Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Well, let's see: Four more pieces of wood trim stripped today. That's thirty-four in all, out of 330 to be done. A bit over 10% of the job completed.

Of course, that doesn't include gluing down the big splinters, or filling dents and old nail holes, or sanding down the exposed ends where the grain has raised over the years and won't let the paint go.

But it's a decent amount of progress, especially considering the three or so weeks that I did nothing while waiting for the electrical upgrade so I could use the heat gun.

So I should keep buzzing along, right?

Yes, but . . . one of these days I have to tackle the baseboards in the dining room. And my reluctance seems to have nothing to do with the fact that some of them are really long. Or that removing them for stripping will mean moving furniture and disconnecting outlets.

It's more the prospect of having a room in my house with all the trim gone. Creeping upon me is the atavistic fear that the trim is the only thing holding my house together. And that if I take it all down in any one room, the house will collapse with it.

Don't laugh. Tonight I pried off the lintel and cornice on the living room side of the cased opening to the dining room, and great chunks of plaster crashed down in clouds of dust onto the fake Pergo floor. I have no idea what's holding up the intrados section; above it you can see straight through into the dining room. Maybe the jamb pieces on either side. It's very inexplicable and mysterious.

This is how it looked in January from the dining room side. No pictures of the damage tonight-- my digital camera's off being repaired (I hope) and I'm not on a plan with my cell phone that allows me to get the photos off of it. But it's even nastier looking now. You would not believe the amount of white caulk, spackle, and paper towels some previous owner used to put all everything together.

And here I am taking things apart, and what if it all comes down in a hail of plaster, lath, and bricks?

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