hallway hardwood flooring after initial sanding - 1

The area where the paint was spilled is a different story, though. So I could use any input you may have with this. So far, I’ve only sanded it with the 36-grit sandpaper. I still have 60, 80, and 100 to go. It’s very possible that after all of the sanding, it will be gone, or mostly gone. But that’s a gamble, and there are certainly no guarantees.

So if there’s any way to get it up now, before I do the rest of the sanding, I’d rather do that. I don’t like the idea of having to sand this one area more than the rest of the flooring.

hallway hardwood flooring after initial sanding - 2

In other flooring news, the foam mat flooring for the home gym arrived! I got out a few pieces and put them together just to see what they look like, and I absolutely love it. And evidently Felicity does, too.

home gym foam flooring

In reading through your comments about foam flooring, one of the issues that several of you warned about was the floor tiles separating under heavy use, especially with Matt’s wheelchair rolling across the flooring. (Side note: Matt has a power wheelchair that easily travels over grass, dirt, and gravel, so a thin foam floor won’t make it more difficult for him, but his wheelchair may be hard on the foam floor.)

So I got to thinking. Carpet installers use tape on the back of carpet to mend seams, and once it’s done, you can’t see the seam, and the seam stays together perfectly. Couldn’t I do something similar with these?

I’m thinking that I could use something like duct tape, one-sided carpet tape (if there’s such a thing), or any other wide and super sticky one-sided tape to mend the seams of the tiles. As I put one tile in place, I can slip a strip of tape under the edge, sticky side up, and then press the next tile into the tape to mend the seam.

Right? Is there a reason that wouldn’t work? I’ve never in my life had foam tile flooring, but I know many of you have. So you can tell me if there’s a reason that wouldn’t work. It’s very possible I’m missing something, but it seems to me that that would work perfectly.

And finally, can we talk about the “floor” of my front porch for a minute? When I finished the porch in September 2018, it looked like this…

See how dark and beautiful the color is on the cedar boards? I used Thompson’s Penetrating Timber Oil in a semi-transparent mahogany color.

Well, now that looks like this…

front porch - stain wearing off of cedar boards - 1

I’m not so naive that I thought a finish on an outdoor wood porch would last forever. But what I didn’t expect was that something so ubiquitous as snails and slugs would cause such a problem with the finish I had chosen. See all of the squiggle lines all over the place?

front porch - stain wearing off of cedar boards - 2

Those are literally from snails and slugs crawling across the porch and hand rails.

front porch - stain wearing off of cedar boards - 3

I mean, that’s crazy, right? I get that a finish might dull or have natural wear and tear after two-and-a-half years of Texas sun, rain, a random snow storm, etc. But snails and slugs?

So obviously I need to refinish/reseal my porch this year, but I don’t think I’ll be using the Thompson’s Penetrating Timber Oil again. If you’ve used a product on your porch or deck that you’ve had success with, and that has stood up to the harsh abuse doled out by snails and slugs crawling across it, please let me know!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


      1. That’s what I was thinking, but you would need to ventilate due to fumes. I would ask a flooring guy, and also ask about the tiles and front porch also. I don’t remember, did you use pressure treated wood on the porch? I’ve always heard to let it sit without finishing until water no longer beads up on it, or any type of treatment won’t work. And it needs to be cleaned and dried just before any finish is applied. I don’t remember if you did all of that???

        1. Can you go darker than initially thought on the hallway?
          As for duct tape I tried that with some cheap linoleum in my laundry room until I feel like tiling… Sadly, for a room not traveled much and not wet, it’s separating.

      2. You may try using straight peroxide to bleach the floor prior to sanding. I have had luck doing this on my old floors and it does not leave the grain raised as water may do.
        Sheila F.

    1. I’m with Cheryl !! Plus it would be unique! Blend a color blue that ties all the blues together.

    1. Cabot Australian Timber Oil is all I use on my outdoor teak and Sikkens for Horizontal surfaces for my cedar deck railings. I live in the PNW. Snails and slugs have got nothing on me. Both of these products need to follow them recommendations for temperature for application. And must be free of dew and completely dry wood. So some people don’t like it for those reasons.

    2. Kristi
      We redid our porch with cedar beams and cedar shutters a couple of years ago and I used a stain I would highly recommend. We live in Augusta GA and our shutters receive the hot afternoon sun and they look as good as they did initially.
      I used the color Mission Brown. The stain is super easy to apply and goes on evenly. I could send some pics if you are interested. You can also buy sample color cans from the company and if memory serves me correctly, they are located in Dallas.
      I bought mine at HomeDepot and my local Benjamin Moore store.

    1. I recall you were looking at Flor flooring tiles, you can buy just the Flor “dots”. Adhesive circles that attach in the four corners to keep the tiles together. I have a Flor rug for several years, it’s never come apart.

