21 August 2006

Progress of another color.

Nope, still no more scraping on the porch. Jack slept poorly last night and woke up with an achy and generally unhappy shoulder that meant he wasn't sure about trying to spend a couple hours on hands and knees to finish the scraping. No worries; our house is 90 years old, so it's pretty easy to find other things to do if I am feeling motivated.

And I was, so I decided to strip more varnish in the dining room. The main doors and such are done-enough for now, but I'd been dreading starting the 8-inch floor board, so decided I might as well stop putting it off and give it a go. And it is tedious - the taping is futzy, the quarter-round piece of trim at the bottom is annoying, it's a fair amount of time contorted on hands and knees - but it's not difficult and I got the larger piece finished (about half of the room). There are two smaller pieces, one of which might get done yet this week, and one that will wait until we're ready to re-stain it all because it requires moving a rather large cabinet/pantry to get to and since it holds all of our dishes and a fair number of our kitchen appliances, we only want to have to move it once.

While I was waiting for the strip goo to do it's magic, I got out our little Ryobi Corner Cat sander (ours is the corded version, though) and sanded the door frames and window that had already been stripped. While I was doing that, Jack came down and decided to try to clean up the kitchen side (the painted side) of the one door frame with the heat gun. Both the sanding and the heat gun paint clean up worked well and Jack got the underside bits of the door frame that I can't really reach safely, so all in all we had a fair bit done by the time we decided to stop for an early dinner (we usually eat a late-ish breakfast and an early dinner, and skip lunch, on days we're both home).

After dinner I was still feeling a bit restless and decided to attack the rest of the door frame with the heat gun. As I've mentioned, there are at least 7 coats of paint on the woodwork in the kitchen (except for the new doorway into the bathroom, which appears to only have one coat). These seem to have been applied on top of the existing varnish, so when you heat it all up with the heat gun, the varnish goes gooey and the paint more or less just peels off all in one piece. It's not quite that simple, but it's also not anywhere near as scraping-intensive as the porch has been.

And I'm happy to report that though I'm now more achy than I was, one of the three door frames in the kitchen is now completely free of the offending light teal green paint. I'd post a picture, but it's still a bit sloppy, so I want to clean it up a bit more first. It also will need a final coat of the strip goo because gooey varnish is annoying to scrape with a heat gun in one hand, but one coat will be infinitely preferable to the 6 or so it took to go through all the paint!

Tomorrow I have to head into town for a couple hours for a meeting for work and we have to run a few errands (need to get a poster frame for the crane poster I got at the bookstore clearance a few weeks ago; need to get more strip goo; need to stop and deposit a reimbursement check), so we might be less ambitious at home, but you never know.

In knitting news, I got Sensational Knitted Socks today from Zooba and have a feeling it's going to become one of my staple reference books for socks. I'm also contemplating making socks with some of my handspun, knit on a smaller than normal needle to make a more sturdy fabric. I'm a little unsure of how they'd hold up, but I think I might give it a try with some of the Shetland from Cate and see. I need to get another project on needles before we leave for the Cities since I don't want mom to see her holiday gift (even though she picked it out) until Christmas!

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