Paint, Thou Art Fragrant
I am now in love with the heat gun. We are planning to run away together soon.
After working as high as the gun's cord would reach (need to find the extension cord) on the door trim, I decided to give it a shot on the mantel. It went SO well on the mantel. The paint was coming off in sheets, in some areas not even leaving a speck of paint behind. There are apparently more layers of paint on the mantel, and the backs of the paint chips look more yellow-brown than the dark-tinted shellac on the door trim.
The easy stuff was all on the flat faces of the mantel, though. There are lots of little details that will be harder to deal with. On a recommendation in the heat gun's manual, I think I'm going to gently try a wire brush.
*Actually, the stink of it fills the whole house, and I can still smell it on me. It has soaked into my pores and become my new perfume. I think I can even feel a cloud of it hovering in the back of my throat.