    2. Coming from experience…DO NOT use Bleach. I did this in an old house and it etched the wood floor, so when I when I went to re-stain it, there was much lighter spot (the bleach spot).

      There must be something and I’m sure your awesome followers will come through.

      1. I agree bleach will raise the wood surface. The issue is that particular blue has a black undertone which is what is not coming off. I would first try something that you might think is unconventional. Because you know this evolves further sanding, I would paint a white primer only on the blue stain and then sand, in hopes the primer adheres to the black and lightens it! Might have to do a couple of times! 🤞

    1. Can you reach out to a flooring company or Thompson’s ? My friend was not happy with her outdoor deck after applying Thompson’s and they sent a rep to her house . I think they either reimbursed her or paid someone to re do it. Might be worth the effort. Like my Fella says, ‘all they can do is say no’.
      Taping the back of the foam squares seems like the best/easiest way to hold them together. Good luck!

        1. I’ve been successful using Thompson Waterproof Stain 100(also known as TWP 100) in cedar color on deck and fence. Comes in many colors and lasts for about 4-5 years before another coat is needed.

  1. You can try using Klean Strip furniture stripper to remove the blue color from the wood. When stripping dark colored paint from wood before, sanding never worked completely for me. Even after removing the paint from the surface, I’ve had to apply more stripper to get the paint color out that had soaked into the wood. Good luck! Although our decorating styles are different, I still enjoy following your journey! Your tutorials are so helpful!

  2. I’ve used oxalic bleach with good success. It must be rinsed well or it can create its own problems. Maybe you can experiment with standard bleach first. Less noxious.
    No idea about the exterior porch but thanks for the info on Thompsons.

    1. Someone mentioned goof off. It’s a good product I have used. And not expensive. I would try it. On the gym floor I dont think that is meant to be permanent right? My son has that stuff and it’s just foam sealed in plastic that they use on the floors of dojo’s and stuff. I doubt it lasts too long. PS Love that little Felicity. What a soft furry belly!

    2. I would use paint stripper—citristrip is non toxic. Use a stiff brush to get in all the wood grooves—leave for a30-60 minutes and then scape and wash.

  3. I would think that a tape of some kind would help hold the seams together on the gym floor. I really like the look of it.

    Sorry. I have no idea what to use as a paint remover or a stain on a deck/porch. You might want to contact your local Farm Bureau or University about what to do about slugs.

  4. If the foam flooring is wall-to-wall, I would think there wouldn’t be any room for separation. You can fit it snugly up against the walls because rubber foam doesn’t that 1/2″ space to allow for contraction. Since it’s just one room, I would put it down snuggly without any tape and test it. If it does separate, you can buy a roll of rubber mastic from an HVAC supplier. It’s a one-sided tape with a permanent bond, even outside in the rain and sunlight. That would be perfect to permanently fuse the pieces of foam together, but don’t go to the expense without trying it with no tape first. The foam flooring is so pretty!

    1. True, Michele. The flooring can’t really move if it is cut to the walls. Once the foam has fully acclimated before installation, it won’t “grow” enough to be a buckling issue.
      Thanks for the tip about rubber mastic. That sounds like some handy stuff to have on hand. If Kristi is still concerned about separation, she could run a strip of the rubber mastic around only the *perimeter* of the flooring to keep it firmly in place rather than taping every single joint together.

  5. Snail & Slug problem…didn’t find anything online relating to being a stain problem…only how to keep off of decks and other areas….salt, borax, copper. Your fitness room is going to be amazing!

  6. All I can add is for you NOT to use double sided tape on the wood. If you ever decide to change the foam flooring the tape will not come off the wood. Even the “removable” kind. Lots of suggestions for how to get it off on the web, but since it is an unfinished wood, you would have to paint the floor, not stain it. If anyone knows how to remove the glue I would love to hear it!

    1. My thoughts exactly, but porcelain Wood plank tiles(using grout the same color as the flooring). Ceramic tiles are not durable enough and will crack outside. Would not be happy to have to re-stain the porch every couple of years.

  7. I used duct tape on similar mats in a studio, and it worked well. Put the majority of the tiles upside down and then flip it over.

  8. Kristy, you should just go ahead a try paint stripper on the blue stain, and then sand sand sand to remove any remains. Water based paint will be drawn deeper into the wood, so that’s why it’s a good idea to scrub it up while wet -to stop the absorption into the wood so it can be easily sanded out. Is it possible to replace the few boards? I know that’s a pain, but might be the ultimate solution.

  9. I’ve used hydrogen peroxide on stains from a AA battery leaking onto my hardwood floor – flooded, let sit a bit, then rinse thoroughly, repeat as needed. It worked for that, might help yours. Perhaps lighten it enough to sand. It is also a bleach, but not as potent smelling as Clorox!

