It's been a scurrying sort of week as I try to clean my house, get back to work, and have a social life. A friend pointed out today that I've spent all of my time here in Roanoke either taking care of my terminally ill mom or being in cancer treatment. Despite all of that I still love this area and am really jazzed that I'll be able to finally see it as a well rested healthy person. :)
I finally bought a quart of Soygel and tried it on my painted fireplace. It works the way they said it would and the smell is really minimal. It does have a plastic-y smell that I wouldn't want to dab behind my ears but it's bearable and doesn't permeate the house. It does require quite a few hours to work, but work it does. It lifts the paint right off the surface and is stupidly easy to remove with a plastic putty knife.
Starting the paint removal process on my fireplace has solved a mystery for me: why did the house flippers paint over the brick in the first place? The paint is so thin that I assumed it was only one layer. Alas, there's a layer of deep red paint under the white. It's a horrible color and is being a real bear to remove. The white paint is lifting off nicely. The red paint isn't. I'm guessing that it's being difficult because it's right on top of that nice porous brick. I'm removing paint from a small area right now so if the red paint doesn't come off well I may just paint over it all in a nicer color. Cross your fingers for me.