Tuesday, July 19, 2011

In the Dining Room of the Cheney Cottage

The Dining Room of the Cheney Cottage

Stripping paint is an arduous job, but ultimately, extremely rewarding.

The process involves long hours with the heat gun. I've learned that the best way to use the heat gun is to wear gloves, as the paint strips tend to be pretty hot (the heat gun has a range of 500 - 750 degrees). As you point the gun at the painted surface, the paint bubbles, and you slide a putty knife underneath it to lift ift off, while moving the gun to the adjacent painted surface. Often, I can pull off a strip of paint that is several inches long.
The wainscoting after initial paint stripping

Once the paint is removed, then the entire surface has to be scraped down to remove the last bits of the paint. On Saturday, Lisa Wahl came over and volunteered a couple hours to scrape paint with me. It's again arduous and pretty boring, but the results look even better, and you can see the woodwork returning to life. It was kind of fun doing it with Lisa, having someone to talk to. And Lisa is meticulous, so did a great job scraping all the tiny bits of paint off.
The wainscoting after most of the scraping is done

Next, we'll have to wash the woodwork with alcohol. This removes the top layer of the shellac, and will take off any haze of paint left on the surface. Then the completely stripped woodwork will be ready for shellac.

The dining room has wainscoting that is about 4 feet high, plus wood trim around the doors, plus two wood doors that need to be stripped, and the built in cabinet. All of it takes time, but all the wainscoting is stripped, one of the doors is stripped, and the trim around the doors. Between Lisa, Tom and me, we've scraped probably 1/3 of the wainscoting,
The half stripped built in china cabinet

Outside, things are happening as well. The biggest change is that the scaffolding is finally down from the front of the house, and the newly painted front can be clearly seen. Except for the bandboard (which is missing one piece), and some smaller areas that need to be touched up, the front of the house is done, and looks great. The colors are bright and vibrant - a major change from the grey facade the house presented for so many years.
A new paint job for the Cheney Cottage

Tom also has been working on replacing the siding on the west side, and he's probably about half way done. The new siding (obviously) will not need to be scraped, and it comes pre-primed, so we should be able to paint it as soon as it's up. Then we'll replace the 2nd story trim, and paint that as well.

Still no new roof, still no porches. But the place continues to come together.


  1. Doing long overdue reading. As to the progress and color of the house, well...as we say in sign language, "JAW-DROP ME!" I need to see it up close and personal! HOW THE HECK did you guys learn all this stuff? Shouldn't you be out shopping for Abercrombie and Fitch tee shirts?
    In re-reading the "about me" section, I noticed the phrase, "Our house is like a museum" which echoes one of our beloved TV song lyrics "Their house is a museum, when people come to see 'em" Don't need to tell you where that's from. The Cheney House will be a museum too. Maybe the Museum of Paint Stripping. We need a nickname for the place. The Strip Joint? Strippendales? I'll work harder on it.
    I wish I were closer and could help out with the heat gun. You don't thing I'd get anything on my Abercrombie tee, do you? Be careful, boys. Miss you...

  2. I've just installed iStripper, so I can watch the hottest virtual strippers on my taskbar.