I had started preparing for this awhile ago and had started taking down the upper cabinet doors and peeling off the painted wallpaper beadboard centers. I did a couple then got distracted by other projects and just got back to it last week. I took the remaining upper doors off and got all the wallpaper stripped off. That was super easy. I just ripped off the outer layer and then dipping my hand in water and wetting the remaining paper, it scraped off very easily.
Mom came last week and we spent hours preparing the doors for paint. We stripped the paint off using Citri-Strip. I'll tell you more about that in a second. After all the doors were stripped, we had to leave them to set for 24 hours until whatever stripper residue that may remain was no longer active and then we cleaned and scrubbed each door with TSP. After that, we used vinegar and water to rewash each door, to make sure to leave no TSP behind. Then, we scrapped corners with a utility knife and sanded with the mouse sander and even some sanding by hand. Definitely a very time consuming job.
The Citri-Strip. I had researched strippers in the spring and read many excellent reviews on this particular one. It is more natural and can be used indoors and not keel you over with the chemical smells of traditional strippers. This one has a citrus smell (of course, thus the name). Unlike other natural strippers, this one was claimed by many to actually work so I decided it was worth trying to get. When I tried to find it here in Canada this past May, the only place was Amazon.ca and the price was over $100 for one quart! I ended up ordering off of Amazon.com and including the shipping, my order for 2 quarts came to $40 USD!
Citri-Strip WORKS and works excellent. It doesn't stink bad. It has a citrusy smell and you can tell its powerful stuff but it isn't bad at all and I have a very sensitive sniffer. Yes, you should wear rubber gloves and take care when working with it. I slathered it on with a cheap dollar store paint brush (it will immediately swell up a sponge brush and make it useless) and within 5 minutes it starts to turn white and its time to scrape. The paint goo comes off like running butter over hot toast! Its actually fun. I used a regular plastic putty knife (because I couldn't find my wood scraper) and a wire brush for the grooves.
I made my own "painter's pyramids"! I went to buy some and when I seen that they were between $7 and $8 for 10, and I needed close to 40, I wouldn't pay the price. I immediately decided to make my own. I got Ryan to cut me a bunch of blocks out of lumber scraps, then I sanded the rough edges. I used builder's brown paper and wrapped up each block like little presents. That created smooth, non-stick, "painter's pyramids"!
In the next post, I will tell you about the progress made on the upper cabinet frames.
Disclaimer: The reason I had to strip the cabinets is because the previous finish had permanent car wax over it and I didn't want to take any chances with trying to paint over that . . . even with bonding primer.