Exposing Hardwoods AND Their Little Secrets...
Parts of the home improvement process can be immediately gratifying, while others are a dull and seemingly thankless job- and pulling up carpet staples definitely fits into the latter category! After the carpet pad and tack board are removed (using a good ol' crowbar) and the hardwoods are revealed in all of their glory, the tedious task of staple extraction begins. I can attest to how frustrating this job is-especially when, hours later, the floor looks almost exactly the same as when you began.
Luckily I had learned from past DIY mistakes and knew that using the proper tools would save me A LOT of time and hair pulling. The most important tool that I would recommend is a pair of diagonal cutting pliers with comfortable grips. These were a game changer for me since, unlike other pliers, they can grab the staple really close to the wood- which is very important for getting out those little monsters that have essentially become one with the floor.
Other equipment to have on hand is: task lighting, gloves (although I allow my hands to just blister because gloves always get in my way- I know, Yuck! ) and a broom to frequently sweep away the mini metal piles and expose the guys that are hiding below. And don't forget the wine- even though the right tools will help, it's still not an easy task, so trust me, you will need lots and lots of wine when you're done!
I also held a self-competition setting small, manageable goals followed by rewards. For example, I would declare (sometimes in my head, and other times aloud to the empty room) that I had 3 minutes to remove 20 staples. When I achieved that, I'd take a few sips of coffee, or after longer stretches, a look at Instagram. (Did I mention that I was a learning specialist before I became a stylist? Some of the same tips that I gave kids and parents to help with schoolwork have crossed over into my renovating and decorating jobs!)
I'm happy with what we have managed to do so far- eliminate the dirt-trapping carpets to expose great looking, easy to clean wood floors. We will eventually stain them a rich dark brown, though I may paint some patterns in a couple rooms too!
I hope you go ahead and expose those beauties lying beneath your carpet, and don't be afraid of those covert metal anchors waiting below!