Paint removal – Part 7: Vertical trim

The restored baseboards look beautiful – but are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. There is a lot more trim waiting in the wings – a whole lot more!

Cathy once explained how the manages overwhelming projects like the trim cleanup and restoration. She breaks it up in small manageable chunks, and focuses on one of those chunks at a time. I came to find out that this really helps. Plus there is our friend Drew, who earned the master sander badge!

I finished the paint removal on the vertical trim that flanks the windows and doors earlier this fall. From here on, the tasks progress (or degenerate) from tedious to ultra tedious.

It starts with picking off any small blobs of paint, followed by a first sanding with rough sandpaper removing any residue. The trim has lots of nail holes, all of which need filling with wood putty. Sometimes there are splits that we have to glue back together or small sections of trim are so beaten up that I have to cut them out and patch.

Once that is addressed we went back with rough sandpaper, hitting all the spots we fixed, and finally got down to adding a nice finish with fine sandpaper.

It turned out that I enjoyed this work more than I expected, despite its tediousness. Every step in the finishing process revealed more beauty of this 100+ year old trim. With every step in the process, you realize you are working on something special.

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About Marcus de la fleur

Marcus is a Registered Landscape Architect with a horticultural degree from the School of Horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Sheffield, UK. He developed a landscape based sustainable pilot project at 168 Elm Ave. in 2002, and has expanded his skill set to building science. Starting in 2009, Marcus applied the newly acquired expertise to the deep energy retrofit of his 100+ year old home in Chicago.

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