Ahhh... I love the smell of Citristrip in the morning!

Well, not really. But I have a feeling it will grow on me, since I'm going to be waking up to that smell for a while. Last night, in an effort to remove the icky carpet padding/glue residue left on the stairs by some uncaring previous owner, I glopped on a bunch of Citristrip I had left over from our old house. I only did half of each step, so that we could still use the stairs if necessary. This was after trying both rubbing alcohol and denatured alcohol, which were recommended by various internet message boards as good adhesive removers. They didn't work. So I figured that the Citristrip would take off the paint and varnish underneath the padding and residue, even if it didn't do a thing on the adhesive itself.

So this morning, clad in my pajamas and slippers, I stripped half of the first 4 stairs. Even better, the stuff worked! It's messy, but not as much as I remembered. Since I'd let it "cook" for over 8 hours, it wasn't as runny as it was when I only let it sit for about 2 hours (like this afternoon, when I stripped the other half of the 4 steps). I'll post a picture tomorrow, but I can already tell that the stairway will look awesome.

In other news, Phil the Wall Guy came over on Saturday to check out the living room walls and ceiling. all he could say for about 5 minutes was "wow". I think he was overwhelmed by the scariness of our cement-looking walls and sagging ceiling. Once over the initial shock, he commented, "Why don't you just put drywall up over the plaster?" AAAK! Shayne and I glanced at each other and I firmly stated, "No." But the more Phil looked around, the less scared he was, and he realized that the plaster really isn't in bad shape. He was even happier when I told him we'd be removing all of the woodwork during the skimming process. And by the time he left, he had said that it wouldn't even be a hard job.

So... I have no doubt of his skimcoating abilities, but I'm a little worried about entrusting my plaster to a drywall guy. I think we'll probably do the repairs ourselves, then let Phil take over for the finishing work. I've ony heard of one plasterer in the area, but I'm going to give him a call this week to get a second opinion from someone who appreciates horsehair, lime, and sand.

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