Saturday, April 19, 2014


Most of yesterday was spent stripping. Not the sexy kind of stripping, though, the messy kind.

I have several projects that need stripping, and I've been putting them off for a while (mainly due to the weather, since I need SOME ventilation).

Some of the projects include:
- Antique front door
- Two antique chairs (needing new upholstery)
- The living room heat grate
- An antique (1920s or 30s) cedar chest
- The maple table/desk
- The antique Eastlake walnut desk
- Several clocks
- Etc., etc., etc...

There's no way I could handle all these in just one day (it takes hours), so I worked on a few items that have been driving me nuts, namely the maple inlay table/desk, and the living room heating grate (which you might remember had a TON of old paint sloppily applied).

No photos on the table yet, but that was a fairly simple stripping job, since everything comes apart into many small flat pieces (4 legs, 4 aprons, the drawer, and the top). The grate, however, was another story.

The grate was a huge pain in the rear to strip because of all the nooks and crannies. I had to mostly slather it in stripper, and cover it with cellophane to sit for a while. Considering how strong the chemical stripper is, I'm surprised that the cellophane doesn't melt into goop, but I've seen this trick elsewhere, and it worked well.

Grate before (as purchased from an antiques salvage store):

And after stripping, and new paint. I should have taken a photo of the grate stripped (it was a beautiful flashed copper look and in decent shape), but I was tired and looking forward to getting it DONE.

Note: The interior is flat black, with the front parts in gloss white. These are just standard oil based spray paints, applied in several coats.

Not shown are the 2 interior flaps (lever operated shutter), which also had to be stripped, buffed clean of rust, and repainted (also in flat black). Next, I will need to have a new latch cast for the one that's missing. I hope this won't be too expensive, but at work we know a guy who knows a guy who does casting, and he had done a few copies of antique dresser pulls for us, and they were gorgeous. The set of 2 pulls (with back rosettes) was something like 60$ for the 4pcs. I only need one piece, so I'm hoping it will be under 50$, since I can buy a whole other grate for 50$.


  1. Did you know you can boil old metal things in hot water and the paint comes off in sheets. I do it on old hardware and it works like a dream!! Don't use the pan again for food though...Your hair might fall out!!

    1. Yes, I've used that method for smaller hardware, but the grate was much too big to fit even my largest pan. The grate is about 15" x 12".