Last week, while I was away, Noel began scraping the mastic off the wall of the back bedroom. This is a test area: he used the heat gun and scraper and removed the heavy material (that reddish-brown stuff you can see to the right), then used the sander to get down to wood.

You can hardly tell, but left is heat-gun only, right is palm-sander only, middle is both. Middle looks pretty nice, no?

Test scrapes of the mastic

It came out looking pretty good compared to what was there before, but it was time-consuming. I'm not sure of any other way to deal with the issue; people have suggested we just remove the paneling and turn it backwards, but our experience with removing woodwork in this house is that your chances of destroying the woodwork in the process are pretty much perfect.

Removing mastic

In a half day of work, though, he managed to get most of a wall cleaned off, which is pretty good.

A finished wall

I think we might have a couple more days of scraping on the stuff ahead, though naturally now we've got a had cold running around the household, and nothing is quite as unpleasant as trying to do hard work in a respirator with a cold.

posted by ayse on 08/17/10