Monday, June 22, 2009

Stripping Sucks

It will be interesting to see how many hits I get with that title - but, sorry, I'm talking about stripping woodwork. I have spent the past 4.5 hours stripping one - yes, count it, one - newel post. Sheesh. I haven't even started the railing yet, which is going to be an even bigger pain in the ass because at least the newel post has some flat surfaces. It looks like everywhere I didn't really glob on the Peel Away it just has stuck to it. I wonder if I should actually reapply more to the railing, now knowing this. (Un)fortunately, I need to stop for the day so I can eat something, take a shower, and get to work. There was another sign that I needed to stop for the day, however:

Yes, either all the scrubbing or the mineral spirits seems to have eaten through my gloves. I had a blister from last weekend's carpet removal and it even ate through the band-aid. I'm not sure how much was on my skin before I noticed. Yick.
Anyway, it already looks a lot better than before with the black nasty shellac it had on it. I was surprised, however, to see that the wood is not lighter. I wonder if the Peel Away actually only ate through the shellac rather than the stain. Not sure, but I'm actually pretty happy with the color so I'll probably just end up putting some poly on it. There are some spots that are going to need a bit of a do-over but that will have to wait until I can finish the railing. Woe is me.


Tracy said...

In my experience, rubber gloves always fail either in the thumb or forefinger. I guess that's where most of the pressure of rubbing, pushing, etc. all happens and over time, the glove fails. I've had success wearing a cheap pair of cotton gloves over the top. I buy far fewer expensive stipper gloves now. Besides, if your phone rings, or whatever, it's far easier to slip off the cotton rather than the rubber gloves and they take all the crud with them... Good luck in your project!

Joe said...

I use denatured alcohol (available at HD and most hardware stores) to clean old, shellacky, posts, rails, doors, you name it. It totally strips away the grime but doesn't touch the stain. I think it does take off the shellac but since it's all grimy anyway I want it off. It's a little messy but I think the Peel Away is way overkill for what you're trying to do. I pour some on fine steel wool and rub the posts, door, whatever. The messy part is because the steel wool is pourous and the liquid will drip a little.
Beware though, denatured alcohol is like boiled linseed oil in that any rag, steel wool, papertowel, what touches this liquid should be put into a grocery store bag, filled with water and then put into an outside trash container. Some of these liquids are highly flammable. Good luck.

Susie said...

Joe, you know, I actually tried that and it didn't work for whatever reason - hence the drastic measures. In the end, I'm happy with it. Thanks!

Thanks for the tip, Tracy!