A masterpiece on which to tread

I’m no artistic genius either.

I went to art school and thought I’d become a famous painter and lead a fascinating jet-setting life.

One problem though…

I was a lousy painter.

Things would start off okay, then I’d over-work the canvas, then I’d try to fix it, then it was a total mess.

By my second semester, I’d wisely switched to another medium.

My parents even took down my paintings over a decade and a half ago – a few years with them was enough of a struggle.

But I’ve still got a painter’s cockiness and swagger.  I think that because I understand color and texture and shape and design, I can conquer any visual task – even a painterly one.

This is the only instance I have of over-confidence.

I’m also cheap.

And I like old sh*t.

So when I saw what was under our unfortunately rather new, but horrid, fake wood floating floor in the kitchen, I exploded in glee to see the original Armstrong linoleum floor in “Tuscany Tan” spatter pattern, c. 1954.

house-linoleum

Then I pulled up more to find a hole the size of a Spaniel in a very conspicuous area, so I called a flooring guy to write up a quote for new linoleum.*

The cost for the new stuff nearly made me come in contact with said floor, but we could make it work by buying the cheaper versions of some other things in which we intended to splurge.

linoleum restoration-2

We pulled up the rest of the floor last weekend…  and the rest of it was good!

A few hours later found me in the craft store buying oil paints.

(I can’t find my 20-year-old mostly unused paints at the moment – maybe I gave them away?)

linoleum restoration-3

I filled the hole with wood filler, sanded it, and started to make my trompe l’oeil masterpiece.

Only it was really, really off.

linoleum restoration-4

Naples yellow hue is really just beige, and my green needed to be mixed with some blue, so I went back to the store for a couple more tubes.

linoleum restoration-5

And then I got to the point where I started overworking it.

And then N became a backseat painter.

He almost became painted and feathered (or sawdusted).

linoleum restoration-6

And in the end, it is convincing enough.

I need to scrub off a little more of the yellowy wax build-up in the surrounding area (which I should have done before I painted) and with a few coats of sealant, it should be even better?

We still have another floor guy coming out to give another quote this week just in case…

Oh, and rugs, right?  One of those will help it even more!

But really, this is better for all even if it isn’t perfect – being “green” is most effective when you can keep what you’ve got.  I’m able to donate the ugly but still perfectly use-able floating floor to a charity building organization too.

*Linoleum is not vinyl, it’s made of linseed oil, and is historically appropriate and “green.”  This also does not contain asbestos as did other similar resilient tile flooring before the 1980s.

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8 Comments

Filed under art school, home, home decor, recycling

8 responses to “A masterpiece on which to tread

  1. katie

    I like the swagger and the results of the swagger. That floor looks good.

  2. Excellent camo job. Mad painting skillz. 😀

  3. Very good info. Lucky me I ran across your blog
    by accident (stumbleupon). I’ve book marked it for later!

  4. I have the same floor in my kitchen only I’m pretty sure it’s “Norwich turquoise”. Mine is looking pretty worn and I’m looking for advice on refinishing it… Some areas are cracky looking and very worn. I’m hoping to do something to it that makes it look fresh and doesn’t require too much maintenance. Your experience & how things held up would be helpful!

    PS… I am also a “failed painter” but I refuse to give up hope! Lol

    • Yeah, mine is worn so thin in places it won’t be able to be restored eventually – I’m hoping to get a few more years out of it before replacing it with marmoleum – I wish you could get the same patterns! I’ve also been using Armstrong “Shinekeeper” on it – it gives a slight coating and shine (though it was never meant to be shiny) that seems to help with the wear a bit too.

  5. Thanks so much for your feedback!

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