Epic fail – Our damaged living room floor

In the interest of keeping it real, I bring you our biggest fail to date. The floor in our living room is f*cked.


That light gray spot… yeah that’s not supposed to be there.

It’s no secret that we’ve been using the downstairs living room and dining room as renovation central. We’re storing ALL the tools on the floor (it’s a great method that allows us to easily find anything we need… NOT!) and miscellaneous building materials in this space. That included eight sheets of treated plywood we needed to finish the walls of the workshop. We dropped it in the living room several months ago because those sheets are heavy and we were in the midst of another huge project.

When we moved the plywood to the basement to make space for working on the trailer components, we uncovered this.


We hoped it was a stain and instantly tried some citrus cleaner and wire brush, which did next to nothing. Which led to lots of anger and curse words. This is an epoxy floor! It’s supposed to be indestructible!


So now we think it was probably some sort of chemical reaction between the chemicals in the plywood and the epoxy floor. A little internet research revealed that this can happen when an epoxy floor isn’t installed properly. What? Something in this place wasn’t done correctly? I’m shocked (sarcasm).


We have one more heavy duty cleaner to try, but we’re not holding our breath. So we’re probably going to have to strip the top layer of floor and paint it with a heavy duty coating, like we did in the studio (although that was on top of concrete, not an epoxy floor.) Oh, and did I mention that this flooring runs throughout our downstairs living room, dining room and bathroom? Hello extra work we weren’t expecting. Ugh.

This is our one appeal to the interwebs to see if anyone out there knows whether this can be fixed or has experience removing epoxy floors OR scuffing them for paint/recoating.

Trailer overhaul – Interior

(Get some background on our trailer project here and check out the first exterior post.)

Removing the kitchenette
Immediately after purchasing the trailer, we took advantage of being so far north (we bought it in Iowa) and made the relatively short drive to make our inaugural trip to Ikea. We wanted to pick up some material for the trailer, including a new counter top and flooring. We struck out on the floors, but took home a length of butcher block. Once we started work, we realized that the counter top couldn’t be removed from kitchenette. It was basically one solid piece. We didn’t want to remove ANOTHER piece of the trailer, but at this point we were all in. What’s one more project on top of all the other projects? Sure! Let’s build a new kitchenette from scratch.

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Thankfully there was no water damage behind it.003trailerinterior


Interior walls
To replace the missing sections of wall, we opted for hardboard wall panels, because of the moisture resistant prefinished coating (on one side) and the flexibility of the panels.

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Painting the walls
Everything got a good coat of primer and then many, many coats of white paint. Here’s the view looking in from the back.007trailerinterior


Looking in from the front.009trailerinterior


New flooring
Then it was time to lay the floors. We bought TrafficMaster Allure Commercial Plank, Modern Oak in Broadway. I have never loved a resilient vinyl tile more.010trailerinterior 011trailerinterior


New bed and benches
We ultimately decided to scrap the original wood for the bed/couch and dinette seating, opting to build new versions. This allowed us to raise the bed/couch in order to store (from left to right) a water tank, battery and HVAC beneath. 012trailerinterior

Everything will be accessible from above. The HVAC is meant to sit outside. It got a door so we can easily slide it out.


In the back, Aaron created new benches using the former ones as a guide.014trailerinterior


Wiring and lighting
The lighting also got an upgrade in the form of LED pucks and new sconces by the bed/couch. 015trailerinterior 016trailerinterior 017trailerinterior 018trailerinterior 019trailerinterior 020trailerinterior 021trailerinterior


Trailer overhaul – Exterior part 1

(Get some background on our trailer project here.)

The good thing about taking out SO much of the trailer is that we were able to re-engineer the whole thing to make it much stronger. Aaron used the curve of the metal skin to shape the wood for the front, adding additional cross beans for more stability. The frame is bolted to the under carriage, so it’s not going anywhere.


Much better!

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He went through the same process in the back. For some reason, this is the only shot I have of the back with the framing completely removed. It also gives you a nice window into the dank, damp tunnel he was working in. It had electricity, but no overhead lights.005trailerexterior1

Here’s the new, much stronger framing.

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On the side of the trailer we found some additional wood rot in the wheel wells.009trailerexterior1 010trailerexterior1

He also added a new cross beam for additional support.011trailerexterior1

The trailer included a heater, which we had zero plans to keep. It vented through a hole to the left of the door.012trailerexterior1 013trailerexterior1

This was a quick fix.014trailerexterior1


In the quest to make this trailer as water tight as possible, Aaron decided to address the undercarriage. It wasn’t in bad shape, but a some sanding, priming and painting would offer a little extra protection. First he sanded the undercarriage to remove as much surface rust as possible. Then all the metal got a coat of Rust-oleum Auto Primer, followed by Rust-oleum Semi-Gloss Protective Enamel.

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The single most arduous task, which remains unfinished to this day, is refurbishing all of the windows. It’s a 6-part process for each of the ELEVEN windows.

– Disassemble
– Clean all of the glass and metal
– Sand the metal to give it a brushed aluminum look
– Reglaze the glass seals
– Replace the rubber seals
– Reassemble

They go from looking like this:


to looking like this:020trailerexterior1

If we could hire magical elves to complete one part of this trailer overhaul, we would vote for the windows. Hands down.