There's a (s)peck with an acorn pointed at me!
Somehow, without even speaking aloud our intentions, we both began working on the wood. We finally tried out ye old denatured alcohol. Hmmm. Not the miracle cure I was hoping for. There are thousands of tiny white paints specks left all over the wood, and I was under the (false) impression that the denatured alcohol would take care of it.
But while the denatured alcohol was no holy water for woodwork, we still found it to be a handy and useful tool. It cleaned away the slightly gunky top layer of shellac and left the wood smooth. It softened the paint specks so we could scrape them away, one by one by one by one by one. By one.
While I scraped specks, Darwin climbed up on a chair (a better step ladder is on our Christmas wishlist) and started heat-gunning the woodwork I can't reach. This was his first real adventure with the heat gun, and somehow HE didn't burn himself. (In the half hour I used the heat gun on Saturday morning, I managed to burn two of my fingers and my knee.)
It also turns out he is a more thorough heat gunner than I. You're shocked by this, I know. He takes a slow and steady approach. Slowly heat, slowly scrape, slowly clean the scraper. Slowly begin again.
My approach is more "let's get this done as fast as humanly possible, the denatured alcohol will take care of the specks." Ha. I wish I'd been using Darwin's method all along. This speck-scraping? It sucks. I don't recommend it for weekend entertainment. Maybe as a new torture device.
(The title's from Willow. You know, the best movie about little people and magic ever.)