Success Is Hard To Come By

The day after no success on the glued floors, Dude and I headed over to LeRoy-Merlin. He wanted to look for some kind of magic tool to help us out. When we got there we made a beeline for the tool section (secretly I think he was super excited because we all know how much guys like the tool section of hardware stores). I swear we were there for 3 hours because he couldn’t decide what drill and bit would work the best. He was trying them all out and then going back and forth between, like, 5 of them making sure that when he picked that “just perfect one” it really was “the one”.

As with everything else in France, the items are labeled differently and the companies that are the suppliers are even different in many cases, so we never know what a decent brand is and what not to buy. Certain brands that they sell in the states, and we are familiar with, cost and arm and a leg here so we have to rule those ones out instantaneously.

That is what brought us down to the 5 we were thinking about. I tell you I was feeling like I was watching the grass grow. I got so bored that I felt like putting one of those dang drills to the temple and just going for it. I kept after him to hurry up, but he was really indecisive about what to get. He didn’t want a piece of junk that was gonna break right away, but he also didn’t want to spend a flat fortune.

In the end, he went with good ol’ Metabo. This brand was one he was familiar with and he said it had a good reputation. On the side of the box it actually has the tag line of Work. Don’t play. Hilarious, I tell you. Then he went over and grabbed the bit (that looked like a scraper) and made sure that the drill was SDS+ and had some special chuck. Yaah…., um….., ok. Whatever that means in Dude language.

We also set out to buy a shopvac cuz with all the dust and grime we were stirring up with this project we were gonna need one. Dang those things are expensive here.

Off we went to the house really excited (we really were, no lie) cuz this tool was awesome and it was gonna work great. We were optimistic on this one.

When we got to the house, we suited up and Dude got to work on the floors with the drill. He fired that thing up and it was loud! Someone from the other side of town probably thought we were doing road construction that’s how loud it was.

You know what?? I didn’t really work THAT great. It didn’t do any more damage to that dang glue than our good ol’ fashion elbow grease did!  In the video below, it seems to look like we are getting some where with it, but in reality if you look at the floor around him, he still has a lot do and it just isn’t fast enough. He was actually get more done when just chiseling by hand. We need something that was just gonna melt this stuff away!

By the way, how he sounds with his mask. That’s what I kind of get to hear all the time. Sort of like what the kids on Charlie Brown hear when their teacher talks. 🙂

He kept plugging away at it for a while though, and the drill bit didn’t want to stay in the drill. Then he decided that he was gonna tape the bit onto the drill. Still wasn’t working. Then he taped a crowbar onto the bit which was taped onto the drill. He was hoping to put more pressure on the bit so it could get up underneath the glue and lift it off much easier and faster. This was also a no go. It was too hard on his hands and too slow for the liking.

After about 30 minutes, he just gave up. He figured what little he had accomplished with the drill and bit, he could have probably done the same darn thing by hand.

That dumb drill went right back into the box and into the closet.


I went to the second story stairs to do some more chiseling. I really didn’t want to use any harsh chemicals, but we we getting to that point.

Sometime later Dude came down stairs and said to me. “Will you go over to Point P and pick up some Acetone, maybe that will work.” I replied, “No can do. Point P is closed now.”

Frustration on his part had now ensued. We both were sick of these floors so I tried to look up where the nearest hardware store was to the house so I could go get some harsh chemicals.

As luck would have it, I found a Mr. Bricolage that would still be open for some time. I packed it in and headed out. The cool thing about driving all by myself is that I can totally blast my radio as loud as I want and nobody is gonna tell me I can’t. So guess what?? That is just what I did. The whole 30 minutes of country road driving that it took me to get to the store. Ahh, freedom…..

Once at the store, I found the Acetone right away (lucky for me it’s the same name in English). I called Dude and said I was successful and you know what he told me? He said, “Fine some paint thinner, too”. Dang it. I don’t know what that is in French.

So, I started reading all the harsh chemical labels and opening up the bottles to sniff the stuff. Man I was high, by the time I left that store. I’m sure I lost some brain cells that evening. The funny thing is that you can actually open the bottles. There was no safety on them! You can’t do that in the states! Nice perk of being here if your into that, though.

