Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Back in the Saddle Again

As soon as my adorable boy cat gets away from in front of my computer monitor, I can tell you what I’ve been doing since 5:30 yesterday evening.

. . . . All right, then. I’ve gotten back to stripping woodwork, in the 2nd floor hall.

My first object was the jambs and head of the hallway window. I made sure to cover the window sash and glass with kraft paper-- I didn’t want to take off the finish the way I did with one of the windows in the living room.

Guess what? Kraft paper does nothing whatsoever to keep the old caulk and foam insulation from smoking and off-gassing from the heat gun! (Duhhhh!!) Not needing constant accompaniment from the smoke detector mounted on the hallway ceiling, I took out the battery. And kept a squirt bottle at hand to wet down any undesired hot spots.

After dinner, I finished the job on the window casing with the Western Wood Doctor chemical stripper. It did its usual effective job, and by the time I finished, it was 9:00 PM. Ah, the night is young! Plenty of time left to take care of the jambs, head, and stops of the door to the bathroom.

Don't ask me why I'd thought that wouldn’t take long at all. Maybe because I’d envisioned doing each jamb, etc., and its stop as one piece. I’d get a twofer as to my tally, and the members to be stripped are so skinny, the work should fly by.

Oh, yeah, right.

After a bit of paint removal, I saw that stripping the stops in place would cost me a lot more time, difficulty, and potential damage than stripping them down.

So, I pried off the stops.

Oh, look at that. Now that the stops are gone, looks like I'd have to strip both exposed portions of the inner faces of the jambs and head, the one towards the hall and the one towards the bathroom. Maybe I could keep the heat gun away from the bathroom side, but not the chemical stripper. Besides, what am I supposed to do, finish the hallway side all beautifully then come back when I do the bathroom and mess it up again?

So I plied my little heat gun and got as much paint as I could off the outer edge reveals (toward the hall) and the inner faces. I’d strip the edge reveals on the bathroom side when I redo with the bathroom. Which given the current economy, might be never.

But that’d get me into the same predicament: How to do it later without ruining any refinishing I do now? But to strip those edges in this campaign would mean prying off the door trim on the bathroom side.

Oooh, no, I don’t want to do that now! I don’t want to go anywhere near dealing with the bathroom for a long, long time!

Too bad. I’d messed up the reveals when I stripped the jamb and head faces. And though I’m not keen on stripping woodwork that’s just going to be painted again, that bathroom trim is lumpy, bumpy, gloppy and sloppy, full of pits and craters and utterly disrespectable in appearance.

So off came the bathroom door trim. I labelled it, set it out in the hall, and finished the heat gun job on the jamb reveals on that side.

And that's all for tonight.

There's a few things I discovered about my bathroom as I worked this evening. But I'll save them for tomorrow-- I mean, later today, after I've gotten some sleep. I'm up to 193 pieces stripped (not counting the ones partially done) out of 336 (not counting the bathroom trim I took down tonight-- ouch), the floor is swept and shop-vac'd, and the supplies, tools, stools, etc., are pulled together, piled up, and gotten out of the way.

And oh, yes, I remembered to put the battery back in the smoke alarm.

1 comment:

Sandy said...

Hope you got some sleep. I just love subway tile.