So………remember that 1800s fireplace mantle I bought at Lucketts back in, oh, August?


mantle project!

No, I haven’t forgotten about it!  (You probably thought I did, didn’t you?!)  And no, I hadn’t made any progress on it…until last night!  This very large, soot covered, unfinished project sitting in the the basement has been a point of contention with Husband since my many “I’ll work on it this weekend!” promises have passed by without any work done on it!

Why’s that?  Well…

  • I’m assuming the thing is covered in lead-based paint.
  • I must not have googled the right sites because every lead-based paint removal process seemed to involve full body chemical suits, latex gloves, goggles, ventilation masks, and space outside to strip it.  Not so much appealing…
  • I have been insanely busy!!!

But last night on a whim, I decided to stop by Home Depot and pick up a product highly recommended by a woodworking co-worker called Peel Away 7.  It touts that it can remove up to 30 layers of paint in one coating, it has no odor, it’s biodegradable, non-toxic, perfect for removing lead-based paint, and seemingly easy as pie!  Unfortunately, they only had it in a gallon size for a whopping $68…seeing that I bought the mantle for $75, I opted to try out another product, Citristrip.  (The name rang a bell – Layla and Kevin over at The Lettered Cottage used it to remove paint from an old door!)  If it doesn’t work, I’ll just order a quart of Peel Away 7 online!

Armed with the jug of Citristrip, some latex gloves, and a cheap-o paintbrush, I spent a half hour slathering the citrus-scented goop on my little mantle…


ready to rock

After just a few minutes of the product being on the mantle, the paint started bubbling and separating from the wood in places – it kind of looks like my little mantle has warts!

the citristrip getting straight to work

the citristrip getting down to work


more bubbling


the paint already separating from the wood!

I am SO CURIOUS to see the condition of the wood underneath!  Tomorrow night I’ll take a scraper to the paint and see what I can get off.  It may require a few coats, but I’m pumped to make some much-needed progress on this project!

What projects do you have sitting un-done?  I hope this is a little bit of inspiration to make baby steps toward completing it!

{Disclaimer: I was in no way paid to endorse Citristrip, just citing what I’m using on this project!}