Thursday, January 27, 2011

Stripping is Harder than It Looks

Catchy title, huh?  Bet you never knew this knitting/homeschooling/housewife got up to such interesting stuff?

Well, let me set your worries at rest.  Nothing untoward is going on here in the Frigid North at this household, except perhaps for the noxious fumes that came as a result of stripping - - -

wait for it - - - - -

- - - - wood. Glamorous, huh?

This little storage shelf area in our bathroom was painted a lovely 50's era blue, which completely clashed with everything else in our Victorian era home.

The first thing I had to do was strip the exterior facing of each drawer.  The paint stripper I like to use is highly toxic (which only helped add to my already burgeoning neurosis) and burns like *&%* if you get it on your bare skin.

After the several layers of paint were stripped and scraped off, a strong amount of sanding was required to get the surface suitably smooth and ready for staining.  For such work, I decided to call in the Handyman.

This is my favorite angle of him.  Mmm hmmm . . . .

Oh. Sorry.  Onward.

Perhaps it was just the fumes getting to me, but as I stripped of layer upon layer of peach/baby blue/green (and possibly even burgundy?) shades of paint, I philosophized on what the home owner of that time was thinking when they went for that particular decorative look.  (Perhaps they were high on fumes too, judging by the number of psychedelic shades.)   

The hardware was thankfully original to the house (I suspect), so I didn't have to purchase new stuff.  Technically it most of it was copper, but even after a thorough cleaning and stripping, it didn't have that lovely copper patina that I would have preferred, so I decided to just give all the hardware a layer or two of my favorite "wrought iron" spray paint.

I'm telling you, this stuff is amazing.  It not only gets the right color, but it even creates a subtle mottled surface effect on the hardware.  Genius.

While I was at the whole stripper business (hee hee!), I figured I might as well do all the rest of the upstairs trim and doors that I never did complete when we were still in the throes of new-home-ownership.

Let me assure you, three large doors (which are two-sided, in case you didn't know), several pantry doors and three large drawers is a lot of work.  I had to take off a week of teaching music lessons in order to get the job done, and I needed every day of it.

Not only did the layers of paint have to come off, but on the doors at least the original varnish/stain had to be removed as well.  80+ year-old stain is very set in its ways and does. not. want. to move. on.

If stain could become a poltergeist, this stuff would have been a prime candidate.

See the door on the left and the door on the right?  Both from the same cabinet.  I sanded the one on the left and Handyman sanded the one on the right.  He's got bigger biceps.  It's why I married him.

And other reasons.

(Sorry.  Blame the fumes.)


WELCOME TO TuttleTime! said...

Only you could turn such a mundane, exhausting task into something fun and funny. I laughed out loud at your bicep and other handyman comments.

Wow...I consider myself extremely lazy next to this! I can't wait to come up and see the finished product. I plan to take a flight some time...