Through all the drug sniffing I finally found what I thought to be paint thinner. I grabbed a small bottle of that and a HUGE jug of Acetone and headed for the counter. You should have seen the look the girl gave me. It was like, “Hum, what you buying just these two items for?” I just smiled and shook my head “yes” like I was up to something (plus I must have had a goofy look on my face since I was still high from sniffing the chemicals) and I walked out the door with my treasure. Bonjournee J

When leaving I spotted the best place in the whole world to go to the bathroom, McDonald’s. Yes sir-eee bob. I pulled into the parking lot and in McDos I went. Clue to all, if you are on the road in France and need a bathroom, McDos is the place. They’re open 7 days a week, you don’t got to pay to do your business and the bathrooms are cleaned every 30 minutes (at least that’s what the sign says in there). I tend to believe it cuz they have been pretty tidy when I’ve used them.

Upon leaving, I spotted some teenagers walking out with some delicious chocolate sundaes. Ok, I’m down with that. Those fumes were still lingering and they were telling me that French fries, a coke and a chocolate sundae were calling my name. I seriously never eat that bad. I tend to avoid crappy foods as much as possible, but today I was blaming the chemicals. I bought the farm, folks. Dude and I were going “fast food” tonight. It was McDo for dinner. Boy was he gonna be surprise and you know what? I didn’t even feel guilty when I left with my sack of crap. If I was gonna be a construction worker (I was already dressed for the part –all sloppy with dirt and construction grime on me) then I was gonna eat like one today.

Back to the house I headed. So there I was in the car with McDo in the front see, my chemicals in thetrunk and I was flying down the country road blasting my music. Ahhh, what more could a construction girl want.

I should have known that my bliss was destined not to last. All of a sudden I said to myself, “What the heck is that smell? It smells a little bit like……CHEMICALS!!!!” I suddenly started to panic cuz I was afraid I was gonna blow myself up. Seriously. I envisioned body parts and fries all over this beautiful country road.

I quickly found a place to pull over to the side and opened up the trunk. Wow! Fumes galore! The bottles had fallen over and some of the chemicals had dribbled out. I grabbed both bottles and put them outside on the ground then I called Dude to let him know what happened. Do you know what that man said to me? He said, “What?!! You spilled chemicals all over the car?!! It will wreck the paint! Take them out of the car!” Nice. Thanks for caring about ME, Dude. All he was concerned about was Benoit. I could just feel the love emitting heat waves from the phone. By the way, I didn’t spill them ALL OVER the car, just the back part. Sheesh!

So, there I was hanging out for a bit on the side of the road, a lone woman with the trunk open, chemicals on the ground and eating fries. I was sure hoping no one would come by and offer me help because I wasn’t sure how I was gonna explain myself.

After about 10 or 15 minutes, the smell from the car dissipated and I was able to head home. When I made it back, Dude comes out all flustered about the car and checkin’ it out and everything. He never once as me if I was fine and if I still had some brain cells left. Yup, he’s got my back alright.

I showed him the gourmet meal I bought and we went up stairs to eat before tackling the floor again.

After McDo, we once again suited up (this time I put my mask on) and went up stairs, opened all the windows for good ventilation and proceeded with pouring the chemicals on the floor. We tried the Acetone on one side of the room and the paint thinner on the other. Then we waited a minute to see which one would work the best. The hard part was waiting since we didn’t know what to expect or how long to wait.

Then we started scraping away hoping that the glue would just melt right off and we would be home free. Nothing happened. The chemicals did absolutely NOTHING to the glue. This was impossible! How was it that Acetone and paint thinner would have no effect at all! This stuff is harsh, man! We were completely stumped at this point. We had no ideas left in us. What in the world was this glue made of?

Now we had to put our thinking caps on again. We were really tired of this by now and just wanted to move on. This glue situation was taking up all our time and we had so many other projects on our plate.

I guess it was back to LeRoy Merlin in the morning. It was time to search out another tool to help us.

I just wanted this to be over…..and I can still smell those chemicals.

About backyardprovence

I was finally able to realized my dream of living in France when I moved here in 2010. I love to read,I love history and road trips. I want to be doing anything outside in the fresh air. I want to have an entire room devoted to a personal library.

Posted on August 11, 2011, in The House of the Farmer and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I can’t wait to hear what you bought at Leroy Merlin (one of our favorite stores) to get that glue up. I fear that nothing will work except good old fashion elbow grease.

  2. Having Mc Donalds and transporting chemicals in your car: that’s’what I call living on thé edge! 🙂 There must be a way to get rid of that glue.doing it by hand looks trememdously exhausting.Have you tried to ask a carpet specialist?

  3. Now I understand why they call it DIY in english! We can send rockets to Mars but there is no SUCH thing as a glue remover that works then…

    • There might be something that works in America, some great chemical that maybe they don’t sell in France. Not sure, because we can’t get a lot of stuff we want here. Not even on Ebay or Amazon. That can be frustrating at times to be quite honest!

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