Friday, June 18, 2010

Experiments with Peeling Paint

Hubby took Boy to go on a Father-Son campout with Grandpa and a couple of uncle's and cousins and some Boy Scouts.  Firecracker went along for the ride to play with Grandma while the men are out camping.  Sweet Pea and I were going to go along, but I really needed to stay here so I can have some solitude to read and score several hundred SAT essays about...solitude.

Turns out Firecracker and Boy do a fair amount of entertaining Sweet Pea, and she wasn't happy to have me sitting at the computer reading essays while she played by herself.  I got through exactly 9 of them before I called it quits. 

So Sweet Pea and I went outside and I pulled this out of the shed.  We picked this guy up at Goodwill last week for $8.50.  This is my very first furniture refinishing project ever.  (Even though we have a number of pieces in need of refinishing.)  We'll see how it goes.
I think he was so cheap because he's missing a drawer, but I'm actually thinking that could make a great book shelf for school books.  As far as I can tell with all that ugly paint on him, he's all real wood...not coated particle board.
We put him out back after we brought him home and as luck would have it, it started raining before we got him put away.  He just got a little wet since he was under the eaves and we noticed the rain fairly quickly.  I went to wipe him off before putting him in the shed, I noticed the wet had made his paint bubble a bit...and that bubbled paint actually came off pretty easily (which is why there are patches of missing paint in the "before" picture.


So today since Sweet Pea wanted to play outside, I got some towels sopping wet and layed them over the top of the desk and let them sit for 5-10 minutes. 
The paint just peeled right off.  In some places it came off in little pieces, but in others, it came off in massively-huge-this-is-saving-me-a-ton-of-work pieces. 
I have a feeling this has something to do with the repaint job the last owner did not being done right.  (I have no idea if this will work for other projects or if it could damage a different piece of furniture, but it might be worth a try for you.)  I'll have to have a chat with my Granddad about what the previous person did wrong, so I can do it right.  As much as I LOVE that the paint has been so easy to get off, I don't want this to happen again after I've refinished it as soon as someone spills something on it.  I'm thinking they probably didn't sand the desk before repainting it at the very least because the finish underneath looks great for having been covered up with ugly blueish-who-would-ever-want-a-desk-this-color paint.

This is what it looked like by the time Sweet Pea was ready to eat lunch and take her nap.  (Those little flecks should all be pretty easy to get off.  I just didn't have time.)  We'll see how well the paint comes off the other surfaces, but I'm thinking of just refinishing and staining the top rather than painting it again.  Oh...and I bought myself a sander because I have several projects that will need it.
So now that Sweet Pea is down for a nap, I'll be a good girl and go back to reading SAT essays on solitude...instead of going out back and taking more paint off, which is what I'd really rather be doing. :)  You'll be seeing more of this project later!

What projects are you working on this weekend?


  1. Oooh . . . I've always (and by always I mean since I started crafty stuff six months ago) wanted to do a refinishing project. I have a shelf waiting in the wings ready to be worked on, so I totally admire your ambition. Looks like there is incredible potential under that greenish paint.

  2. So satisfying to get all that old paint off the top. Nice work. I am a fan of liquid sandpaper.

  3. I love all of your projects, you are amazing. To get back to you on my keyrings I used a 3/32 all purpose drill bit. You do have to be patient and apply even pressure or you'll break your drill bits. Also, you have to set the little washer just a little bit lower then the big washer or they won't lay flat. One more thing is I used vice grips to hold them in place on a piece of wood while I drilled and I used a center punch to start the hole so the drill bit wouldn't slip. Or, if you have access to a drill press that would work too. Any more questions please let me know.

  4. I just wanted to let you know that I awarded you something on my site!

    As for this weekend. We're eating. A lot! Two bbq's to cook for :)


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