Thursday, 31 October 2013

Stripping in the Cold!

Well I did it, I finally took the plunge. After numerous pieces of mind numbing, elbow aching orbital sanding dust clogging up my eyes, I finally decided to try stripping.

The piece was the beauty below. She received quite a transformation and required a hhhheck of a lot of work. But no whinging in this post, nope, this post is dedicated to the virtues of "Circa 1850" which stepped in and took over when my elbow was so exhausted it was bending the wrong way.

For some reason, the finish on the top of this piece resisted sanding. I tried, it didn't yield. I tried harder, it dug its heels in. You can see from the picture below how far my 35 minute effort got me. About 1/8th of the way through the top. 'No thanks,' I said. 'No thanks,' Mr Chuckles' seconded.

So it was off to RONA to wade into the slippery pool of stripping aides. They only had one product. One. It was fairly priced at $11 for the can, but I was a little doubtful that this particular can just happened to be the magical brew I was looking for. How wrong I would be!

I handed over the cash, had an encouraging nod from the salesman, than the can and I drove home together eyeing each other up suspiciously. 'Really?' I thought. Is this really going to magically eat through that ridiculously thick finish?

It did. I cajoled Mr. Chuckles into helping me, handed him over the pink 'domestic goddess' gloves and stood well back with some goggles protecting my peepers. He carefully opened the over-pressurized can and set about slopping the stuff on with a paint brush. We went inside (it was cold in the garage) had a cookie, watched a commercial or two, and went back out to find this.

Mr. Chuckles grabbed his spatula and started scraping with gusto. I couldn't believe how easily the stuffed flopped right off in great big leathery chunks. Our eyes locked in mutual astonishment. 'Can I have a try...' I ventured. But no way was Mr. Chuckles handing over his spatula. He was having too much fun.

In total, we spent about 4 minutes scraping off the entire top of the dresser. Well worth $11. After it dried out, we still smoothed things out with a once over with the orbital. But it took minutes, not hours.

So there you have it.  No need to tear a hole through your elbow anymore.  Fling that orbital sander in the corner and grab a can of the good stuff.

Oh, and by happy accident I discovered that it works a treat on getting old dried paint out of brushes.  You know, those ones that you forgot to wash and left sitting on top of a milk crate somewhere only to discover three days later that it was stiff as a board. Well, I have found the cure.


  1. Murphy's Oil soap cleans my stiff brushes. Works a treat. This one turned out nicely. Any idea what company produced the piece?

  2. Ive been meaning to get some Murphy's Oil Soap. I have read awesome things about it and it sounds very versatile. Unfortunately all I know is that the piece was made in Canada. No maker's mark anywhere. Thanks for stopping by!