3.20.2011

A Super(mom) undertaking

This past week my husband was out of town.  The kids and I (mostly me) decided that we were going to surprise him for his 40th birthday with a new epoxied garage floor.  I know to probably all of you that does not sound like a great present, but he does spend a great deal of time in the garage with one project or another. (At least he does when he is not at work.)  He has wanted an epoxied garage floor since our first house was purchased, 4 houses ago!

I researched this project more than I probably needed to just because it was for him.  He tends to be a little bit of a perfectionist.  Truthfully, I didn't want to spend time painting the garage floor only to have it peel up the first month. Every website, YouTube video and product box I read said it should take about 8 hours to complete.  Sadly, I don't think this applies for a mom with three kids.

Monday was the start of our project.  Jack, who was without homework, tackled the initial removal of everything on the floor.  Let me just say that I knew my husband was an excellent organizer but holy cow we have a lot packed into our garage!  Most of the larger things, bikes, riding tractor, go-cart, barbie jeep etc, went under the deck.  The smaller things we crammed into the crawl space.  All told we spent nearly 3 hours unpacking the garage.

Tuesday we finished unpacking the garage and moving out the larger tools, workbenches etc.  I was totally surprised to find that we have a pretty good size garage when it is not stuffed with things.  After the removal was completed Mark and I spent time power-washing the floor.  As in all home improvement projects we had a road-block or two when the power-washer wouldn't start, then when the nozzle was clogged and then again when Mark carved his name into the garage floor with the power-washer but we persevered knowing we had only one week to complete this project.  At 10pm we finished and went to bed pretty darn pleased with ourselves.

Wednesday I spent 3 hours scrubbing the floor of the garage with degreaser.  Not only was our garage considerably larger than I remembered once emptied, it also had far more stains than I would have ever fathomed.   Then I followed that with another round of power-washing (minus my name carved into the floor)  Once Mark arrived home together we scrubbed another 3 hours.  Let me tell you I had no idea my arms, back and chest had that many muscles!  And boy-oh-boy could I feel everyone.  Mark and I downed a couple of Advil and prayed for a dry floor for Thursday.
wet but very clean floor

Thursday came and went and the floor remained soaking wet.  I guess the rain Wednesday night didn't really help things either.  Thursday I continued to pop my Advil like tic-tacs remaining sore and stiff. It even hurt to take a deep breath!  Super-Mom needs to up her workout.  The wet floor proved to be a necessary stopping point as the kids were getting tired of not having milk for cereal or bread for sandwiches.  Seriously though what is wrong with PB&J on a hot dog bun?

Friday afternoon the floor was dry!  I decided to paint half of the floor by myself, and let me tell you this was the wisest move I made last week.  Painting one side of the garage with three kids was plenty.  Since I am fairly certain many of you have never put down your own epoxy floor let me just say it is like painting with white school glue.  It is thick, sticky and gets dry in a hurry.  The kids were covered in it!
beautifully textured floor

This particular kit came with multicolored vinyl chips for sprinkling onto the epoxy to give it texture.  What man doesn't want a little texture in his garage?  Once the epoxy was rolled onto the surface of the floor, the vinyl chips were supposed to be lightly sprinkled over the surface.  Let me just say kids do not get the concept of "lightly"  I am glad we did not have any loose glitter because I am sure Emma would have loved to have added that.  Everything needs a little bling! The best part was when Jack and Emma would 'sprinkle' the vinyl chips they would throw a handful down and yell "HUZZAH!"
The finished project

We did finish before John arrived home and with 2 hours to spare we all went out for Pizza.  He was completely jet-lagged and seriously surprised.  It was wonderful to see him completely stunned by the magnitude of our undertaking.  But wait there is more!  Next week when it is all cured, I get to sit in a lawn chair, drink my sweet tea and watch him, try, to put it all back into the garage!  On second thought perhaps I should hit the fabric stores, my rotary cutting arm should be worked out a little.
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