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Author Topic: That 'big project' I've been banging on about for a few years now....  (Read 28040 times)
Deimos
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aka Countess Millicent Addlewood


« Reply #475 on: August 07, 2020, 08:57:18 am »

Be careful with the heat gun if you're looking to keep the risers as bare/varnished wood, it is very easy to scorch old dry timber with a heat gun if you leave it focused on one area for too long. It shouldn't get hot enough to actually burn but will leave an ugly black mark
A good heat gun (aka "spendy" one) will have two heat settings. Both settings can burn skin but I don't think the lower one will scorch wood.  
« Last Edit: August 08, 2020, 03:50:45 am by Deimos » Logged

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James Harrison
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« Reply #476 on: August 07, 2020, 05:03:46 pm »

Yes, I think 'careful now' will need to be the watchword. 
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Madasasteamfish
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09madasafish
« Reply #477 on: August 07, 2020, 07:19:43 pm »

Yes, I think 'careful now' will need to be the watchword. 

Down with this sort of thing

Down with This Sort of Thing. Careful Now. | Father Ted
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The Bullet
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« Reply #478 on: August 08, 2020, 10:00:58 am »

One that does not scorch wood will not give enough heat to attack the old paint.

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James Harrison
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« Reply #479 on: August 08, 2020, 11:23:02 am »

Impatient to make a start whilst waiting on the heatgun, I've had a go at the top three risers and managed, after a fashion, to clean them up. 
The top one is done. 
The one below that is very nearly done.
The one below that is merely nearly done.

I don't think any one method or tool alone will get it all off; the issue I keep running into is that there are at least 7 or 8 layers of paint on it.
So you start with stripper and that gets maybe one layer softened up, which you then attack with the scraper.  Which is brilliant until the scraper gets completely clogged with sticky half-melted paint.  So then you try to sand it off and the sanding pad just gets clogged with paint....
When you've sorted that out, the sanding pad does a good job of getting some paint off but then generates heat.  Which melts the paint which clogs up the sanding pad and then you're back to square one.  Back out with the scraper and now you find that sanding the paint has made some of it very brittle so it comes away with little effort.... and then when it gets hard-going again you're back to the sander....

I'm trying at the moment to work out a method that will get it off reliably without recourse to a 'this tool isn't effective, try another' approach. 

It is progressing- but it's a tortuously slow process.

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SeVeNeVeS
Master Tinkerer
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England England



« Reply #480 on: August 08, 2020, 11:37:15 am »

May I ask what paint stripper? if nitromors, give up now, it is useless.

Back to my original suggestion of automotive stripper, if it could set off your asthma purchase a good mask, trust me on this, could save a hellova lot of time, with quick results, no burning etc etc.

When using stripper don't let it evaporate, as in leave it on for too long before the scraping starts, the paint will just go hard again.
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James Harrison
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« Reply #481 on: August 08, 2020, 12:43:16 pm »

I'm using something called 'Fuze Biostrip 20' which does an 'acceptable' job of levering up one coat of paint. 
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SeVeNeVeS
Master Tinkerer
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England England



« Reply #482 on: August 08, 2020, 01:11:13 pm »

Ok, so a water based stripper on an oil based paint, doesn't sound too convincing to me.

ya need chemicals, either that or elbow grease.  Undecided
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James Harrison
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« Reply #483 on: August 08, 2020, 01:14:57 pm »

It does lift it; it doesn't get all of it.  And as I say if there are more than a few layers of paint you'll be there all day, laying it on, waiting half hour or so for it to take effect, removing the stuff it has softened and then starting over again on the stuff left behind.
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James Harrison
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« Reply #484 on: August 08, 2020, 01:51:49 pm »



I've not given a photo update in a while so...

Definitely broken the back of this little job, considering what it looked like three weeks ago.  The top three risers I regard as done, pretty much, the next three have been dosed twice with paint stripper and the remaining six have just been gone over a bit with the scraper to get the cracked/ bubbled areas in a mood to come away. 
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SeVeNeVeS
Master Tinkerer
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England England



« Reply #485 on: August 08, 2020, 03:40:57 pm »

Looking great so far, I would say as long as the walls and carpet strip are a lightish colour that there will work really well!

Do not despair, time, tenacity and perseverance my friend.

Slog on!
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James Harrison
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« Reply #486 on: August 08, 2020, 04:21:53 pm »

Thanks.  I think I'm going for an attitude if I can get it 90% or 95% back to bare wood I'll settle for that because the effort to get every scrap off is... sapping my will to carry on.  It's funny how something can go mentally from 'this will never get finished' to 'it's nearly there' and I think the turning point with this was getting the paint off the mouldings/ skirtings to each side (there was only one or two coats on those so that was a quick part of the task).  So, now, I have six risers more or less done, have started the seventh and called it a day there and that leaves the other five to even start and the half landing at the top. 

And then I can start staining it all.  Or, maybe more pertinantly, get the skirting board back in place from the stairs to the front door. Amd then build a radiator cover. And then, finally, stain all the wood.  I'm still aiming at mahogany stain for the timber and a very light cream/ off-white colour for the walls. 

Oh!- and I found a reproduction Edwardian light fitting to hang in the entrance corridor. 

