Monday, October 22, 2012

So I did What she Said.

Warning: Emma got frustrated and swore a little bit...just a warning if you're sensitive to that kind of thing...

First, we finally had a beautiful day. It was out first full day without rain in over a week so, I was actually able to appreciate some of my foliage.

I listened to the advice given to me from my Saint MIL WORKED! I think. I kind of got fed up and just went for it (which you'll see later this week). This is, of course, because at this point I was super close to lighting the damn thing on fire and making Nate buy me something pre-made and pretty.

Here were her table-goddess demands.

  1. Zip Strip.
  2. A puddy knife 
  3. Rocking tunes 
  4. Fine Steel Wool
  5. Sanding stuffs
  6. Shop Towels (the disposable blue paper towels)
  7. RUBBER GLOVES (not latex, not even kidding- they'll disintegrate...)
That's it. Now before we get to the how-to, here's a public service announcement from your dearest Emma. Freaking Zip Strip is not available at any freaking major hardware store. I spent all Saturday morning driving between Home Depot, Menards and Lowes all to hear "we are switching to eco-friendly products and no longer sell that product." We ended up finding it at Meijer of all places (it's like a Wal-Mart for all you non-Midwest people, though my Wal-Mart didn't have it either...) So in short, you'll kill a lot of brain cells and probably poke a hole the atmosphere, but DAMN if that shit don't work. The left half of this picture (your left) is the table after it was zip stripped, the right is after the CitriStrip. See the difference? All of the dark orange spots are places where the previous finish wasn't able to be removed- so a stain wouldn't have gone through.

Not. Even. Kidding.

So remember Friday when I was like "it took like half an hour, and it still didn't get everything off, then Mom came and told me I was doing it wrong..." If I had had zip stripped it originally this thing would be in my dining room already.  And to think, I spent 9 hours dicking around with the damn thing already. Here's the how-to.

Step 1: Apply some zip strip. I put a lime sized puddle in the center of half the table (I did this about quarter or half of the table at a time so the ZS wouldn't dry) and spread it around with a blue shop towel. It was a medium layer. Thin enough that it became clear, but thick enough that it still had some goop on it.

Step 2: Sing your favorite song. (Seriously, that's as long as it takes) The bottle said 10-20 minutes, but I think the whole table would have disappeared if I left it on that long. I only waited about 4-5 minutes.

Step 3: Scrape with your puddy knife and wipe excess gunk off onto shop towels until the area you've applied the ZS to is clean.

Step 4: Rub your steel wool over the area you just scraped and it will absorb the excess gunk (like the gunk that was causing us so much sass last week)

Step 5: Repeat this process over your desired stripping area. (So many jokes at the expense of exotic dancers were made this weekend)

Step 6: Once your table is stripped and clean, sand it down.

Step 7: Eat a cookie

Step 8: Vacuum off all of the saw dust. Your table has to be clean before you stain it.

Step 9: Proceed to the makings of the pretties.

I also had this gorgeous neighborhood tommy (I think his name is Jazzy) hang out with me most of the weekend. He's one of our neighbor's outside cats and he was more than happy to hang out in the warm garage with me. It was nice to have the company too!

I apologize for the lack of pictures too. The zip strip literally works so fast I didn't have much time to take pictures and I was home alone. I promise when I do the bathroom vanity I'll have Nate take a step by step photo tutorial- though it looked a lot like when I used the CitriStrip, just much easier, more gunk, and brown instead of orange.

The table is coming along slowly but surely, but at least I got the damn thing stripped!

What great things did you get done this weekend?


  1. That's going to be very pretty when its done. Nice cat too. Can't wait to see the finished pictures.

  2. I'm glad you were able to take charge and get bidness done! After all was said and done, how long did it take you to get the whole table stripped?

    1. With the CitriStrip I was entering night four of working from when I got home from work until the sun went down (so about 4-5 hours) and I still couldn't get anything done with it. So, I'd say I was probably 8-12 hours into it. Once I did the Zip Stip, I got it stripped, sanded, stained and poly-ed in two nights. I'm in the sucky wait for it to cure phase now. So, zip strip is seriously the way to go.

  3. I watched 12 hours of Walking dead this weekend, and did 7 loads of laundry... obviously your weekend was more productive! :) I want to see lots of pictures of the finished product, not just the teaser you sent me!

  4. Hilarious post! My home improvement projects usually consist of step 2 and step 7. Then again, I don't get a lot done at my house!

    1. LOL Don't worry Katy, I have those days too!


Please leave us a comment! We love to hear from you. We promise your comment will appear as soon as possible :)