Thursday, October 18, 2012

Working with Stripper

I can't even say the word stripper without cracking up, or getting some kind of weird visual.  But I'm talking about paint stripper this time around.  The only similarities between the two are that split second of instant gratification that comes right before you just feel dirty and need to shower.  And as I'm typing this, please know that I am fresh from a shower :) 
I think you've seen this guy once before, maybe when I bravely(and mistakenly) posted about the "jinx".  But this guy is the sole reason I'm working with stripper.

This is Alfred.  He is big and heavy, and really well made, and will eventually be distinguished like his name implies.  He's also a vintage 1950s Heywood Wakefield that I scored from Craigslist. 
He was also painted by Satan, with a paintbrush made from demon fire and a paint combination that must be lead, concrete, wallpaper glue, spray paint, and death.  You look at the picture and think, ok, he's a little rough, he's got some dings, can't be that bad.  Well, I made that mistake too.  I pulled out my sander thinking that just sanding away would be the way to go.  WRONG!  Sanding it just made a black film fly everywhere, and stick to my body.  It also made the top look as if it spent the last 50 years in the only remaining leper colony. 
So I texted my girl Mandi at Persnickety's, remembering a hilarious conversation we had about stripper and knew she'd have the info I needed.  She said to use this.

So I went and got it and a handy putty knife/scraping thingy.  I read the directions and felt ready to go.  Directions say to apply in a small area and wait 15 minutes.  I did exactly that.  Only the angry top layer of paint came off, and it took ALOT of elbow grease.
Then I realized that sometimes directions are more like guidelines, or jumping off points.  Like sometimes how your oven cooks a little hotter so you have to adjust the time and temp.  Well I needed to adjust my timing as well.  I double checked the directions and did notice that it said something about "stubborn" paint could require more applications.  Well this is Satan paint.  And for whatever reason 15 minutes in my garage just caused the stripper to dry completely up and require all that elbow grease.  I finally timed it just right and 7-8 minutes actually works better for me.  That was of course after several tries of getting the timing right.
First there was 10 minutes.....
This resulted in gross clumps of yucky.  Think of vampires getting killed.  I don't mean like on Buffy where they poofed into a cloud of dust.  I'm talking True Blood where they explode into that black/red sticky disgusting goo(this realization was given to me by Mandi during our previous stripper conversation).  It is the most accurate and hilarious description I have ever heard!
Then came about 9 minutes....

Not quite perfectly removed, but so much better than that whole gooey mess.  Now I will say that overall it's kind of a gross process, and there is a lot of goo.  But when you time it just right it comes off so much easier, and the goo is way more manageable.
At about 7-8 minutes this is the final product..
I did have to go back over it with my scraper and get the stuff that was kind of hanging on, but apparently timing is everything.
This is Alfred's top after all that elbow grease and getting my timing down.
The wood isn't in the best shape.  But I can't imagine how I'd look after Satan painted me with his demon fire paintbrush.  Once the rest of the drawers are done I'll need to resand everything and start on the fun part, the painting of course!!
Stay tuned next week for Alfred's big reveal!!
All opinions of this product are my own, I was not paid or compensated in any way!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you! You might have just saved my lame coffee table dilemma. We'll see...;)