Thursday, September 20, 2012

Still Stripping

I've sort of lost count of how many days I've worked on this tedious project, but I try and work on it every day, at least for a couple of hours.

I've mostly finished stripping everything with the heat gun and the first pass with the chemicals. Jeff spent a couple hours helping me strip the high areas I couldn't reach.
I've done a bit of sanding of the pretty parts, like the newell post and balusters.
Stripping the wallstring has not been fun; the tools just don't seem to reach into the back corner because of the overhang of the tread (called the tread nosing, I think). 

So far, I've resisted the impulse to strip the risers, though it's been difficult because there is some nice looking wood under there. I clearly have a problem . . .  =) But I'm thinking the white paint will provide a good contrast from the stained wood when climbing the stairs in dim light.
We also finally finished a tiny project—hanging our house number. I actually bought them about a year ago, but didn't hang them on the pillar as I originally planned when I realized they would get covered over by the wisteria. So, this was plan B. I had to make and paint a wood base for the numbers because they were too tall to install directly on the beveled siding.


  1. Yes, it's called the nosing.

    Good job keeping on with the project. The time will come when it will look so right and complete you'll be tempted to think it was always that way.

    Well, no, maybe not that . . .

  2. You have far more patience than I! Very commendable!

  3. When I saw your banister in this picture my first thought was "There it is, all that gorgeous wood that was hidden!". You've done a great job! I'm loving all your quaint windows, like the one going up your stairs. Were you able to keep all the original windows?

    Debbie :-)

  4. In our remodel, we replaced all the windows upstairs and in the kitchen with modern double pane douglas-fir clad windows in exactly the same style as the windows we removed. We may come to regret it, but the house is much better at holding heat during the winter.

    All the rest of the single pane wavy glass windows downstairs were retained and we had new wood storm windows made to install over them to improve their R-value.

  5. Not sure if you are wearing a respirator but just wanted to warn you that using a heat gun can give you lead poisoning from the fumes. I currently have lead poisoning from stripping a section of my house with the heat gun recently. My dog also had severe lead poisoning a few months ago (140lb dog) just from going outside for a few min a day to go to potty and being exposed to the lead dust covered grass. I spent $1200 trying to figure out what was wrong w/ him and he was originally misdiagnosed with an auto immune disease with a 50% chance of survival (worst thing I've ever gone through in my life). So just want to warn you. I normally wear a respirator but didn't this year because I was working in the blazing heat and would have passed out with a respirator on.

  6. Thank you Nina for the warning. I haven't been good about wearing a respirator, but I keep the temp pretty low on the heat gun and I haven't smelled much in the way of fumes. But I will definitely try and be better in the future. Though, I do worry about the dog. We try and keep her well clear of the construction zone and we clean and sweep up after every session.

  7. Nina, what are your symptoms from lead poisoning? (Asked as one who's been doing a bit of paint stripping herself).

    (My dog and kittehs seem to be all right.)

  8. The problem with lead poisoning is that it can affect everyone differently. My dog reached a very high number before exhibiting any signs because of the prolonged exposure. His body had adapted to it. I didn't notice anything wrong until he had lost his appetite completely. Lethargy is one sign but my dog is 11 yrs old so he sleeps all the time anyway. He was anemic when they ran his blood work. Lead poisoning in dogs (and possibly humans?) causes anemia and red blood counts to be unstable. In adult humans it can cause concentration and memory problems as well as fatigue and other issues. I didn't really notice any problems but got tested simply because my dog had it and I was exposed to far more than he was. The thing is, one person/dog might show severe health effects at a low level of lead poisoning, and another (like my dog) could get to a very high level without showing any of the serious signs (seizures, vomiting, neurological problems, etc). I had to specifically ask for the test for my dog and myself because for some reason nobody ever thinks of it as a possible problem. Pets are more likely to get it because they walk through the dust and then lick their paws. I read that President Bush's dog got it while they were doing some renovations on the white house.

  9. I pretty much needed to lie down after reading your post…

    The tedious bits are never-ending.