Monday, October 31, 2011

The doll bed, Day 1

Lesson: One is never too old to be naive. Or unrealistic, whichever fits.

So, a month ago while we're working on projects for the library bazaar, we're at a friend's barn and workshop indulging in her husband's drills and looking for screws and sanding like the little bazaar elves we are. I happen to look up and there, atop a metal file cabinet which came with the barn, is what looks to be a bunk bed built for a doll. I tell the owner if she ever wishes to dispose of it, call me first. And, being the friend that she is, she says it came with the place, she doesn't want it, knock myself out.

Truer words were never spoken.

I'm thinking, aha! Christmas present for Emily, 4 1/2 year-old granddaughter who's into dolls and all things pink. I'll just strip this down, paint it to match her room, make fresh bedding for it, and voila! Christmas gift.

Naive. Or unrealistic.

Looking at the wallpaper which covered the bed's foundation, I'm guessing this was made in the 60s. Having worked on it for a while, I'm thinking it was home made. And the paint? Oh, the paint was glued on.

Realizing that the wonderful weather we're having isn't going to last forever and stripping paint is really an outdoor task, I determined today was the day. I bought neoprene gloves and found that stripper is now available spray on. Perfect for small projects. I bought a can. Guaranteed to remove three coats of latex, stain, and all matter in between.

Tsk, tsk. Did I really believe that?

I set up shop outside, cut a garbage bag to catch the drips, put on the gloves, and started spraying. In the meantime, I read the directions where they hinted that a plastic scraper would come in handy. Never mind that, I had grade 3 steel wool saved from a long-ago project. Never dispose of (de)construction items.

About 45 minutes later I realized two things: I needed more stripper and a plastic scraper would come in handy. As well as a little brush for getting into the lovely turns on the spindles of the bed.

Three hours and a trip to Walmart later, I'm in possession of an extra pair of gloves, two more packages of steel wool, a scraper, a brush, and the last two cans of stripper on the shelf. I'm also calling it a day.

The paint is simply not coming off the bottom inside rails of the bed. My glove fingers are sticking (stuck) to one another. I'm tired of sitting in the damp grass. While I may actually spray more stripper on the little, no-fuss-how-much-time-can-this-take project, I'm going to sandpaper it first.

Just as soon as I have a conversation with my generous friend.

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