Stripping the Interior Paint: The Floor and Drawer Support

wash stand front beforeWashstand Project 2015

ready to start floorThe last main area to strip was the floor, and it went very quickly, mainly because the surface was smooth.

stripper start main section paint easily peels paint peel 2 paint peel 3

stripper middle section stripper final section sand everything

In the second-last photo you’ll see my scraper moving in a different direction.  This is because the wood was a bit warped in this area and the scraper blade did not sit well.  It’s fine to scrape in different directions, but when it comes time to sand, ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS sand with the grain.  Resist the urge even in corners and edges to sand across the grain.  If you do, your sanding marks will forever be noticed, even under a coat of paint.

The sides needed a bit of the scraper and sock routine as described in the last post, and the front edge needed a little bit of detail scraping, as shown below.  The left front corner had a loose piece – I simply removed it and cleaned out the area – I haven’t decided whether or not to put the piece back in. Then the whole floor area got a good sanding.

wipe down with cloth edges take more effort left corner loose section the piece comes right out

Special attention was paid to the front edge.  The left side had the loose piece, and the right side was damaged, with nails holding it in place.  Everything was cleaned up as much as possible and sanded.

work along the front edge smooth centre front edge dig paint from damaged area damaged areas with nails

The Drawer Support

The ledge supporting the drawer will not be seen. However I stripped it for two reasons.  (1) The drawer stoppers were coated in paint and threatened to be useless in their job, and (2) experience has taught me that when the drawer is closed, you actually DO see the front edge of the support – if it isn’t painted, it draws the eye to its unfinished state.

Stripping and sanding was quick and easy.

drawer support ledge before stripper to ledge scraping the ledge falling globs are OK

A note about those little globs of loose paint dropping down onto the already prepared floor space below… don’t worry about them.  The paint dries up quickly and brushes off with no residue.

Lastly, those drawer stoppers.  When I started, they looked like two little globs on the wood. Enter the next tools.

Tool #10: A Seam Ripperseam ripperTool #11: Medium Grade Steel Woolsteel wool

I sew a lot, so I have seam rippers. I used to have only one. Now I have many because I use them for furniture refinishing! They are PERFECT for digging paint out of hard-to-get-at spots. (Darning needles are also good but trickier to hold.) Steel wool is particularly useful for “sanding” these same types of spots, and especially when the surface is not wood, as in this case.  I dug out that paint with the seam ripper, sanded it with the steel wool and got the delightful results below!

stopper close-up before digging out paint finishing with steel wool second stopper

So now the interior is ready for small repairs and primer.

Let’s review.

The left side is ready, including the hole initially present for receiving some sort of door clasp (which no longer exists).fully stripped left edge

The right side is ready, including the area for the door hinges.fully stripped right edge

The lower front is ready except for filling the holes at the corners (and perhaps hammering in those nails a bit better).fully stripped and sanded lower interior

The drawer support is ready. Note that the undersides of the support on all sides are stripped because they will be seen when the door is opened.fully stripped upper showing edgesI’m ready to strip the outside.


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