Sunday, July 10, 2005

Woman Stripping

Who can resist a stripping joke once in a while, right? Heat gun in hand, yesterday I went to work on the entry trim. I wanted to have a little reality check with my fellow strippers out there.

Here is a picture of the boards I stripped yesterday.

Here's a close-up

If you count the boards in the top photo, there are 8. Eight boards took me about 4 1/2 hours, which is 33.75 minutes per board. I am throwing down the gauntlet now, "Can you do it faster?" And if so, please do tell how. I had to do the front and sides and to be fair keep that in mind.

This is way faster than chemical strippers for certain. I have used the SPR in the past on some doors and I think that was faster.

Here's a photo of my heat gun. I have to say that I don't feel as attached as some people, but then I haven't done any major stripping for a year, so we are just getting reacquainted now.

See my index finger there poised? Well, that little digit is numb today. I forgot about that part. 5 or so hours of holding a vibrating gun and my finger goes numb. I was wearing chemical resistent gloves, but maybe leather would prevent this?

And finally, I've seen quite a few discussions of stripping wood around glass. Here's one solution we've found: Heat shields. Plumbers use them and we got ours at a plumbing supply store, but it seems to work well for protecting glass while stripping.

Oh, one other question I had for people, do you wash down the boards with Denatured alchohol immediately after heat gunning them? Or do you pile them up and go back and wash them all down at once.

Helpful tip:
1. I noticed that letting the boards sit out in the hot sun is helpful because the sun starts the process. The boards that were sitting out melting stripped faster.

Next weekend, I'll wash down the boards and finish the remaining boards. They are mostly plynth blocks and smaller pieces of trim so it shouldn't take as long.


Kristin said...

Hmm, our heat gun doesn't have a trigger so I haven't experienced the finger numbing. Though I do hate reaching above my head with the gun, which is why I only have stripping done up to a certain height.

I haven't done the denatured alcohol on any of my trim yet. I'm going to do all the heat gun stuff and then go back with denatured alcohol afterward. That is, if I can ever motivate myself to pick up the heat gun again. Yes, the honeymoon is definitely over.

Greg said...

33 minutes a board is not bad. The sides can be very tedious and it looks like you did a complete job. Do I smell the makings of a paint stripping competition? Now there’s a show for HGTV. You could first have heat gun vs. heat gun, and chemical vs. chemical. After a series of heats the two winners could go head to head to see which is faster heat gun or chemical.

I wear leather gloves because I tend to be very aggressive and the scraper gets just as hot as anything else. It gets so hot I sometimes get burnt even through the cloves. My M.O. is to wait a day and then do denatured alcohol with steel wool. It is so nice the way the shellac sits between the grain and the paint.

heather said...

I'm another heat-gun junky...though I have been knows to cheat on mine. I haven't heard of the heat shields until you and Greg mentioned them in your posts so they will be the next thing I pick up. I can't afford to break any more glass stripping windows but boy do I need help softening up the putty holding the glass in!

Trissa said...

I have yet to use a heat gun. Nick says we have one somewhere, but he thought it didn't work very well. 33 minutes a board is a lot faster than it took me to strip pieces of trim for the stairway. Nick is now convinced he can make a silent paint remover- we'll see what happpens. Then I too will be able to enter the competition. I volunteer doors and trim from our house for the day of competition. We've already taken it down. Everyone would have to travel to Seattle, but I think it would be great! It would be almost as good as those fairies that have yet to show up at my place!