Saturday, November 15, 2008

Nasty Bits

No, not that kind.

I mean the four jamb trim pieces I stripped today.

I was really hoping to stop the current paint stripping campaign at the top of the steps from the first floor. It's tacky enough subsisting with my living room, dining room, and first floor hall denuded of trim. It's quite enough to have to overlook the black-dusty-crumbly grossitude that is the exposed plaster where trim once reposed on the walls of the first floor. I really didn't want to tackle the trim of the five doors, one window, and miscellaneous baseboard in the second floor hall as well. Couldn't I restrict the squalor to one floor only?

No, I could not. The wallpaper and/or paint that starts in the downstairs hall will have to go all the way up. No stripped trim upstairs, no nice new stairhall walls upstairs or down. Those five doors, one window, and miscellaneous baseboards had to be done, now.

So I'm doing it. The trim of the window and three of the doors I tackled last weekend. Today my goal was to strip that last of the long jamb pieces, the two from the bedroom doorway and the two from the closet.

Should have taken me five hours. Maybe six, maximum. Instead, I was at those four nasty pieces of work from shortly after 10:00 this morning till nearly 8:00 this evening, with maybe a half hour out for a mid-afternoon snack.

The problem? On the first two, splintery places some previous owner(s) hadn't bothered to glue down before painting them over. Rather, the object seemed to be to get as much paint behind the splinters as possible. You can literally while away hours trying to dig that out.

And then, of course, these damaged places need to be reglued. Which they should have been several decades ago.

With the third piece, it soon became apparent that it wasn't the original trim. Original to the house, but I think it started out someplace else, someplace where it was painted from the beginning. All except one edge, which was stained and shellacked under the paint. Very strange. There's a story there having to do with the time my POs-1 converted the third bedroom into a dressing room/walk-in closet. But I won't insert my conjectures now.
The paint on this piece, even after two laborious, time-consuming attacks with the heat gun and scraper, still wouldn't yield to the liquid refinisher. Had to order in the light artillery and use the palm sander. It now has squiggly sanding marks all over it, but I Do Not Care. It's stripped, that's the point, and I'll deal with the squiggles later.

This piece also had a chip that needed glued back in, but it broke in two and the heatgun blower blew one of them onto the floor where it got lost amidst the paint shavings. Oh, Darn.

Fourth piece I did this evening only because I finally got the Project Tracker working (with help from Larry at Simpson's Folly) and I wanted to post another percentage point.

So there I was out on my screened-in porch at 7:30 PM. It was dark outside, the north wind was rising, the temperature plummeting, the rain was thinking about turning to sleet or even snow, and I was stripping woodwork. I couldn't be sure if the vapor I was seeing was smoke from the work piece or my own breath, and my feet were so cold I had to resist the temptation to turn the heatgun onto my shoes. But I wanted it done.

The last jamb piece wasn't as awful as the others: it just had a lot of that old blue wall color ingrained in the outer edge. Lovely pasttime, freezing your fingers with cold refinisher in colder weather.

My right shoulder needs the chiropractor, I'm so tired I'm liable to forget I have dinner in the oven, but the nasty things are stripped.



Sandy said...

You are definitely determined! My hat is off to you. I don't think I could do it.

p.s. I will have a tag for you tomorrow, so come on over to my spot to see!

Kate H. said...

Thanks, Sandy! I'm off tomorrow to a continuing ed event in the country the next two days (with no computer), so I'll check you on Saturday!

Larry said...

You need to take a break!!

BTW - welcome to the world of squalor. We've been this way for quite a while now.

As for those splinters with the paint behind them - don't you just want to go find the POs and smack them around?

Kate H. said...

I can't smack them too hard because I'm still pumping them for information!