24 05 2010

I spent today helping BirthdayGirl and Giggles at a house they are working on in the Mexican War Streets area of Pittsburgh. They are replacing the front porch which was in sorry shape.

Apparently, since the Mexican War Streets is designated a Victorian-era historic district, they have to attempt to re-use and restore all of the original decorative items – columns, banisters etc. I don’t know all the details, I just know they needed help removing many layers of paint from a 3-4 foot tall decorative column and a small banister.

That’s just the base of the column. I managed to get all of the paint you see visible removed. The wood work is quite beautiful, but unfortunately the wood is not in the best condition. Some pieces broke off in chunks, others flaked off, and at least one side of the base looks like it could just fall off.

Another friend of BG & Giggles was also helping me, and we managed to get more than 50% of the remaining paint removed.  Man, there was a lot of paint. White, brown, dark green, cream, lavender and I think yet another layer of brown. And those were just the ones we could readily identify. I think there were more.

To remove the paint, we used something resembling a hair dryer and these nifty little differently shaped tools. There was even one that fit the grooves in the middle of the column. But, wow, are my hands tired, sore and cramped. And I’m exhausted.

Oh, and lest you think we’re not safety conscious, we did wear respirators. I’m sure I looked gorgeous in mine. I forgot to take a picture or me wearing it.

I’ll be back to help on Friday. I think we’ll be working on the banister by then. That should be interesting.

I’ll try to get a picture of the paint-free column and one of me in the fancy respirator on Friday too.



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