Friday, June 11, 2010

Side Trip

If you took a look at the diary/organizer on my computer, you'd see for today's date a long list of To-Dos pertaining to sanding and shellacking my 2nd floor hallway floor. You'd also see that most of them are in red, meaning I meant to have them done before this. In some cases, long before this.

Some of my lack of progress I can blame on my car. It celebrated my return to driving last week with problems with its brakes, computer software, and a belt or two. Some of my failure to check things off the list is my own damn laziness. Gah! I love being online and linked to so many people all over, but I sure got a lot more done when I'd never heard of the Worldwide Web.

Currently, however, the main reason I'm not working on the floor is because I've taken a step back to do the steps to the 3rd floor first.

Makes sense, really. Can't you just see me, hallway floor all beautiful and finished, and here I come splashing paint remover all over it as I work on the stairs up to the study.

Serious work started yesterday, with the peeling back of the carpet that lipped over the nosing at the top of the stairs. Needed to be out of the way to get the riser stripped.

Oy! was that a chore. More staples per inch than a general store. They were the little ones, too. The carpet edge is a mess and I refuse at the moment even to think of how it'll be to put it back, but for now a couple of bricks are keeping it out of the way and that's what matters.

Started in with the heat gun yesterday afternoon. My experience stripping the old shellac off the three lowest treads told me that the paint on the stringers gets pretty messed up. Add to that the strange texture the stringers acquired from paint cut in around carpet, and that equalled stripping the stringers, even though they'll be painted again. The paint on them isn't really cooperating with the heat gun. It gums up and has to be gone after with a toothbrush dipped in refinishers. Today I discovered that if I heat it till it bubbles and let it cool down, I can scrape most of it off cleanly with a dull razor blade scraper. Funny, that only works where there's two coats. Otherwise, it's back to rearranging the goop.

Shades of the plaster repair work I was doing a year ago: I found out today that it wasn't such a good idea to carelessly let the Big Wally's PlasterMagic adhesive just drop on the stairs (on the theory that I was going to refinish them Anyway). It's not that it's resistant to the heat or the refinisher, it's just that getting the plasticky globs of it off the treads prolongs the process and makes a mucky mess. Without it'd I'd have more to show for today's labor.

Made some progress this afternoon with the refinisher, then more with the heat gun after supper. The idea is to do the heat application and the liquid refinisher in stages, so I can bring my tools down with me and not go clomping up and down wondering where I put things. The idea was also to get the whole stairway done before I went to bed tonight. But a little after 10:00 I reflected that I'd have better light for it tomorrow. Besides, I've been fighting a terrible case of the munchies all evening, and if I stay up much later I'm sure to go downstairs and eat large amounts of ice cream or something.

The project's going, at least. I've had second thoughts about the necessity of stripping the stringers, but too late to turn back now. Don't know how much I'll get done tomorrow: I've come by some vegetable starts for my garden and really need to plant them before my dog eats them as they sit on the back porch. I've had to rescue a Brussels sprout seedling already.

1 comment:

Jayne said...

I think it's a good idea to do the steps to the third floor first. Gravity and all, you know. Your comment about letting the plaster stuff drip on the stairs "because I'll refinish them anyway" reminded me of how I've been treating--or mistreating--my floors. I think I'll let your post be fair warning to me. Good luck--that's a big project you have there! :)