Paint removal – Part 8: Sustained sanding

Imagine yourself being on a repetitious job, daydreaming away. What would you do if you turn around and face this:


  • Realize that your day dream turned into a day nightmare?
  • Question whether all the sanding had a negative impact on your sanity?
  • Debate the sanity of your co-worker?

Well, I have to say that Drew isn’t shy about being comfortable at work. I bet he put those goggles on just to freak me out. A little bit of fun goes a long way during a monotonous job!

I don’t know how many linear feet of vertical trim we sanded and then sanded again.

The good news is that we got that pile moved out the way. The bad news is, there was another pile behind the vertical trim waiting for us – the architraves or entablatures that sit over all the doors and windows.

They are composed of a main board, with a little ornamental bead at the bottom and an elaborate crown molding at the top.


The crown moldings are pretty delicate and a lot of them haven’t survived. All that was left are the bead and the board – although it is sometimes hard to spot the bead under all that thick paint.


I removed the layers of paint a couple of months ago. Drew now took on the task of sanding the boards and beads.

Yes, it is a lot of work. And yes, we think it is worth it. Re-using the original trim and moldings does fit right into our salvaging philosophy and enthusiasm. And the reward will be very gratifying, as we have experienced with our 1st floor unit front door.


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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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