I will never be bored again: I bought an old house!

Naturally, that’s not all of it. Anyone can buy an old house and live in it. To never, ever be bored again, you have to be obsessed about making that old house exactly as you want it to be. I do tend to obsess.

If you were paying attention, youll recall that I wrote in the post before last that I had my work cut out for me (or something to that effect). The first floor (ground floor to you European readers) of my house has old door and window frames that were painted over thickly with white paint; so thickly, the paint is still somewhat sticky a year or two later. I got curious and wondered what was under that paint. I scratched away a little and found black paint, more white paint, beige paint and some yellow paint, too. It wasn’t until I removed the hinges of the closet door that I saw that underneath all that paint was actual wood (though, of course, I’d assumed it was).

I did my usual research and got to work. Here comes the show!

2018-07-17 13.17.14
This is the open doorway to the kitchen from the dining room. I started by removing the left piece of trim or “casing.”
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Here it lies after lots and lots and LOTS of “goes” with CitriStrip. It took me a few goes to learn how long to leave it on and how many times I would have to go over it again.
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As you can see here, the top one or two layers of paint come off like an old sunburn in spots. I used to get that sunburnt…
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The plastic wrap is a trick I read about to keep the paint stripper from drying out. It didn’t really help, though, in my case.
2018-07-20 11.10.19
Look at the lovely grain! I am certain this is oak.
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My neat little workspace. No, but the job is messy as can be!
2018-07-20 16.48.02
I wasn’t careful enough pulling off the right casing and messed up the wall.
2018-07-21 11.24.28
Here they are with two layers of red oak stain and a layer of lacquer! Yes, that’s paint there on the right. I missed some spots. I will do better, I promise!
2018-07-21 11.24.49
2018-07-22 12.03.42
The jambs were the job I really dreaded since I could not, for the life of me, remove them, so had to work on them in situ. In spite of multiple layers of green painters tape and paper and plastic and cardboard, the floor did not remain unscathed.
2018-07-23 11.27.04
But I did it and it’s done. The casings are not attached tightly yet since I need to paint the room and that will be easier without them.
2018-07-23 12.34.58
This baby’s turn! The architrave or header casing. I swore to get off ALL the paint this time!
2018-07-23 12.35.05
That’s the stuff you scrape off.
2018-07-23 14.08.25
I see wood!
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Took it to the garage to finish it.
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Oh, those edges and nooks and crannies!
2018-07-23 19.02.05
But beautifully grained!
2018-07-28 13.44.46
As good as I could get it, and I did break down and cry once.
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One coat of stain (reveals the spots I missed again).
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OMG, I’m in LOVE!
2018-07-29 17.57.30
Now, why would anyone ever paint over this? Yes, I know, white trim has been all the rage ever since — what? — the 1950s? Let’s get over the white trim now, please. Wood is so warm!

I could stare at it all day. But then I look around me…

2018-07-29 18.02.07
The closet door and all its trim…
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The matching basement door…
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The archway to the living room…
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And then that window over there!

I am somewhat overwhelmed and have to keep reminding myself to go slow and pace myself. I know now that I can work more quickly than at the start, but still, it’s quite painstaking.

There is also the same trim in the living room (and similar in the kitchen). I might give up before I get that far, though. Nonetheless, I started the dining room — the room with the most doors and trim — and will have to finish it. I won’t tell you all the details. I’ll just post before and after shots on that lovely day when I finish.

2018-07-22 12.03.27
It’s really messy work that you do NOT want to do, believe me! That box on the floor is filled with gooey stripped paint. And do NOT use sandpaper without your 8233 Lead Paint Removal Valved Respirator Mask! I wore one then immediately took a shower and washed my clothes after sanding! And I simply didn’t sand this jamb in the kitchen because I did not want to risk having any lead dust up in the house.


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