Saturday, April 26, 2014

Antique China Cabinet- Part 2, stripping the paint

Lordy is paint stripping exhausting. It is tedious, monotonous, stinky, dirty, and seriously tests your patience!! Not to mention my feet, quads, and knees are KILLING ME! I have to say I really enjoy it though! There’s something rewarding and therapeutic about it. I love peeling way the layers and finding what’s under it and bringing it back to it’s original beauty.
With the exception of Avery's field trip Friday morning, we actually did not have anything planned this weekend, so I took full advantage and got busy on the cabinet.
Since this really isn't a tutorial, I will not give step by steps but will show pictures I took along the way.
I got the drawer all sanded down so the next step was to clean out the carving. It was so full of gunk. Who knows what all was in there. It was nasty! I used the corner of my scraper some, a flat head screw driver, and even got out my dental tools (what? you don't have dental tools laying around?? lol)
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Next was the daunting task of stripping the big piece. This is where patience is key! I used Citristrip since it was the safest one I could find. It says it has no smell but it does! A mask (and obviously gloves) was a must! I actually didn't take any pictures during the stripping phase since it was so messy I didn't want to get my camera out. It took 2 full days of 6-8 hours of work but I got it stripped down.
As you can see I didn’t mess with stripping the inside. It was not chipping as bad and I will have to paint it anyways so I will just sand a little and it will be fine.
The turned legs were tough! I didn’t get it perfect but I think what’s left can be sanded off. Using those really rough sponges you get in the kitchen section worked the best since the scraper doesn’t get into the grooves as easily.
The carving on the front bottom was also tough. I used a tooth brush to help get into those curves. The trick was to wait as until the stripper was pretty dry before removing it. If it is too wet, it just gets goopy and smears more than falls off.
Here's another close up of the detail carving on the front. I had to scrape out the goop on all of these carvings. This section needs a little help since there is a piece of the laminate missing.
I got some wood putty and filled the missing spot and glued down the corners of veneer that were coming up. They are clamped right now in the garage till tomorrow.
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This is my favorite glue in the whole world! I use it for everything and I have yet to find something it doesn't work on. I buy it from a basket making website and keep several bottles on hand!
Hoping to start sanding in the evenings this week.  
After stripping it, I don’t think I will be able to stain it as I had hoped. With all of the puttying and veneer and different colors of wood, it just isn’t restoring as well as I had hoped. I will probably end up going with a white since that is the “safest” color and I don’t want to do anything trendy with it; I want it to be a classic piece that will last in our family for many many more years!
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