Tuesday, August 12, 2008

It's Progress, Ain't It?

Here I am again, come to announce (trumpets, please!) that I have Three More Pieces of Woodwork Stripped. Which brings me to 53 out of 330, or 16%.

Well, whoopty-do and wallop me with a cornpone, as some down-home philosopher I've just made up never said.

It doesn't sound impressive, does it? Or worth blogging about.

But I started this blog a year ago to document whatever progress I made fixing up the house, as an incentive to keep me making it. What's the point if I don't use the blog for its purpose?

Besides, these were three big, important pieces of wood trim. They're the inner jamb and header facings of the "archway" between the living room and dining room. They're the ones I didn't dare take down, because the plaster was so fragile I was afraid the whole house might collapse if I pried them free.

So they had to be stripped in place, with me sometimes working blind, with the floors protected the best I could with contractor paper, a plastic-backed drop cloth, and newspapers over it. I'm sure I've got some stripper spots on the fake Pergo, though. Rubbing that runny Western Wood Doctor refinisher on with steel wool can send the drips flying, whatever care I take.

I did the heat stripping part of the job Sunday evening. And managed to hold fire with the heat gun until I'd cleared out the excelsior and bits of Kleenex that various past owners had stuffed into the space above the header trim. I can sort of understand what the nose tissue was doing-- I suppose it makes a feasible backer material, if your mind runs that way-- but the excelsior I don't get at all. It didn't even pretend to be mixed with the plaster. It was just lying there.
Anyway, tonight (blast it, do I have to say "last night and early this morning"?) I got the pieces cleaned of their old finish, and that is progress. Even if I did run through three right-hand rubber gloves doing it. On one jamb I'm left with the mark where I removed the POs'-1 quasi-Victorian decorative bracket, and a piece of the trim came off with it. I'm hoping I can get the new finish dark enough to even that out.

That, however, is something I'll concern myself with down the road. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof, and all that sort of thing.


Jayne said...

It IS progress, no matter how small it seems. It all adds up. Hang in there, you'll get that trim refinished.

Sandy said...

That's a whole lot of hard work. My arms would have fallen off!