Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Goodbye Paint!

Our Living Room is still 3/4 done. There's just that little 25% of the room left keeping me from officially finishing the room. That 25% is the reason there's nothing on the shelves. No rug. No curtains. Nothing on the walls.

Well, I've had enough. I want a rug. I want curtains. I want a pretty Living Room that I'm not embarrassed by.

First things first, lead paint needs to be removed. I went to Home Depot to buy another gallon of Peel-Away, only to be told that they don't sell it anymore. Thought I was going to break down and cry in the middle of Home Depot. Some quick research on my phone brought me to a Sherwin Williams store. They had my Peel-Away. For twice as much as I had paid at Home Depot. Ouch. But, I needed it. I swore to myself that I'd be more careful and not waste any this time.

As I'm reading the directions, I see that "1 gallon is enough to remove the paint on approximately one side of one average sized door". Uh.. I have three windows, three doors and one large corner cabinet. This is going to get expensive. And fast! But. It's cheaper than $32,000 to have a contractor do it.

It appears that Peel-Away has improved a bit in the last year and half since I bought my first gallon. The cover is child/tamper proof and literally took me a half hour to open. You need 4 hands to open it. No easy task when you're home alone. After rigging something with string, tape and a nail, I got the cover off. I remembered from the never-ending project that is the Living Room fireplace, that the more PA you put on, the easier the paint comes off (it's a trade off.. you're using more PA, so you're going through the gallon faster, but it removes better...), so I glopped on the stuff and put the paper on. I had also grabbed a roll of duct tape, so I taped the edges to the wall so that it wouldn't slide down (a HUGE issue I had with the fireplace... no matter how thick or thin I spread it... no matter the temperature in the house... no matter if I let it sit a couple minutes before putting the paper on, it always slid!). I also went around with a pin and popped any air bubbles I saw, about a half hour after applying the paper.
The duct tape worked. When I came back the next day, it worked amazingly! When I did the fireplace, I had a lot of areas where the paint just didn't come off, due to me not putting the paper flat enough, air bubbles or sliding. I've been able to correct this on the windows and had no issues. It came off clean and beautiful! I wasn't able to get all the paint in the crevice on the edge of the trim, but who cares. It came off enough that when I paint over it, you'll never notice.
On the second window, I put up the PA, but then was too busy with work the next day and couldn't remove it. I prayed that it wouldn't ruin the windows and I wouldn't need to re-apply and waste more PA. So, 48 hours after application, I removed one side of the casing. It came off pretty well. However, it still took about 45 minutes, and was only half of the side. The other side of the window I had put the PA on the whole side and I had tons of work that needed to get done. I once again prayed that it wouldn't be ruined and put it off until the next day.
So now we're 72 hours post-application. Oh my God. I need to wait this long always! I removed and cleaned the whole side of the window in about a half hour. Less than half the time it should have taken me. And it came off perfectly! That section of casing is the best looking out of all my PA projects so far!

I thought it was interesting because in the pamphlet that came with the PA it said to leave it on for 12-24 hours.. basically don't leave it on for more than 48. With the fireplace I found that if I left it on for about 20 hours, it worked the best (though comparing the fireplace to the windows, I did a horrible job on the fireplace!!). With window #1, I left it for about 24 hours. The section left for 72 hours wasn't messy coming down (my one concern is that because it wasn't messy, the chemicals(? whatever changes the toxicity of the lead paint) weren't working anymore and it had reverted back to it's bad self) and quicker to clean up.

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