tick, tick, tick
Anyway, back to the house-stuff. The stripping nightmare is a self-inflicted, unnecessary side-trip because:
1) I'm painting the mess in the end as I know it was painted to begin with. I just wanted to clean up some of the gloppies. Did you know hardboard and MDF were around in the late 40's? Yep, they were because the center of the cabinet doors on my living room built-ins are made out of hardboard and one side of one built-in is MDF. (? why just one side is beyond my comprehension) I was betting on just cheap pine, but I guess they were super modern around here.
2) I stupidly tried to use CitrusStrip because I hadn't the patience to wait for Peel Away, which I know will work. I ordered PeelAway last Wednesday after my initial defeat and am anxiously awaiting its arrival in the hopes that it will save me. Based on a recent post over at This Decrepit Victorian House, I may be in luck.
While the mantle/fireplace surround are currently a scraggly mess, the built-ins are nearly ready for paint and the brick portion of the fireplace surround is about 2/3 of the way there. I've considered tiling the brick portion, but wanted to give stripping a shot just to see what it looked like. After two applications of CitrusStrip and lots of steel wool, I have been able to strip most of the bricks. They're left with a bit of a white haze when I'm done which I actually like better than the true clean brick, so I'm leaving it at that. If I happen to find the "perfect" vintage tiles sometime in the future, I may go that route. This has worked because the bricks only had 2 - 3 coats of paint versus the 8-or-so coats on the mantle and built-ins. How does such a young house get so many layers of paint on its trim?! I know the last time it was painted was in 1979, so it only took about 30 years to get most of the 8 layers. Lots of trendy residents, I guess, as opposed to my original theory that it lived at least part of its life as a rental.
It appears the ugly "fake brick" hearth is original. I have suspicions that it may be one big slab of fakeness. Don't even want to deal with that right now, so I think I will paint it and maybe give it a faux finish. So much for installing some nice tile! Complaining about stripping some brick and in the same post discussing painting different "brick"? Yeah, I'm crazy like that. They don't even come close to matching nor harmonizing, and trust me, the hearth is tres ugly.
Two separate companies are coming over tomorrow to look at the floors for refinishing. One well-known outfit and another that I think is just one guy and his wife who runs the phones out of their home. A third company gave me a price over the phone last week of $3/sq. ft. Just curious - how does that compare in your neighborhoods?
Oh! A final tangent - ordered PeelAway from VanDyke's. The order confirmation informed me that they are somehow in cahoots with Cabela's. This led me to the realization that there is also a Van Dyke's Taxidermy company. Okay, I'm not cool with that. But where else am I gonna get my Peel Away fix??!! And now everyone knows what an animal-loving freak I am, if you didn't already.