Archive | 8:29 pm

Stripping the kitchen door

21 Jul

One of the last remaining projects on my list for this summer is to strip the awful old paint off the inside and outside of my kitchen door, get the two plexiglass panels replaced with real glass, give it a good sanding, and paint it up. Today was famous paint stripping weather, so I got started.

My tried and true stripping process is: Step One: use the heat gun and get as much off as possible. Step Two: go over the goopy old varnished bits again with the paint gun. Step Three: use a power sander. Step Four: use chemical peeler to get off anything that remains IF you’re going to stain it. If you’re going to paint it, skip step four and go straight to patching (if you’re fancy) and painting.

So today I did Step One on the bottom 3/4 of the exterior side of the door (opted to keep it on the hinges so I can lock up at night). You’ll note wide swaths of leaden blue that remain. They are one with the door and will be basically invisible when the door is painted. No need to get hung up on getting smooth bits off when the object is to repaint the door.

Oftentimes people wonder, “what do they mean when they say look for ‘laddering’ to determine if you have lead paint?” Please examine exhibit A for some fine examples of laddered old lead paint. I’ve been using the gun without a mask, because I believe that lead dust only effects babies. My last remaining brain cell may disagree.

Voila’: Hope to finish the gun portion of both sides tomorrow. My sander died when I did the pocket doors last summer, so have to get a new one before I can get to Step Three.

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Embassy Style

21 Jul

There used to be a flag pole mount in the window over the front door, but I think it must have come out when the new storm windows were installed. One of the 1975 photos shows an American flag flying over the front door, and I remember the flag pole mount being there when I first moved in (I tried to put a pole that was too small in it, and then abandoned the whole flag thing when it didn’t fit).

But now with my nice blue stoop, I wanted to fly Old Glory. Never one to do things by half measures, I decided to install two poles, so I could fly the American flag plus others. I’ve got the English flag flying right now in celebration of the Queen’s Jubilee. I’ve also had the French flag up for Bastille Day, and have an Olympics flag coming soon. I figured if I have long-term guests from other countries, I’ll fly their national flag, too.

It looks like an embassy (which also kind of reminds me of the house next to the Royal Tennenbaums), and I love it!

On a how-to note: I installed the two surface mount pole brackets in the granite sill by first drilling pilot holes with a masonry bit, then using concrete anchors and screws. I went through two complete battery charges per bracket mounting. It was hard, slow work. I tried those blue masonry screws first, but they were useless, so a neighbor showed me the correct method. Those babies aren’t going anywhere — they are SOLID.