Saturday, January 3, 2009

Day 1 - Who Knew Stripping Could Be So Fulfilling?

Well, I've done small stuff since closing three weeks ago because holiday travel and work kept me too busy. Jan. 3rd, 2009 was my first full day of work.

Thought I'd start with the bedroom walls. They have about three coats of paint on top of at least three layers of paper on top of painted plaster. Read a lot online about removing wallpaper and restoring wood trim last night. So, I started the day with a brand new scorer, a paper scraper (stick with a wide razor blade at the end), gel paper remover, and putty knives for wood scraping. When I scored the paper, I knew I was in trouble; the scorer didn't leave a mark. The paint was tough as plaster. I soaked an area with gel remover and started working in the yard to let the remover do its work. An hour later, I couldn't get the paper scraper to cut through the paint let alone the paper. The seam was bumpy so I got the blade through the upper layer and this gave me some leverage. After 30 minutes I had cleared a circular area about 2 ft. diameter and was bummed by the lack of progress.

This was the tool and the size of the area it cleared. Don't waste your time or money. It is too bulky to lay at the right angle for stripping. As you can see, in spite of having a razor blade, it left a layer, too.

So, I did the smart thing and walked away and took a break. I don't often do the smart thing; usually keep going until I'm thoroughly frustrated and can't think straight. Must have been a good night. Anyway, I decided there had to be an easier way so I got all my sharp flat tools together. Trial and error and Voila! I borrowed the perfect method from the wood refinishing blogs. The putty knife worked like magic.

The magic putty knife. I tried a lot of others with wider blades but this one could not be beat.

Here's the area I was able to clear over eight hours (two days) after using just the putty knife and a lot of elbow grease. You can see I was able to get down to the final paint layer (gray) in a lot of spots. This covered about two-thirds of a wall.

1 comment:

  1. Welcome to the neighborhood and good luck. You'll soon find yourself on a first name basis with the people down at the Home Depot.