1902 Victorian

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Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Take That, Trim

We had a coupon for $10 off a $25 purchase at Lowe's, so we went on a little shopping spree there Sunday. After asking three different Lowe's employees, we finally found a heat gun. We got the cheapest one there, a $30 Wagner brand with only a high and low setting.

We also got stuff to work on the weedy flowerbed by the driveway - two bags of hardwood mulch, a set of gardening tools, a pot of Gerbera daisies, and all-important Roundup to kill the evil weeds. And we got three strips of lattice to finally finish the kitchen trim and drywall mud to begin patching the guest bathroom walls for painting. And I couldn't resist a hanging basket of beautiful yellow begonias.

When we got home that night, we had to try it out on the trim in the entry hall. Working together on it didn't work out too well, so we were grumpy and didn't get much accomplished.

Then last night Darwin went to bed early, so I worked on the trim solo. It went much more smoothly, but I got less than half of one side of the door frame done in an hour. Eeek, this is going to take 100 years. Still, I'm excited to get back home and work on it some more!

It looks like most of the trim wasn't primed before painting, as it's chipping off everywhere already. See the left side of the door frame? I scraped some paint off without even using the heat gun.

Under the white paint is some kind of burgundy-tinted slightly sticky stuff. Some of it comes off on the back of the paint chips, and some stays on the wood. The wood underneath the paint for the most part looks like it still has a dark stain.

Any idea what that stuff is? Shellac or something? And when I go back with some kind of chemical to get off the little bits of leftover paint, will I also have to take off the shellac (or whatever it is) and start over?



jenne said...

I have the exact same stuff! Wait till it dries, it will look kinda like see through yellowish dried syrup.
I got a great tip from someone on my site....the next step you need to do to get those little bits of paint off is rub the trim with denatured alcohol. It WILL completely strip your wood - which I don't mind since the trim was blotchy from the heat gun anyways. At first my husband was removing the little remnants of paint with an attachment to his power drill - but that really chewed up the trim and made a HUGE mess. He's on denatured alcohol duty now, which isn't as "fun" as using his power tools. Oh well!

11:05 AM  
jm said...

Yep! That is shellac. Try the heat gun on the low setting instead of high...although this is counter-intuitive, sometimes it doesn't allow the melting paint to get so "gummy" and muck up your scraper. I find, when stripping wood, that a clean scraper is pretty key. So I'm always stopping every so often to clean off the edge with a rasp. Looks good!

11:32 AM  
Gary said...

On this subject I am an expert! (An ex being an old has-been and a spurt being a drip under pressure.)

What you have is aniline tinted shellac that was put on to make the wood look like mahogany. Strip off the paint as best you can and go buy one of those triangle headed scrapers for getting into corners and use it pulling towards your body not pushing it away. You really need a variable setting heat gun because it needs to be set at 7 or 8 so that you don't burn the wood.

Then go buy a gallon of denatured alcohol and some coarse steel wool and rub the wood down. This will break down the shellac and any remaining paint. Wipe up the goo with a rag as you go along. When you have done this, wipe the wood down with alcohol on a rag. This re-amalgamates what is left and evenly spreads it over the wood surface. Let dry for an hour. Lightly hand sand with 220 grit paper and wipe off the dust. Go buy some amber shellac and apply three coats.

12:36 PM  
Gary said...

I meant to add this note. It will take you two whole days to strip aa actual door so expect at least one entire day to get that trim stripped. That is about 10 hours. If you do it in less time, be grateful. Just knuckle down and do it, there is no easy way. This is why it took me months to strip our wood. I literally did this day after day, 3-4 days a week for 4 months but it was worth it.

12:52 PM  
Just Pat said...

I was so excited when I read your post because I have amber shellac all over my house...but darn it, all your questions have been answered! I do have a two speed heat gun that I've had success with, taking care and time to not scorch the wood. But, denatured alchohol is a must.
I'll add that only a do-it-yourselfer will walk into a Lowe's to save money with a $10 coupon and walk out with $200 worth of stuff they "couldn't resist."

5:02 PM  
Kristin said...

Thanks guys for the info on the shellac. The two-speed heat gun is working fine; haven't scorched any wood yet.

And Just Pat, you are so right about the "couldn't resist" stuff at Lowe's. Hee hee.

8:44 AM  

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