  10. I love the mats you chose for the gym. So much so that I immediately went to their website and put them in my cart. After thinking about it though, I have hesitations. Not because of their quality (the reviews say they’re great), but because I have a cat that is not declawed and the foam mats in my kitchen are his favorite scratching/clawing spot. They’re trashed. So long story just to say keep on eye on Felicity if she’s not declawed. But hopefully you’ll have better luck.

    1. I was thinking the same, Trish. My one cat would have loved sinking his claws into mats like those. The other, not so much. Hopefully, the thought of one giant, horizontal scratching surface won’t even occur to Felicity.

  11. We use Penofin, marine for our open deck and stain/sealer for the porch floor. It stands up to the harsh weather in (the real) Upstate NY. We use it on all our outdoor wood. Touch ups are a breeze too.

  12. I used mats in my basement play area. Make sure to give the mats the same space around the edge of the wall that you would for hardwood. I wedged mine right under the baseboard and after a year or so the mats were buckling badly in places.

  13. I have my basement tiled in these foam tiles. They’re great for what I need- cushions feet on concrete, provides insulation, and looks good. I haven’t really noticed shifting on mine, but I installed them tight. They go all the way to the walls and have trim holding them at the baseboards. I think tape will be good but you might not need it going wall to wall.

    I will add that it punctures easily with pet nails. I had to replace several panels after serious wear from the lab mix just walking on it. So don’t let that kitty get too comfy!

  14. ugghhh!! I don’t think bleach will bleach paint. Sometimes a damp cloth and heat can help loosen latex paint, but that may not work for the paint that remains in the grain. Goof off may work, but likely a paint stripper and patience will be your best solution.

  15. Surprising about the snails and slugs. Ugh. We tried to kill them by putting out a shallow dish of beer. Didn’t work. They had a party and left.

    About your gym floor. It worries me that it won’t be sealed before you put down the mats (BTW- they look great.) If you knock over a glass of something it will leak between the cracks and penetrate the wood. Then in the future if you want wood floors you’ll have a staining problem. Just saying…

  16. Wildly scientific, and possibly wrong, idea. If it is water based paint then perhaps you might try a salt solution to draw the paint out. Water is drawn to salt. Maybe soak a towel is saline, lay it on there and then lightly steam with an iron. I’ve removed candle wax from carpet using that method, but with just water instead of saline.

  17. Looks like you might need to corral some of those snails and slugs and let them hang out on the blue portion of your floor for a while.

  18. IMHO go to General Finishes University FB page, ask these questions there. The page is for everyone and they are incredible reservoir of info. It’s your favorite brand, use all the incredible talent and knowledge within that group. Eager helpers.

  19. Paint stripper and a toothbrush and/or wire brush for the blue stain.
    Cabot Australian Timber Oil for the front deck. It’s awesome.
    I’d be hesitant to use tape to keep the mats together. I think if it’s truly good tape, you’ll never get it off without harming the foam. If that’s OK with you, then go for it.

  20. For the paint on the unfinished wood floor, I’d try stripper and some 00 or 000 steel wool. Maybe even a fine gauge brass wire brush since you are going to belt sand. Unfortunately I don’t think you can actually bleach colored latex out of wood.
    Really like your foam mat and didn’t even realize it came in something so stylish. I’d use gaffers tape rather than Duck tape on the back of it. Gaffers stays where you put it but also releases easier and doesn’t leave the sticky mess that Duck tape does. I wouldn’t use anything adhesive on the floor itself.

  21. My husband works out on horse/stall mats in the garage and uses the black gorilla duct tape to keep them in place-it works amazingly well!

  22. Hi Kristi
    I have a couple of points of interest.
    Once I spilled a blue-green paint on a brown/gold carpet. I scooped up what i could and threw wet towels on it I then got the wet shop vacuum and sucked the rest up. I kept the paint wet and it came out great.
    The other thing is when my children were toddlers someone poured pink kool-aid on a gold
    shag carpet. I couldn’t get it out and in desperation tried my foaming bathroom cleaner and the color lifted right out. The carpet color did not change at all. I have since used it on a quartz counter top that got a pink stain once and a yellow (mustard) mark, both time the foamy cleaner removed. I don’t know if it would help lift the blue stain or not. Good luck

  23. Please don’t get too upset with Cooper, he told our pup he wanted to see how acrylic pour
    painting would look as a floor application! 🙂

  24. I used to use Thompson’s, also, but no matter what the can says, it only lasts a season. Crummy! I have used Olympic Max in Canyon Brown now for close to a decade, and it’s great! I roll it on with an extension pole on a foam roller, and it goes on extremely smoothly. I liked it so much that I even used it inside on my hardwood floor that had horrible sunbleached marks- works like a charm! I wish there was a way to add a photo to this comment, but don’t see a way. You would be amazed!

