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.

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