Episode 126/2- In which I strip, Trevor slips and the grandson gets “hip”

decappageThis last French trip, we needed , or I needed to get to grips with some décapage ( paint stripping ) at last. I have been putting this off with various excuses, but the truth is I just hate strong chemical smells.

Sadly, like the pest control, there is no natural alternative; so I went to M.Bricolage to check out the options, I settled on this:-


Why? well , the smell is not too strong, it is effective very quickly, doesn’t stain the wood underneath and can be used on vertical surfaces. The latter is a no-brainer, unless you are only stripping floors, of course you are going to be applying it to vertical surfaces!!! I also very much liked that it was enriched with natural pine oil.

Whilst in other scenarios, I might sand back old paint this is a No-No  when it is almost certainly lead based. These lethal ingredient paints were still being used in France after they had been banned in other countries so PLEASE don’t risk it and fill your breathable air with airborne poison particles. A thick gel stripper will hold the paint and it can be wrapped and disposed of safely. ( Don’t try to clean or keep your brushes!)  My battle against battleship grey revealed not one, not two, but THREE layers on this door frame alone-

ancient battleship greyFrench grey

stripped sort of....

I also stripped what look like a big patch of black paint in front of the old window in the tulip bedroom. Vile stuff, it bubbled up like bitumen.It’s gone now but the stain remains.



Thank you Pauline for being quite sure that I will be able to conceal this! Your faith is much appreciated.



As you browse my photos on this blog, you may have noticed small images culled from magazines taped up all over the French village house.

Basically, over the years on this project, I have pulled out rooms, designs, colours, finishes, furniture  and other pieces that inspired and appealed to me as I feel my way through our various rooms. There’s quite a few up right now.

Dialogue between my daughter and the grandson.

“WOW, mum! Have you seen these little pictures of fantastic rooms on Nana’s walls?”

Yes, I think those are some ideas that inspire her , and the kind of style and colours she wants to get in here”

“That’s SO cool, This house is going to be AWESOME!”french door

I rest my case…………….

Oh yes, and Trevor knackered his heel climbing in boat shoes up the mountain we can see from our roof terrace.

Because It Was There.

Handy hint, don’t try this in boat shoes, or gladiator sandals for that matter. And keep your mask and gloves on when stripping.


About coteetcampagne

Artist, period home maker, renovator, restorer, Francophile. My mission is to save the old stuff, one beautiful piece at a time
This entry was posted in Renovation and restoration diary- France, What we did, how we did it and what we used and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Episode 126/2- In which I strip, Trevor slips and the grandson gets “hip”

  1. Lynda says:

    I trust that by now Trevor is healed and has had no lasting damage?
    I post those cut out pictures to. It is very helpful and inspiring to know that eventually you will get there… or if you change your mind for something else you haven’t wasted time, money and effort!!! This is very kin to that thing we do; walking about in the shop while you decide if you really need or can’t live without it. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • He’s OK..I do hope we get there Lynda, sometimes we feel that life is conspiring against us

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lynda says:

        You know I get this. Our property sold and closed just this Friday. We will be able to pay off ALL our medical debt now and that is such a relief. That said, I am cheering you and Trevor on to get it done and get moved! One of us has to realize our dream and you’ve gotten further along than we ever did. ❤


      • Oh you are so supportive! It means so much to have understanding folk follow us who’ve actually been in dire situations like ours (financially and medically) and can empathise…I get so tired sometimes with having to explain that we could do with about 12k GBP dropping into our laps and having to contend with folk who think that’s pocket money!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Osyth says:

    Good advice about the lead paint …. it’s bluddy everywhere and not worth taking the risk. Trevor on the other hand is surely the risk taker climbing mountains in soft shoes!! And the Grandy – well, you’d expect good taste considering the gene pool 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Re lead paint, I have seen people sanding old paint and thought OMG! But I try to avoid preaching & sounding like general knowitall, but this has taught us a lot & we hold our hands up to the mistakes we have made.
      Re Trev’s risk taking, well out of sync with his usual cautious perspective-as I have said the French project is changing him..

      Liked by 1 person

  3. poshbirdy says:

    Lovely that he can really see what you are creating. Can’t imagine you as ‘Nana’!!

    Liked by 1 person

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