Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Adventures in stripping....

At some point in our house's past, someone decided to paint our bedroom walls an ugly dusty pink. That's not so bad though, because a couple gallons of paint can take care of that :) Sadly, they also painted the doors and windows with the same chalky paint. We thought we could live with blue walls and pink doors for a while, but it clashed pretty badly and was even more nauseating than before!

My mom became a semi-professional stripper (hahaha) after a not-so-little plumbing leak destroyed the plaster and woodwork in their house 8 years ago. Lucky for us, my parents just happened to be free a couple weeks ago when we got the hair-brained idea to strip the doors. We didn't really know what to get at the store (they all look the same!), so we asked and were told which ones were good (AKA most popular...). Being big fans of the environment, we opted for the low-smell low-chemical stripper that cleans up with water and supposedly works just as well as the other stuff.

So, we slathered on the green goo and waited... And waited some more... The instructions said the stuff needed to stay on from 2-24 hours depending on how many layers of paint were on the door (up to 7- there were maybe two on the door), and it would turn a light green when it was ready to come off. Well, the color changed and we tested little sections every few hours but it didn't quite seem to be coming off right. Dad and I made an executive decision to leave it overnight and try again in the morning.

The next morning we found it didn't really come off any better, so we scraped all the paint/goo off that we could, and decided to give it another shot with the real burn-your-skin-off stuff. UGH!

A few rounds of the "real" stuff helped tremendously, but we were still left with little flecks of paint in the grain. UGH again! We used brushes and toothbrushes which helped a little, but took WAY too long. We tried sanding down to get the paint off and we tried stripping again after sanding, but I don't think we'll ever get all the little flecks of paint out.

At this point, the doors have been sitting (unfinished) in the garage for a few weeks and we have "learned" how to share the bed with the cat rather than shutting her out every night. One of these days we'll have a little free time to finish sanding and see what they look like stained. Wish us luck!

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