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library, part 03: scraping the trim

01.08 - 03.08 a "quick & simple project" that becomes anything but, version #938

click to see the full photo gallery[NOTE: this project was done in conjunction with the guest room & studio project.]

We lost a bit of time between finishing the floor and getting started on the trim, because I was sick as a damn dog, which lasted most of a week, unfortunately. We didn't tackle much because we had Second Saturday and the Fabulous Miss M's baptism the following weekend. Such is home improvement in the midst of regular life.

But at last, we were ready to spend some time on the next phase. We moved the stuff that would be staying back into the middle of each room, covered it all with plastic, put down paper everywhere to protect the newly-refinished floor, and began the oh-so-tedious and wearying -- but strangely satisfying -- task of stripping paint from the trim. (And yes, we realize that we sort of did it out of order, as it would've been best to stripping the paint, then priming/painting the rooms, and doing the floors last. But we only had one window for doing the floor, which necessitated doing things out of the preferred order. Such is hte way of things, sometimes.)

We originally planned to just scrape where the paint had peeled -- the POs painted latex over oil without prepping the surface with sanding or even primer(!), so the paint just peeled off in many places.  But it soon became apparent that wasn't going to be enough and that we were going to have to scrape pretty much all of the old paint off. Well, only around the doors and windows -- the baseboards/crown molding only necessitated doing the flaking parts like we'd planned. But with all the doors and windows and all the trim around them to be done on both sides, that was the majority of the work. And it was slow going.

We pushed hard to have it scraped and lightly sanded (and cleaned) in time for Guy and Sister's visit a week later, since they graciously agreed to stay the night and help us prime the trim. This astounding generosity was only magnified by the fact that they would be here the weekend of Guy's birthday. I KNOW RIGHT. Frankly, I'm not sure what kind of brain damage they suffered to have willingly agreed to do this, but I wasn't going to complain.

Unfortunately, our ambitious plan to be finished in a matter of a few weeks proved laughably naive. As if that's anything new. We were nowhere close to priming by the time the came, and instead, spent the entire weekend scraping, scraping, and scraping. Oh, and celebrating Guy's birthday in proper style.

January stretched into most of February and then into the first part of March, spending weekend after weekend scraping inch by frustrating inch. Then moving on to sanding, sanding, and more sanding, covered in paint chips and dust, losing an hour or more at the end each time to assiduously vacuuming up all the scraped paint and dust (since it was likely full of lead -- and yes, we wore masks), hosing ourselves down, and washing our clothes.

But at long last, we were ready to wipe everything down one last time and consider the trim finally prepared for transformation.

click to see the full photo gallery