Time Thief

Sunday, August 21, 2005

tick, tick, tick

A whole lot of painfully slow progress going on at the time thief (which translates to no exciting pictures). It's mainly due to my unnecessary, nightmarish foray into paint stripping. Tangent - I just googled 'nightmarish' to make sure there wasn't an 'e' in there and the third hit led me here. Eeeeek! This brings a whole new dimension to my "problem" with seeing animals "in transit" on the highway.

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.


  • I have to defend that citrus based stuff...It worked fine on cleaning up the leftover goop on the trim I stripped in our old house. At least I thought it did -- Ryan did that part of the work since I was pregnant at the time. He did the chemical stripper after I had used a heat gun to do most of the paint removal.

    I'm fairly disturbed by the taxidermy site. And I had no idea you were troubled by chicken trucks -- I'm right there with you! Although around here I see very few chicken trucks -- it's all pig trucks (pigs are a bigger ag. product than tobacco in NC).

    By Anonymous Alli, at 3:21 PM  

  • Any animal(s) in transit freaks me out - pigs, cows, even horses - so I know it's not a "going to slaughter" thing. Strangely, I think cats or dogs in transit is cute. Yeah, we know I'm weird.

    Citrus strip is usually okay, but it just didn't have the muscle for the layers here.

    By Blogger SmilingJudy, at 5:37 PM  

  • Once I read about your many layers I could see how the CitrusStrip might not do the trick. We had at most 2 layers although they were thick in spots. I had to do two applications in a few areas, but it worked well for that amount of paint.

    Incidentally, did you try a heat gun? I was amazed at how well that worked. It was very useful in getting the bulk of the paint off before using chemicals, and did not smell much and the result was just dry bits that were easily vacuumed up.

    The stripper you linked looks really nice. I can see it being key for many layers of paint. Sometimes it seems like I should have done more web research before jumping into some of my projects, of course I did get most of them done a lot quicker because I was not wasting so much time surfing around!

    By Blogger Ry, at 8:50 AM  

  • No, I didn't try a heat gun. I probably should have but I was living in a dreamland where stripping this stuff wasn't going to be that involved and didn't want to "waste" what?....20 bucks on a heat gun for this one project. Once again, logic and reason totally escapes me.

    By Blogger SmilingJudy, at 10:48 PM  

  • damn good blog, check out mine http://juicyfruiter.blogspot.com, comments always welcome!

    By Blogger eddy64jayme, at 12:37 PM  

  • Peel Away is the best. I'm thinking, actually, of creating a cheer for it.

    By Blogger Beth, at 4:25 PM  

  • Also, my parents are friends with the Cabela family. Their Christmas card includes pictures of all the animals the various family members killed that year. It's really bizarre.

    By Blogger Beth, at 4:26 PM  

  • oh-ma-gawd. That is bizarre. Thanks for sharing. :) Now I have a story to tell when I'm sorting through xmas cards at my mom's this year. Oh, wait, that's right. They probably wouldn't get the strangeness since they have 1 or 2 dead things on the walls themselves. Oh well.

    By Blogger SmilingJudy, at 10:52 PM  

  • i used that citrusstrip stuff and it sucked.use whatever else you can,even if its water,for christ sakes.my boss just gave it to me in a bowl to get to work,with no warnings of needing gloves or anything.about an hour later,my fingertips were numb and felt like my skin was going to drip off.a day later,still a little numb,still all weird,but a little better.that stuff sucks.and fuck animal cruelty.i know peta can be a pit extreme,but the facts they have about like environmental effects of domesticated livestock.its sickening to realize the truth.check out peta.com.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:34 AM  

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