Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The New Project

Hey Everyone!

So, no one out there has figured out what the new 'project' is or what clue #2 was in the previous post. One person came close - Kathy. She suggested the roof was the new project. Close - but no cigar. I guess I'll just have to tell you.

We are painting the house.

To be honest the house was slated to be painted this year anyway, but we were going to wait till late summer and into early fall. However, for reasons beyond our control we MUST get this place painted ASAP. We have till May 19th to paint the place (more about this later).

Because of this time constraint all of the plans made for this year have been tossed out the window.

So, for the past several weeks we have been researching exterior primer as well as house paint. We have also been scrounging for scaffolding as well. Do you have any idea what this stuff costs to rent let alone buy!!! Fortunately we lucked out. A family friend has a set of scaffolding he's willing to let us borrow. As far as we know it goes up to 15' so we might have to make a platform for the top.

For now we will be spending our time scraping paint.

As for the contraption pictured as part of clue #2 you will just have to wait.

Okay, let's get started.

Scraping...scraping is not the most fun job around. It is tedious and boring, but it does allow one time to think. The exterior paint on the house is in real bad shape. There's a lot of peeling paint all over but the biggest problem is the alligatoring paint. This stuff is extremely hard to get off and it MUST be removed for the new primer/paint to work properly.

Unfortunately this alligatoring is primarily located at the most visible parts of the house - the south and east facing bottom floor.

Yesterday we got started in earnest. Following are the pictures to prove it.

This is the section SWMBO worked on with the help of here father. The amount you see here is the brunt of what they got done in about 3 hours. Yup - 3 hours!! That's how hard this alligatoring paint it. Now, one reason it took so long were the tools they used - the traditional hand scraper.

This is SWMBO's uncle and the spot he worked on. It took him about the same amount of time to scrape this section that it took SWMBO and her father to do theirs using the same tools.

This picture shows where I worked.

SWMBO's father is removing paint from where the clapboards butt up against the molding.

The top board is the area where I experimented with various mechanical methods of scrapping.

The first tool I used was the Wagner Paint Eater. While this tool is a great paint removal tool it doesn't work on all paint problems. The alligatoring did budge, but it took about 5+ minutes to remove the paint from a section about 4"x4".

The next tool I used was my beloved Fein Multimaster. Now this tool has numerous heads that can be used for removing paint and I chose the two heaviest duty ones - including the carbide rasp attachment. The carbide rasp attachment is vicious looking, I thought that this would surely remove the alligatoring paint - NOPE!

The next tool up to the plate is an interesting device I made myself. It's also the one that was used to scrape the other three boards.

Here it is.

How many of you have heard of a device called the Silent Paint Remover? These puppies are pricey; starting at $395.00 and going to $525.00. True, you can sometimes find these for sale on eBay & Craig's List, but even these can be expensive.

Well, this is a homemade one and it cost no more than $50 or $60.

Let's back track a bit here.

Way back in 2007 we were trying to find a way to strip the woodwork in the kitchen faster and easier. In October of the same year I ran across a home restoration blog called Ocean Manor House.

This site provided the step-by-step instructions to make this nifty little sucker. Now there is even an updated version of it that can be found on this page.

This handy paint remover DOES work really well on the vast majority of paint. Unfortunately it didn't do well on the stuff in the kitchen. So, it sat on a shelf until now.

What I don't understand is I know I did a write up on this thing for our blog (I can even remember the pics used) but I can't find it at all. It's like it never happened. However, if you go back to this post, you can clearly see it sitting next to SWMBO.

Now I'm just going mad trying to figure out what happened to that post!

Basically, this tool uses infrared heat to soften paint, and other items, and makes it easier to scrape it off.

Here is the paint once it's removed.

It becomes hard and can be cleaned up easily using a broom or vacuum.

Now, remember, it took SWMBO, her father, and her uncle 3 hours to scrape the small amount they did.

With the infrared device I was able to remove all of this in less than an hour.

Isn't that cool?!

Even though this little gadget works great we had a problem with it on Tuesday. For some reason it just didn't want to work as well as it did on Monday. This could be due to the weather though. It was extremely windy on Tuesday, and chilly, and the wind just whips around the porch as if it were a wind tunnel! This might have been a big part of it.

But then again, it could be that the paint was a different type in the location we worked at on that day. BTW - we were working around the bay window that's part of the dining room.

Do you see that tan looking stuff under the white? We hadn't run into this stuff, this thick, until we got here. The same stuff has been under the paint in other areas but not like this.

