{Home} Nice Legs! Show Me Your Drawers

After my muscles had some rest from scrubbing the dresser frame, it was time to finish off the legs and drawers.

I applied more stripper to the legs, and let that sit for a bit.

Then I had to contort myself around on the ground to get at all the nooks and crannies in the legs, but they turned out beautifully.

Cleaning up the drawers was easier, since they are mostly flat and smooth, and could be moved around.

Once I was satisfied with all the stripping, it was time to finish things up with some mineral spirits (a safe for indoor use with no VOC fumes formula).  I also picked up a bag of rags to use.

I wiped down the whole dresser, and it picked up a lot of dust and some paint and stripper that was left behind.

However, some parts of the drawers still looked bad, so I used some steel wool dipped in the mineral spirits to scrub off the rest of the grime.

Now it’s time to finish it off with some oil and wax!

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{Home} Scrub-a-Dub-Dub

No three men in a tub around here though. This story involves a fully clothed single woman.

There was still more work to be done after the big stripping adventure over the weekend. I had noticed a clearish brown substance coming up with the paint, which I figured to be the previous coat of polyurethane on the wood. To remove it, I coated the whole dresser with another layer of Critistrip and wrapped it in bags (this time removing the drawers and cutting the bags in half).

And then it sat like that for three days until I had time to work on it again last night. It wasn’t the smartest decision to wait that long, so lesson learned. I used the scraper on the top, and I was surprised at how much of the stuff there was to remove!

To get the rest of the dresser polished off, I used super fine steel wool.

I kept the steel wool kinda clean by rinsing it in water, and the water also helped on some stubborn areas. FYI, I used a pot I bought from Goodwill awhile back and designated it my “house projects pot” so there won’t be any food safety issues to worry about.

It took quite a bit of elbow grease to remove most of the gunk, but I’m loving that it’s starting to look like its old self!

I still have to finish stripping the legs and drawers. Then there’s cleaning it up with mineral spirits, and finishing with some oil to really show off the newly exposed beautiful wood!

{Home} Short, Dark, and Handsome

I was so excited to begin my first foray into stripping, when a friend reminded me that I had taken a Stripper 101 class in Las Vegas last year. Some how I don’t think the skills are transferable. 😉

Anyway, I had assembled my supplies, removed the hardware from the drawers (and emptied them), and laid some garbage bags underneath the dresser to protect my floor. The stripper recommends using a metal cup (instead of plastic) for holding the stripping gel when being applied with the brush. Luckily I had put off taking out the recycling, and I had a little can from corn–so there is something to be said about not doing your chores!

dresser paint strip stripper citristrip

And then it was time to apply! I’m so used to the old rule of thumb that your painting coats should be thin, but in this case you’re supposed to apply it pretty liberally. I went over the top twice just to make sure I had gotten enough stripper on it.

dresser paint strip stripper citristrip

And then I covered it with some plastic garbage bags to keep the moisture in. The stripper only works while it’s still wet, and this was a useful tip I had picked up from my research.

dresser paint strip stripper citristrip

I was on such a stripping roll that I was literally watching the paint start to slough off as I was applying it! The detailed carving on the corner actually looked pretty cool with just a touch of the paint removed.

dresser paint strip stripper citristrip

It took me about a half hour to slather the whole dresser in stripper and wrap it in garbage bags. As for the scent, it’s very mild and no harsh fumes!

dresser paint strip stripper citristrip

After patiently waiting another half hour, I took a quick peek at the top to see if it was ready.

dresser paint strip stripper citristrip

The stripper worked like magic, and whole sheets of paint came up! The wood underneath is so beautiful that I kept quoting Nicole Curtis: “Why would you cover that up?!” (the 13 second mark if you’re not interested in watching the whole thing).

dresser paint strip stripper citristrip

After the excitement of the top, I moved on to the sides and drawers which were just as exciting! I ended up using a toothbrush to work on some of the smaller and intricate spots that needed more attention.

dresser paint strip stripper citristrip

Obviously, there are quite a few areas that still need more work, but I’m so excited to see the beautiful wood that was hiding under that paint!

{Home} Stripping

Since I bought my dresser off Craigslist a few years ago, I’ve known I wanted to strip the paint off it. It’s a weird greenish color that doesn’t really go with the rest of my apartment. I’d love to expose the wood beneath it, which led me to stripping!

I did some research and came across a greener paint stripper that is also safe for indoor use! Which is great for me, since moving my dresser outside isn’t exactly practical. In addition to the stripper, I also needed mineral spirits for cleaning up the wood afterwards, plus a cheap brush to apply the stripper. I already have a metal scraper, some fine steel wool, and toothpicks for getting into the details of the dresser. To help the stripper stay moist and aid in clean up, I have a lot of garbage bags to use as wrapping and to cover my floor.

An online search for nearby retailers sent me to Home Depot. When the check-out guy asked me what I was doing with the stuff I was purchasing, I responded, “Stripping!”  He was taken aback, since he had really asked me what I was up to the rest of the night.  Oops! Stripping wasn’t on the agenda for that night, but it’s what I’ll be up to this weekend!

{Home} Hanging the Picture: Take Two

While I was away in Europe, a mirror and picture had fallen off the wall. The mirror was able to be rehung in the same manner as it was before, but the picture was more difficult. I had used the 3M Command Strips both in my current apartment and my old apartment, but for some reason, the picture wasn’t having any of it this time.

There’s a difference in height between the frame and where the picture is, so there’s a little ledge that I decided to use to hang the picture. (Yes, I really held the picture and backing into the frame with painters tape. The frame was meant to have a specific artwork in it, but the frame size was perfect for the print I wanted to frame, so I carefully cut away the old backing and removed the old art. Hey–whatever works, right?!)

I’ve used pushpins to hang pictures before, so that became the plan of attack this time. I carefully put two into the wall, and made sure they were level. I had to adjust one to be lower, but it was still pretty uncomplicated.

Pushpins go into drywall really easily, but it’s more difficult to put them through plaster. I needed to use a hammer to get them into the wall, and two of them broke as I tried.

But the end of the story is a happy one, as the picture is back up on the wall!