  25. Regarding the blue paint…. If the above ideas don’t work to remove it, General Finishes gel stain will cover it nicely. It’s like a miracle in a can.

  26. We have similar foam mats in our home gym and have them installed tight wall to wall. They haven’t budged in 3 years of almost daily use. My husband drags his weight bench and other heavy things around on them also and so far so good. I’d be hesitant to permanently attach them to each other in case you needed to replace just one for some reason, or needed to pull one up to clean a spill or pet accident that went through the seams. Maybe try them free floating for a bit first??

    As for decks, we used a product called TWP on our last house (had to be on raw wood) and it worked amazingly. When we sold it 5 years later it still looked great. Ordered it online and had to follow specific instructions. Wish we had used it at our new house-I didn’t want to go to the trouble of stripping the existing deck so we just used a (high quality) conventional deck stain and it still has to be redone every 2 years or so. Next time around I’m pretty sure I’ll be stripping both decks and going with the TWP.

  27. I did not read all the comments, so I do not know if Oxalic Acid has been mentioned as a source for getting out the blue stains. It is well known in furniture refinishing circles for this purpose—removing stains from wood tabletops, etc…

  28. I have used Oxalic Acid on wood floors for years. In fact I used to bleach out the 95 years of maple flooring in my Historic House kitchen just last year. After bleaching, I whitewashed the whole floor and them stained 8 inch squares (using Min wax Special Walnut for the contrast) as a grid over the whole floor. This to hide the patches that I had to make from olde partitions. Wood bleach comes in a dry form and you add water to it. Savogran paint company makes it. Sorry that my 80 year old brain doesn’t know how to add pictures of the process. I also used it to take out the stains in a finished floor in the Historic Home of a neighbor. Her doggie maternity and puppy drop cloth didn’t work. Those stains were black.

  29. Another blog I read shared what they used last year for their deck. They didn’t look into snails tho. We had them all over something once too.
    Don’t know about paint removers in wood. Whatever you do, I bet giving a the spot a quick bath wipe with water to pop any freshly exposed grain shortly after would make the stain apply more evenly.
    When I worked retail I swore by Duck brand’s adhesive remover (Orange liquid in bottle with included scrapper). Place on exposed goop wait, or use the scrapper and wipe off. They taped all the price tags down in the shelf channel. It’s an orange-like stink, but it’s more bearable than goo gone and seems to wash out okay too. It seems solvent based, and cleaned off hard non-porous surfaces well.

  30. Google oxalic acid wood bleach and see what it says.

    My husband has used oxalic acid wood bleach in our rental homes. Good luck.

  31. Sikkens for your porch, it’s expensive, but really lasts a long time. Thompsons just doesn’t cut it. Sorry, no info for the blue paint, I’d probably use a heavier duty sand paper, good luck!!

  32. You might want to try in a very small area to test first, using the product Bar Keepers Friend.
    I bought an unfinished wood table years ago at a consignment store and used this
    product on it and was amazed how well it worked. I used the powdered version and mixed with
    water to make a paste and taped off a small area to test. Praying you find an answer that works for you.

  33. Waterlox for the porch. At the very least I’d call their customer service and see if they think their product could help. Durable product, accessible customer service

  34. Who knew?!?! About the snails and slugs. Sorry I don’t have any solutions for you, but I learned something (actually LOTS!!) from you – so thank you!

  35. The We Sell Mats website suggested anchoring the floor with Pirate Anchor Floor tape. I’d try that for the gym floor. It claims to come up residue free in case to need to replace a square.

  36. I would go with paint remover or thinners and very fine wire wool. And keep wiping over with a clean dry cloth to try and lift it out. I think if you use bleach it will raise the grain and you will end up with it still being another colour. Outside though a pain I would sand it all, stain and then give it many many coats of varnish. I hope you manage to find an answer to your dilemmas.

    1. Thanks, Carol! Matt has been in the hospital. He was released yesterday afternoon, and he’s doing well now. It’s been an exhausting week. I hope to post tomorrow and tell y’all about it.

  37. This comment is well past the time frame of being helpful for your gym floor, but I just found your blog. Maybe this will be a helpful idea you could use some other time. You mention trying to secure the flooring. I have a large polypropylene/indoor/outdoor rug I use in our living room. The edges got caught often and curl up. I now use Command strips–the plastic velcro “lock” together when pressed version. It has been great, the carpet doesn’t move, and it’s supper easy to remove for outdoor cleaning and then return and snap in place. They are easy to remove should I want change out the carpet. Hope that is helpful!