Monday, November 15, 2010

Off with the Old

The most difficult, tedious, and messy job in refinishing furniture is stripping off the old paint and varnish. For this piece of furniture, that's complicated even further by the old contact paper plastered over everything. First, Claye tried peeling that off. It worked for a little while, but then the pieces began to break, so we used a razor blade scraper. That was risky, because it kept catching on one thing or another and it was easy to make little cuts in the wood. So I just poured on the stripper.

Lo and behold! The contact paper just bubbled up like old paint and could be pushed off with a putty knife. I found an old box in the garage and began to dump in scoops of paint and plastic, being careful not to tug at it too vigorously and splash it into my eye. This stuff is slimy.

Finally, I applied a layer to all the rest of the furniture and let it set for at least twenty minutes, being careful to wear a glove. If a spot of the stuff gets on the skin, it begins to burn right away and burns until you go wash it off. Rubbing it off with a rag helps too, because the stuff works best in a thick puddle and not spread thinly.

Tomorrow: Elbow Grease


aftergrace said...

I love making "new" things out of old stuff too. Can't wait to see it in person!

Rose said...

i tend to get axious and would try to hurry up the priject. rose