Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"Enviromentally safe" stripper is an oxymoron

Being the clever girl that I am I thought that I could simply strip the front door of three layers of paint with just a dab of stipper and a putty knife. They make it look so easy on the infomercials.

The first time I used Jasco and got most of the paint off. It was a huge mess and left a lot of paint behind. I ran out and had two other types of stippers that I got from my mom. They were "enviromentally safe" strippers and I swear if you're going to use stripper you might as well just use the real thing.

The other smell-good strippers didn't really penetrate the paint. They just rubberized it and never did dry out like the Jasco. The Jasco became "one" with the paint and when I would peel strips off there was no wetness to it. The next day I finally saw some bubbling but it was a huge mess to get it off.

I finally ended up just scraping alot of it off with this nifty scraper tool set I got at Harbor Freight (a moment of silence for the cheap tool capital of the world)....There is STILL little bits of paint left behind. I've got to strip the back side of stain & poly so I'll take another stab at Jasco in the cracks.

Lessons Learned:
Just use the strong strippers. I found that Jasco was easier to use, easier to clean up and didn't stink forever because it dries out.

If you are stripping (not the Las Vegas kind) Harbor Freight has a set of scrapers with a handle that has a dozen different shapes on it for scraping paint out of little crevices or trim.

Black Breathing

I'm determined to get miners lung I guess. I took down the shutters and hung them on the newly demolished wall downstairs because I hadn't removed all the drywall screws yet. I hung them up, opened the window for air, put on a mask and latex gloves and fired up the spray can.

I didn't really feel like it was hard to breathe or anything. The cramping in my finger (the bruise I felt for days) was worse but when I went to the bathroom I got a surprise. All around the bridge of my nose was black as coal. I guess drawing breath through the mask created a suction and drew the paint fumes in.

The shutters look great on the house. It really classed the front up. I also painted the trim around the door white and touched up the trim around the garage. Someone even asked when I painted the garage door...I didn't. I also painted the south garage door that was all green with white trim and flat beige paint and the back french doors.

To finish up the trim I put new white corners in to replace the aluminum ones that were ripped up and bent. That was a job because vinyl trim corners are designed to fit UNDER the siding so I had to cut off all the flanges and trim it down to slide onto the corner.

Lessons Learned:
Spray painting inside is usually not a good idea at all. I was lucky to have a room that needed to be painted top to bottom but how many times do we have one of those.

Don't try to match the siding when you are replacing the corners. I used the white that matched the soffit trim and it looks like it is custom. If I'd used the almond color it wouldn't have matched exactly and would have called attention to the fix.