Much as I would like to fill the house with genuine Edwardian pieces, there are a few factors going against me there.  Firstly I can only afford the cheaper stuff (read: damaged, nobody's likely to pay much for it).  Secondly if my attitude to my genuine Edwardian top hat is anything to go by, I'd be constantly afraid to do anything that might damage it.... I might as well put the red rope up everywhere and treat it as a museum...  Thirdly this is going to be a work in progress for some time yet to come so anything I do buy is likely to get dusty/ dirty/ knocked against- see point 2 again...
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Mercury Wells
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« Reply #487 on: August 08, 2020, 06:33:30 pm »

Would sugar soap work?
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James Harrison
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« Reply #488 on: August 08, 2020, 07:51:56 pm »

Now there's a thought- I've not tried sugar soap on it. 
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James Harrison
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« Reply #489 on: August 09, 2020, 12:21:41 pm »

After a bit more work I've got the sum total of two risers and the half landing still to strip of paint.  Nearly there now....
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James Harrison
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« Reply #490 on: August 09, 2020, 02:54:20 pm »

VICTORY!!!
Staircase is done, at least up as far as the half landing. That will take a little while longer but the awkward/ difficult bit is done now. 

I think I'm about ready to buy the woodstain.  (And then in about a week's time I can start whinging about how long a job that is/ the smell/ how long it takes to dry/ not covering up the residue of paint etc etc etc).
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Synistor 303
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Zenyna Ironbracker


« Reply #491 on: August 10, 2020, 06:49:05 am »

You can get coloured hard waxes which go on and stain and finish the timber with very little chemical smell. I did all our wooden floors with it, and after 6 years the floors still look amazing. Hard-wearing, one application and low chemical fumes - win-win in my opinion.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #492 on: August 10, 2020, 10:11:55 am »

One thing that is true is that you'll get less absorption of a stain on those areas which are already saturated by *something * Not much you can do about it. Perhaps do a test on a particular spot to see how it stacks up to the job. Another idea is to creatively use a thin brush to cover the white spot with something dark before applying the stain..

Hard waxes sound intriguing.

I still think that even with residue, it'll look splendid in brown stain. Like showing the age of the staircase through a patina, rather than an ugly layer of paint.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2020, 10:16:59 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged

Deimos
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aka Countess Millicent Addlewood


« Reply #493 on: August 10, 2020, 05:13:25 pm »

James, are you going to do a final sanding before staining?

 You might consider using a sanding block with 180 or 220 grit sandpaper. Do it by hand (orbital sanders leave a swirl) and go in the direction of the grain. You may be able to get off more  of the residual paint  and avoid the splotcing that JW mentioned (where the stain would not be absorbed.)

Really, prep work is everything in something like this. Quite often one thinks one can live with a flaw (whatever it may be) because taking the time to remedy it just seems more bother. But then once the stain and sealer are on that flaw just keeps jumping out to remind you it's there.

I can see living with a flaw if it requires added work in doing something else to get rid of it (e.g. replacing the piece of wood), but if it only requires more repetition of what you had already been doing [sanding] (and are, understandably, fed up with said repetition), well, it still might be worth it to do that last bit to get it right.

Just my opinion (and the result of my own experience in finishing wood).
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James Harrison
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« Reply #494 on: August 10, 2020, 07:25:47 pm »

There's an idea to give the whole lot a final once-over with sugar soap and detergent to get rid of the paint stripper residue and lift off the dust and muck that has accumulated in the corners, and then I'll probably give it a good scrub down just with water and a wire brush to make sure everything that can be got at has been.

Beyond that though there's not much more I can do, short of shotblasting it. 
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #495 on: August 11, 2020, 03:42:52 am »

There's an idea to give the whole lot a final once-over with sugar soap and detergent to get rid of the paint stripper residue and lift off the dust and muck that has accumulated in the corners, and then I'll probably give it a good scrub down just with water and a wire brush to make sure everything that can be got at has been.

Beyond that though there's not much more I can do, short of shotblasting it. 

Hard to tell without some images. Before you dive into the stain, send us some pics, so we can get a feel for what's going on!
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James Harrison
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« Reply #496 on: August 12, 2020, 07:56:22 pm »

Half-landing is cleaned up.  Now I'm really at the point where I can vacuum it all down, get up all the dust, then set-to with soap and water to lift up anything left behind.... I really want, almost, just to get a hosepipe on it and blast it down but then where does all the water go..... maybe not. 

Realistically the next step is, as I say, hoover, soap and water.  Then I can reinstate the plaster down to the skirtings and then I can look at staining the wood. 

Oh- and I may or maynot be having a decorator come around to give a quote on painting my high walls too.
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James Harrison
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« Reply #497 on: August 13, 2020, 06:13:03 pm »

The water board have come around, closed the road (or part of it) and started digging a hole....
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James Harrison
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« Reply #498 on: August 15, 2020, 10:00:22 am »

I *think* I now have a new stop valve for the water....

In other news, the staircase is now cleaned up to the point that I feel I can stain it, except for the awkward internal corners where riser, tread and moulding meet- I'm checking through my tools to see if I've got something that can haul the accumulated muck out of there. 

I've also ordered some timber to build a radiator cover- just the carcass and the top at the moment, as I'm still undecided what I want the front panels to look like.  In any case I can't afford to buy materials for the whole thing in one go, so I'll build the basic frame and have a think about the front later.

In the front garden, the soil has settled a bit after we dug some of it out and raked the rest level a few weeks ago.  I've reconsidered my initial idea of using terracotta rope-top edges having seen the fairly limited range of bits (bearing in mind the front garden describes a curve) and now I'm thinking about using some small stone setts instead to edge the gravelled area in the middle.  I'm trying to price up the gravel at the moment and that looks like it will be a purchase deferred until September at the earliest. 
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Deimos
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« Reply #499 on: August 15, 2020, 11:04:35 am »

...In other news, the staircase is now cleaned up to the point that I feel I can stain it, except for the awkward internal corners where riser, tread and moulding meet- I'm checking through my tools to see if I've got something that can haul the accumulated muck out of there...

Maybe use a putty knife?
          Putty Knife
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