21 September, 2010

Stripping Wood Doors, Part 2

I can tell how irritating a current client project is when I find that I'd rather strip paint than work on a book layout. But, duty called, and I had to put off removing the Citristrip from the bathroom door, which is not really a bad thing, as the paint has been stubborn and an extra long soak will no doubt save me a little effort down the line. Twenty-four hours after initial application, I was ready.

When I first started stripping, not knowing any better, I used a metal scraping tool. This has the potential to gouge the wood, because the stripper softens the surface. I put many a nick in the bathroom trim until I found a Web site that recommended using plastic only. Since then, I've had no problems with making permanent dents.

As this is a bathroom door, it's probably always been painted. Eighty-five years later, and with the removal of six coats of paint, here it is. Well, a portion of it, anyway.

Of course, while most of this side of the door has been stripped, it's far from done. I now have the nasty task of getting the enamel paint--which is immune to the heat gun and resistant to the scrapers--out of all the nooks and crannies. I use a combination of toothpicks, a brass-bristle brush, tiny scrapers, tons of curses, and metal turkey lacers--the lacer has a curved end just the right size for running along the groove. It will take hours, whole evenings dedicated to the task, and as work-that-pays-the-bills seems to be getting in the way this week, it will be a few days before I update the results.

The dreaded enamel paint and the very bane of my existence.

As a total non sequitor, and because I like word origins, I had to look up the phrase "bane of my existence." Here's what I found:

"[B]ane" was once a very serious word. The Old English "bana" meant literally "slayer" in the sense we now use "killer" or "murderer." Early on, the English "bane" was also used in the more general sense of "cause of death," and by the 14th century "bane" was used in the specialized sense of "poison," a sense which lives on in the names of various poisonous plants such as "henbane" and "wolfbane."

From this very literal "something that kills you" usage, "bane" by the 16th century had broadened into its modern meaning of "something that makes life unpleasant, a curse."

So there you go, your word for the day, courtesy of the now-defunct "Google Answers" page.


Brigid Keely said...

My mom's used dental picks to clean gunk/paint/etc out of door crevices/details. It's a fine enough point, and it's angled to be comfortable to hold. I don't know where she got them, though.

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