After a long battle with the floors, they’re prepped and ready to go. Getting the plywood and rubber up wasn’t so hard. Neither was grinding down the nails and bolts that poked out from the sheet metal. The hard part was grinding down the rust spots and removing the oil sludge.
Yes, as much as I love the old veggie system for its scrappy DIY aesthetic, it leaked like hell and was prone to spills. What we wound up with was a rubber floor covered in sticky oil and dead mice, a plywood subfloor soaked through with old oil, and a sheet metal floor coated in dark, sticky, dried oil. This last bit is the worst kind. I’ve been elbow deep in veggie before, and it’s not so bad. It’ll even wipe off! This stuff though, sticks to you and won’t let go. We had to use an angle grinder to get it off the floor. Our shoes were not salvageable when we were finished.
The only way to get the stuff off our skin was liberal use of brillo pads. But lets not dwell on that, we don’t have to deal with that again. Once the oil was up, we had to take care of the rust. We used a product called Ospho, which converts the rust from Iron Oxide to Iron Phosphate. This stuff is awesome, and though we nearly used a gallon of it on a few coats of the floor, it looked a whole lot better afterwards. All of the dark spots used to be rust.
Lastly, we hit it with some Rustoleum paint to further stop the advances made by oxidation. There is no reason in particular why we used brown.
So far the angle grinder has been the MVP in this conversion, and it’s been fun getting acquainted with a new tool. Now that the floors are done, we’re moving on to taking off the walls. More on that later.