What's really weird about it is that it has the consistency of putty. We assume it's the original paint, but why would it have the appearance, and consistency, of putty?

Now here is another weird thing about this area. One board might come clean with the first scrape but the one next to it just won't come clean at all. It doesn't happen every time but just enough to be a pain.

Can't anything be 'easy around here?

And here is a chunk of the stuff that did come off.

Reminds me of hardened putty or even an aged cheese. Like I mentioned before, most of the pieces that have been coming off in other areas are about as thick as a playing card, but the stuff here is as thick as several playing cards.

On another topic...

While working in this area I contemplated the molding above the windows as well as the sides of the moldings where the clapboards butt up against them. These areas do not do well with the infrared paint remover, the paint cools down too fast.

With this in mind we decided to try a new toy.

And here it is - the DeWalt 26950 Heat Gun.

We picked this toy up at Lowe's on Tuesday night.

Neither of us have ever used one but we are hoping it will keep the paint pliable in the tricky areas long enough to get it off.

To be honest, I'm a little hesitant to use it. I've heard horror stories about people getting burned, bad, using heat guns and all the warnings in the manual don't help. Wish us luck; hopefully this thing won't make the Boo-Boo meter go up!

In closing we really like the infrared paint remover, but we REALLY need this process to go faster. So, with this in mind, be sure to check back in a few days, we might have what some consider the 'nuclear warhead' of paint stripers here to help us.

Till next time...

Larry ~

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I'm B A C K !!!!

Hey everyone!!! Guess what.... I'm B A C K!!!!!!!

Bet all y'all thought I was gone didn't ya?!

Well, with spring now here I've decided to come out of hibernation and get the new season of repairs and boo-boos started.

During my absence I haven't been completely idle but what has been done hasn't really been anything to blog about. For the most part we've been sorting through boxes of just plain ol' junk. Sorting out things to go to charity, things to give people, things to sale and things to toss. It never ceases to amaze me just how much junk we accumulate.

The other night I had a dream that SWMBO and I had to move back to the little house we use to own. Keep in mind this house is 4 times bigger than the little house, perhaps more. Anyway, when I told this to SWMBO the first thing we both thought about was "good gravy - where would we put all of our stuff!!!!".

You know, that's sad. it makes one think. Has our society really become so jaded and such a 'must have', as well as, a throw away society?

Having the vast majority of our kitchen things packed up and stored was a major eye opener as to what we need and don't need. So now we have decided to start scaling back.

That being said lets go to the first pic!!! WOOWHOO!!!

I know, the pic is a bit dark but the sun was starting to set when I decided to get some pics - sorry.

Hopefully you can tell it's a dumpster. It's an ugly beast ain't it?!?! The best part - it's ours for the summer!!! Okay, show of hands...how many of you just had that song 'Are you ready for the Summer' from the movie 'Meatballs' go through your head?

Anyway, I've just started to scratch the surface of the piles of crap and the thing is almost full!!

Unfortunately the main thing that's taking up the room in it is carpet. Yup - carpet. I had to remove the carpet from the basement a while back due to a water leak in the foundation. The water leak is now worse and each time it rains there is a little bit more water in the finished part of the basement. No...not in the unfinished part - the finished part!!! So that means I get to rip out all the wood work I installed a few years back in order to find the leak and fix it.

I guess it's like they say in the Army...."if it ain't raining we ain't training".

But I digress... Let's get back on track - the basement will have to wait till the next big project is done. With this in mind lets talk about this next project.

If you remember I said the next big project would be the dining room - not now.

Now we have an even bigger fish to fry. We'll get into it later, let's just say I'm NOT a happy camper - at all - no way no how!!!

For the time being though let me throw out a couple of 'teaser' pictures and see if any of you can figure out what the next big project is.

Clue number 1.

This is my big-score ladder (have I told you all just how much I hate ladders?). By big score I mean awesomely cheap find! This is a thirty foot ladder that I found for $125 at a pawn shop. Now that's a good buy!!

Clue number 2.

Good luck figuring out what it is. snicker

Let's just say it's extremely essential for this project. Without this puppy, and a few more like it, there ain't now way in HELL I'm going to... Oops...just about spilt the beans! You'll have to wait a couple more days to find out, but if you have a guess as to what the project is, and what this item is, let me know!!

Well, I guess that's enough for now, it's getting late and I'm getting tired.

Till next time...

Larry ~