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 ~


Karen in Wichita said...

We're probably going to invest in the Silent Paint Remover, for the simple reason that the Delano Bungalow almost certainly has lead paint on it, and that's a critter that is guaranteed to not overheat the paint to produce lead fumes.

You shoulda made the trip up to Wichita today or yesterday: Bob Yapp was giving free (well, paid for by the CoW) paint seminars. I didn't manage to pocket the demonstrator Silent he had for us, sadly.

dynochick (Jan) said...

Happy to see someone else run into that putty paint.

This is my theory. I think it is paint mixed with the sap from the cedar, pine, or fir wood. My arms ache after scraping this stuff even when it is soft.

I have the paint removed from the 90% of the trim on the front of the house and used a heat gun to do it. My Silent Paint Remover is too heavy and bulky to hold.

I am trying to talk the husband into re shingling what little is left on the front of the house to re shingle. The paint just does not scrap off of old dried up cedar shingles very well.

Good luck with your scrapping. it's amazing what we do for our houses!!


Larry said...

Hey Karen!

Before you do buy one do take a look at the Ocean Manor House.

The gadget is very easy to build and works great!! There were NO fumes from the paint at all.

Larry said...

Jan - I think you are right about the sap!

Good luck with your project as well. BTW - did you know the Silent Paint remover people make a stand for the thing? It might help.

Kate H. said...

Glad to see the new posts.

You have me wondering if the code people are after you. Or do they care?

Don't let the wet basement go too long. You don't want mold inside all the nice new paint you're going to have.

(Ain't I just a ray of sunshine??)

Ragnar said...

The "nuclear warhead of strippers" would be the tool of choice of most European painters - a blow torch. Preferably a huge one, not the kind you use to solder copper pipes with small gas cartridges but the real ones, with a long hose and a full-sized propane cylinder. When I was a kid in the early 90s the painters stripped all our window frames like that. It's not for delicate work - if you hold it too long, the paint just bursts into flames - but for large flat surfaces it can't be beat.

Larry said...

Seriously?!?! A blow-torch?!?! That would be awesome to see and fun to do!