Studio Rehab

We are so proud to announce the opening of our new downtown location! Slikati has moved in to the historic Masonic Temple at 126 E Broadway, Suite 11. As you have likely already heard, it was loads of work. When we moved in the floors were carpeted in the horrendous, water-stained, commercial-industrial horror you see below.

We also inherited some swanky furniture!

We did inherit some swanky furniture, though!

Why was this a thing?? Anyway, we were 98% positive the carpet was hiding a wonderful, old hardwood floor and set ourselves to the task of digging through history to unearth it. Not yet daunted, we set to work pulling up the carpet (with a little help from our friends; thanks, guys!). That turned out to be the easy part! Well, hauling the rolls out wasn’t so easy, but throwing them over the fire escape sure was satisfying.

Slikati Studio Rehab


Sliakti Studio Rehab



Slikati Studio Rehab


Underneath the carpet, and pretty well adhered to it, thankfully, was tile, and underneath that was a thick, impenetrable layer of tar paper. Back in the day, tar paper was a common flooring adhesive and is notoriously difficult to remove. Just ask Google. Removal techniques abound on forums across the web, and we tried them all, including a few we made up on our own. First we tried Goo Gone. The guy at the hardware store assured it it worked wonders on all manner of stuff– paint from concrete, oil from asphalt, you name it. And sure, it made the paper a little… gooey… but not much else, and certainly no easier to remove. We tried a heat gun, our iron, and an industrial steamer, which worked kind of.

Slikati Studio Rehab

Look at that! Right down to the wood!

After heating a spot the size of the steamer head for about 30 seconds, it was possible to scrape up small chunks of paper for about 5 seconds before it hardened again. But look at the mess, and consider the time, and we were less than impressed. The only other thing that worked, and this only in places where the paper was brittle (i.e. around the edges of the room where it hadn’t been walked on so much) was scraping it up. Backbreaking work.

Slikati Studio Rehab

Backbreaking and floor-gouging, but a good vent for rage.

About a week in, we had a breakthrough when our friend Evan suggested using a planer. For the uninitiated, it’s a little hand-held tool, slightly larger and heavier than an iron, that scrapes off the top layer of whatever you run it against. In this case, we dialed it in to 3/16th of an inch and like magic it shaved off a 3″ strip of tar paper. Right down the the original finish on the wood.

Slikati Studio Rehab


We were thrilled! Sure it didn’t get much at a time, and good blorg the mess! But what a relief! So we bought a couple of planers and set to work. Trying this at home? Get a Makita. We ended up returning the Bosch, the slighter cheaper one, because it clogged up all the time and after just a few passes, the belt melted to the casing. Also earplugs, gloves, and respirators. Safety first, friends.

Slikati Studio Rehab


After we got as much of the tar paper off as we could with the planer, we rented a couple of sanders (one for all-over, and one for the edges) and voila! We chose Bona’s water-based polyurethane hardwood floor finish for it’s non-toxic formula and matte finish. Applied, dried, and high-fived!

Slikati Studio Rehab

Applying the finishing touches!

Here it is, ready for action!

Slikati Photography | Missoula

Thanks again to our friends, fans, and support team for helping us make this possible! We’ll have lovely photos from two recent photo shoots to share soon, so check back!

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