refinishing Fireplace mantel

Old 12-01-05, 07:54 PM
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refinishing Fireplace mantel

In the process of stipping my fireplace. I have already removed who knows how many years of paint from the wood. The mantel is fairly simple and has built in bookcases on either side from my 100yr old colonial. I began the project a while ago and removed the paint using the strongest stripper I could get my hands on when that organic crap wouldn't work.

I was able to sand all of the flat surfaces using my oribital but dont know how to remove the paint in the corners and seams where one board meets another or where one board is on top of the other. I know the wood will finish nicely but the paint will stick out if I don't take care of it. I am open to any and all suggestions. Also how do I sand the smaller areas like the 1" thickness of the board when it lies ontop of another one.

Hope this all makes sense
Old 12-02-05, 05:35 AM
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You might try a sharp scraper and then hand sand. Be sure to work with the grain so you don't scar the wood.
Old 12-02-05, 07:33 AM
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When I undertook the same project years ago, I discovered several strippers and tools. First, peel-away is an excellent product to use for this application, particularly since some of these layers are likely lead based. Next, I found some shaped scrapers and dental tools from Lee Valley. I also used a heat gun (big no-no for lead paints, but I was determined) and the aforementioned tools to remove paint from crevices. Hand sanding is really the only way to get the details. Lee Valley also has some shaped pads for sanding details, and there is a small power detail sander that comes with similar pads (although I found it highly ineffective). Focus on the finished product, as the part of the project you are at now is the most painful!
Old 12-03-05, 03:47 PM
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if after having tried everything you can think of to remove the paint
from corners and seams, stain the wood and then paint over the paint
with a colour that matches what your stain looks like.

sometimes a chisel draged towards you works to scrape paint off.
with the grain of course

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