Sunday, September 14, 2008

Wherein I Do Not Burn the House Down

With the heat gun.

And not because I didn't use it on the curvy trim that sits next to the wallpapered drywall in the front room, the selfsame trim I couldn't take down because some previous owner decided the room needed the drywall and hemmed the trim in with it.
No. Actually, I did. Use the high-powered 1100˚, 1,200 watt heat gun, I mean. To strip in place the cased opening between the front room and the living room. Both sides.

I meant to try my older, weaker heat gun with the heat shield, but I was thinking, hey, the actual jambs and head are made of 2x lumber, and after that there's a substantial margin of plaster before you get to the wallpaper on the living room side, so I may as well use the heat gun on the living room side. So I was, using it, I mean, and then I was thinking, hey, in order to say I've finished heat stripped those fat pieces, I gotta get the paint off them where they butt up to the curvy, ogival trim on the front room side of the opening. Hmm, look at this . . . the heat seems to be lifting the paint on the curved piece, too . . . Hmm, maybe if I work fast and don't leave the heat aimed at the wallpaper too long, I can get away with . . .

And I did. At least, I didn't burn the house down. And given that it's all plaster and brick behind there, I don't think there's anything smouldering in secret, any furring strips, I mean . . . I mean, I finished up the heat gun work a good five hours ago; yeah, I would've smelled something by now. Not like that contractor I heard of once who was stripping some client's front porch with a heat gun, and the heat started an old bird's nest hidden in a hollow porch column on fire, but it took a couple-three hours for anyone to realize it. By which time everyone was off the site and the house merrily burned down.

Which I haven't done. Burn down my house, that is. But I have got that cased opening stripped. True, in places I've made a ragged mess of the wallpaper and/or drywall paper where it butts up to the trim. Sorry. A function of how the drywall was installed. I'll figure out how to deal with it later.

Besides, here's good news: That wallpaper is now doomed! The fact that it was actually adhering to the wall can no longer shield it! The silly front room wallpaper is doomed!

Maybe I should mention I breathed a lot of stripper fumes when I did Step 2. Thought I had the room better ventilated, but maybe with the trim still on the wall I was working closer to it than I go when the pieces are down and on the sawhorses.

Had a jolly time doing it, notwithstanding, accompanied by Mr. Bryn Terfel and the rest of the forces at the last night of the Proms in London, then the last two movements of the Symphonie fantastique and a performance of the Waldstein Sonata. Among other musical delights emanating from my 1977-vintage component stereo system which I'd moved from the front room into the dining room to get it out of the way. In the dining room it's against the back wall of the house rather than under the windows. In the dining room I can get away with cranking it up a little.

There were six pieces involved with the cased opening I did tonight. Add another piece I did earlier in the afteroon. Seven today; that is, Saturday. That, along with other pieces completed since I posted last, brings me up to 94 out of 336. Nearly 28%.

Pathetic, isn't it? Yes indeedy doody, I do believe I counted all the balusters separately . . .

1 comment:

Sandy said...

Great job! The woodwork looks so nice without all that paint. So long wallpaper!