Wednesday, January 30, 2008


I resolved at the beginning of January to strip at least one piece of woodwork a week. I also resolved to have all the woodwork that's going to be stripped, stripped by the end of the year, and to get the dining room and living room trim refinished.

Let me see . . . I went round the house and counted last week, and I have about 330 pieces of trim, casing, stair parts, and so on to relieve of their paint and old varnish. This does not include the stair treads, the upstairs hall floor, or the panel doors. At one piece per week, that would take me-- what? Six years and four months?

I think we have a conflict here.

Then throw in the 22 or so pieces supplied by the POs-1 when they remodelled the place in the 1980s or early '90s. These were painted from the first and the paint refuses to come off. And if it would come off, it wouldn't matter, since you turn these pieces around and find they're full of big ugly knots. Still, something also needs done with them. Replace with new wood and shellac, if I can find some clear trim that blends with my old yellow pine and it doesn't cost too much? Ideal. Do what Craig and Yvonne Schiable did in their Victorian house in Jersey and grain the existing pieces to match the new shellac job? Maybe. I've done it before.

So add messing with those in, and I've stretched the job out to September of 2014-- not counting refinishing.

I do not think so.

So I've accelerated things a bit. This is what I've accomplished so far this year:

That's 17 pieces out of 330 . . . 5% of the stripping job done. At this rate, I'm still looking at September of 2009.

But, I tell myself, "Be of good cheer!" In my count I didn't make allowance for size and shape (too much like work). A plinth block is one piece, a six foot lintel is one piece. In the dining room, I'm almost done with the big long pieces. I'm out of Western Wood Doctor refinisher since yesterday, but as soon as the new shipment comes, I should be able to get all the surface trim for the dining room piano windows done in the next week or so. Twelve more pieces down!

"Almost done with the big long pieces" doesn't count the baseboards. That's a separate issue, and a separate post.


Sandy said...

Ah, Kate. After I figured out that it would take me until 2014, I think I would have just thrown in the towel! I loved the contrast of the beautiful wood and the absolute essential (at least in my house) kitteh provisions! I just happened to look away from the work (and being a fur-ball lover) picked right up on that! LOL

Kate H. said...

Yes, but around here it's the Terrible Towel, Black-and-Gold, and we don't throw it, we wave it. Vigorously. It intimidates the opposition and creates a feeling of mindless euphoria in the waver. Enough to tackle 330 pieces of wood trim that need stripping and all the rest of the damn fool project.

Sandy said...

Hi, Kate! It says, "I told you NOT to click that button!" LOL ( I have a lapful of cat helping me type this.)

Kate H. said...

Every time I see that button, I think of Bluebeard's wife and the mystery closet. Not that Gary in Dayton is any Bluebeard! (LOL!)