Today I'm going to show you how letting go of perfection really allowed me to take that urge and run with it.
The house was carpeted when we bought it. At least one room had shag pile that was probably originally installed in the 60's or 70's. Blerch.
They were driving my allergies into a frenzy so although we hadn't actually planned to pull them up until we had saved enough to replace them with new flooring, the old carpets had to come up.
We were really grateful there was some ghastly old lino under the carpets that we could clean up and use until we could afford to do something with the floors.
We saved a bit, and started looking at flooring solutions and just how much we would need to spend. That budget got eaten up with replacing the car and...well you know how it goes right?
We continued living with the lino. But the lino in the hallway was not a single piece but several small pieces that weren't holding together and really needed to be thrown out. So the lino in the hall went.
We were very relieved to find the jarrah wooden floors we knew to be under the lino had actually been a finished surface at some point way back in it's history and the gaps between boards were not nearly as bad as we feared.
I filled the gaps with jarrah coloured filler and we waited for that to cure. But there was never really a great time to block off the 5 (of 6) doorways to that hallway, only half of which had doors (doors with big gaps). Doorways that led to our bedroom, bathroom, lounge room, dining room, my sewing room and the front door of the house.
Somehow we never got to the next step of sanding that floor and sealing it. I kept thinking it could only be done if it could be done the right way.
That the room would need to be emptied and all the pets sorted out so as not to use that space while it was worked upon (more difficult then it sounds but that's another story) and the doors blocked off so that sawdust wouldn't end up in our bed, and towels, and my sewing gear, and in the electronics in the lounge room; that the walls and roof should be painted first which would mean the space would need to be blocked off for several days.....oh my gosh, it was just sounding impossible.
Half finished projects like this led to the whole feeling of overwhelm I had with the state of my house.
I'm learning now that things don't have to be done to perfection the first time. That done is more effective then not done.
With that in mind I decided to tackle the hallway after carting all those donations off to charity. I scrubbed the floor and removed all the excess putty that would have sanded off if we had ever gotten all those doors blocked off and the floor sanded back.
Then I experimented with 100% raw linseed oil which isn't toxic to pets (you don't want them guzzling it but if it gets on their paws it's not going to end in disaster).
We had looked at floor board finishes at the hardware store recently and many of them suggested using linseed oil on the floor as a first coat so I was no longer worried that it would be cause problems later (like the tin of floor stuff at home suggested) when we do get around to doing a nice floor finish.
Raw linseed oil is not a high gloss finish like baked linseed oil is (we definitely don't want high gloss floors), and it dries faster. It can be applied with a rag too and I've got lots of those for just this sort of project, so I wouldn't need to find a paint brush or special equipment from the deep dark depths of the shed.
My only concerns were how long it would take to dry and how badly it would smell.
The smell is mild and we can live with it. The floor is so dry that it soaked up that oil in a few hours. What a relief! This meant that I could do it during the pets daily nap time and be fairly confident I wouldn't have pet paws to clean or oily paw prints to worry about.
Another bonus of using the raw linseed oil is I am able to use the oil in sections without there being a funny finish from overlapping sections (don't ask). Being able to leave little areas to walk through and then oiling up the walk way areas later means all of the high traffic areas can be done! Yay!!
Hubby said he wondered what the earthy smell was when he got home form work and walked through the hall in the dark, but was rather impressed with the results when I turned all the lights on to show him how well it had turned out.
That space is so much better now. I can almost open our front door and pretend our hallway looks normal.
A week later I am still getting a thrill from seeing my floor looking so much better every time I walk through the hallway.
Letting go of Perfection truly has purfylled our life.