Archive | March, 2010

Progress report: beadboard

30 Mar

It’s slow going. I sprained my ankle and that has slowed me down a lot. But, slow or no, it is going. I have been using every weapon in the Dremel arsenal to get the paint out of the grooves of the beadboard. Today, after spending oh, I don’t know maybe ten hours? on just the grooves on this one piece, I said “ENOUGH!” and gave it a few go-overs with the sander before putting on the first coat of boiled linseed oil. It looks really, really nice. I saw a blog somewhere that recommended painting or ink-penning in over left over paint in the grooves, so that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to look into the Sharpie line of dark brown pens.

It looks good, it feels nice to the touch, and it’s going to be what keeps me going as I get to the detail sanding of the rest of the room. Yay beadboard!

Gratuitous pet post

19 Mar

Here’s what the helpmates have been doing while I’ve been stripping paint in the bathroom.

Beadboard stripping continues

19 Mar

Here’s what is working best for me (so far):

Step One — break the bond in the bead part. Using the heat gun and an edge of a scraper, break the bond of the paint along the grooves (or beads) of the beadboard. I start at the top and go all the way down on both sides of the flat section.

Step Two — scrape the flat part. With the heat gun and scraper, remove as much paint, shellac, and varnish as you can from the flat part of the wood. I had started scraping with an upward motion, but found that it killed my shoulder. Scraping from the top down has been much easier for me.

Note — take frequent breaks. The wood gets really, really hot from the heat gun. I’ve been taking frequent breaks to make sure the walls don’t catch on fire. Some sparks go behind the paneling (through the gaps between each board). If that happens, turn off the heat gun and splash the section with water (very easy if working in the bathroom). Keep patting the walls to gauge how hot they are.

Step Three — Peel Away 7. Brush Peel Away 7 (or other chemical stripper) on the boards in manageable sections (I’m starting this part today, so I’m not quite sure yet what is manageable). This will get most of the remaining paint and LACQUER off. Leave it on for at least half an hour before you begin poking at it to see if it’s working. Use a plastic scraper to get the gunk off the flat portions first, then use metal handled dental tools to get at the grooves. When you’ve had enough of that, wipe the area down with either: PeelAway neutralizer (which seems to be white vinegar and water), white vinegar and water, or denatured alcohol. Let this dry until it’s dry to the touch.

Step Four — Sand. When the wood is dry to the touch, use an electric sander to get the rest of the junk off and to give it a good smooth finish. I hear that random orbital sanders work best, but I have a cheap-o sander from Rocky’s. It works fine. Start with coarse paper, wipe everything down with mineral spirits, then use fine paper and wipe down again.

That’s “it” — quite time consuming, but not very costly, and really satisfying to see the layers of paint come off and the beautiful wood emerge.

How to remove paint from beadboard

16 Mar

When I moved in in 2002, every surface in my house was painted either white or brown. I’m a big fan of color, natural wood, and wallpaper, so I’ve been un-whitening things as I’ve gone along.

I’m a victim of the Great Depression 2.0 recession, and have been looking for low-to-no cost projects to occupy my time.

So I figured I’d see what was under the bead board in the bathroom. There are at least a dozen layers of paint on those bad beadboard boys. I’m probably going to gain a square foot of space when it’s all off.

I started with PeelAway 7, a great product for up to say five coats. But no match for my situation. So yesterday I fished out my trusty heat gun (several years ago I bought the cheapest one for sale at Rocky’s — it probably cost no more than $30.00 and works great) and a scraper and had at it.

Heat gun first is DEFINITELY the way to go if you have many many layers of paint and varnish. I’m going to assess the overall condition of the wood (so far, it looks great, except for white plugs that appear to be filled with plaster spaced at regular intervals along the top. Not sure what those are all about). If the wood is in good nick all around, I’ll re-apply some PeelAway, finish up with a good sanding, and treat and protect the wood. If the wood is awful in places, I’ll just give a quick sand and paint it all.

I’m not sure what to do about the gaping portal to the netherworld that I felt compelled to un-cover. I’m hoping to find a few spare pieces of beadboard that I can liberate from somewhere else and pop into the void.