I <3 DIY projects. I don’t do them nearly as often as I like but when I do I always get this amazing sense of happiness! And while there are times that my ideas turn to crap and I’m frustrated, there are the magical times that everything works out perfectly.
Well, this story is not one of the perfect ones. Lol.
About a month (*cough* or two) ago I was searching Pier 1 in hopes of finding a window frame type of wall hanging that I could use to display some old and new photos of my closest family members. I’d had the idea running around in my brain for quite some time and was ready to get things moving. Sadly, I couldn’t find anything that I was in love with, so I chose not to purchase anything. But, just my luck, I got a call from my roommate a few weeks later. She’d been walking through the alley of our street and had come across an old, crusty, sad looking window frame (that looked to have literally been taken down from a house) with the glass STILL INTACT.
If you couldn’t already guess, I jumped my butt in my car and went to rescue this sad, misused window frame and promised to once again make it beautiful. Boy, was that harder than anticipated. But, I am nothing if not persistent – especially when I have a vision.
So, with a couple, well… with 4 trips to Home Depot I’m nearly done with my project and my excitement is simmering.
Here are my steps, along with my mistakes – and here’s hoping this helps you with your own project, and saves you some time!
Just so you can get an idea of what I was dealing with, here are some pictures of the frame BEFORE I started removing the thousands layers of white paint. Phew. THAT was a process.
I’m not going to lie guys – I was nervous. I had NEVER removed any kind of paint accept the acrylic kind, and we know that doesn’t count. BUT, with some advice from my Mom (the ultimate DIYer and all knowing Home Depot shopper) I made my way to Home Depot with a list of items I thought I’d need. Little did I know – I should have FULLY taken her advice instead of trying something new. Lol. When will we ever learn?
Warning: Please be safe when using paint stripper in-doors. It is highly toxic and the area must be thoroughly ventilated.
So, here’s what you’ll need if you’re interested in embarking on a similar (or the same) type of project:
- Klean-Strip KS-3 Premium Paint Stripper (DO NOT use the Citristrip Stripping gel unless you want to waste hours of your life and end up with Popeye arms. But, if you must do this inside, have children and much more patience than I, I would still suggest it’s use.)
- Klean-Strip Odorless Mineral Spirits
- Drop Cloth (size you need is based on the size of your project)
- Safety Gloves (chemical resistant)
- Cheap paint brushes (3-4)
- Masking Paper (optional)
- Steel Whool
- Scotch Tape
- Safety Goggles
- Mouth mask (optional and dependent on ventilation indoors)
- Wood Stain (whatever color you prefer)
- Polycryclic Protective Finish
Here’s what I did (and please pay attention to what NOT to do):
1. I laid out my drop cloth and used the masking paper and masking tape to line and cover the glass of the window.
2. Please keep in mind I started with using the CitiStrip as my paint remover. Worst. Decision. Ever. I’d purchased it (instead of the standard paint stripper) because I was using it indoors and I’d thought, because it said “Safe for Indoor Use” that it was the best bet. Plus, I read tons of great reviews on it before I purchased it. As I stated earlier, if you must do this inside, have children and much more patience than I, I would still suggest it’s use. If not, please skip these next steps until you get to my use of the Klean-Strip KS-3 Premium Paint Stripper, as it worked WONDERS ( go to Step 5).
I poured the CitiStrip into a cheap plastic paint holder then put on my safety goggles and gloves.
3. Using one of the cheap paint brushes I started applying the stripper onto the window frame, making sure to cover every inch of the caked-on paint as I could.
4. The Citistrip instructions state that I should leave on the stripper for at least 30 minutes. I waited nearly an hour. Maybe it was because there were so many layers, maybe I should have waited two hours. WHO KNOWS. But I ended up using nearly the full bottle and a ton of elbow grease trying to strip the paint layers off…. for NADA. The Citistrip caked on the window, the tool I used to scrape it off and my gloves – it caked on EVERYTHING and was a sticky catastrophe. And still, the paint and the Citistrip residue wouldn’t come off. Seriously guys, I started to worry that I wouldn’t EVER be able to get it off and that I would have to scrap the project. :(
Nearly 4 hours and 2 full coats of CitiStrip later, I was a frustrated hot MESS.
5. Frustrated and not understanding WHY the CitiStrip wasn’t working I went online to search, again, for posted results. Everyone else seemed to have had WONDERFUL experiences, except me. *deep sigh*
Refusing to give up, I went back to Home Depot and purchased the Klean-Strip KS-3 Premium Paint Stripper and the Klean-Strip Odorless Mineral Spirits.
*lifts up praise hands*
THIS stuff is the BUSINESS!!!!!!
Using the Klean-Strip KS-3 Premium Paint Stripper was as easy as PIE. I slapped it on top of the left-over MESS of the CitiStrip and the paint started coming off like BUTTER within 15 minutes!!! Say what say whoooo?!
And since this stripper is very toxic…I needed to ventilate the room a little more.
See. The CitiStrip DID come in handy. Just not for its original purpose. *insert dramatic eye roll here*
6. After two coats of the Klean-Strip KS-3 Premium Paint Stripper I could see WOOD, and I couldn’t have been more excited. Once I determined all of the paint was removed I used the Odorless Mineral Spirits to remove any traces of the paint stripper, as it “cleans” the wood and provides a clear surface for the wood stain.
And look. LOOK! WOOOOOOOOOOOD. There was WOOD underneath all those ugly layers of white paint. Woooohoooo!!! The wood isn’t perfect, but its EXACTLY what I wanted.