Wednesday, April 6, 2005

Stripping Trim

It's something that almost every old home owner does at one time or another. We've been doing our hallway now since September. We've taken a lot of breaks, but it sure is time consuming. I've been using mostly Super Strippa, by LePage, it's the harsh stuff with the metylene chloride in it. The technique has been to put it on thick, and cover it in plastic, then let is sit for around an hour. This seems to work for the first 6 coats of paint. There is a thick coat of what I think is a shellac based paint. The stripper softens it, it doesn't bubble up though. When it's mostly wood I've been using denatured alcohol or methyl hydrate, as it's know here. I usually start out with a paint scraper and a 3" drywall knife. Then I use those 3m pads, the scotchbrite things, and a toothbrush to finish it off.

Does anyone have a better technique? I've looked at the heat guns, I just don't know if it's going to do a better job. Since I'm half done, I can't see myself springing for the silent paint remover, does it really work that well? compared to the harsh chemicals? I can buy a lot of chemicals for $500.


Greg said...

I have 3 suggestions.

1) Heat Gun
2) Heat Gun
3) Heat Gun

If it is a shellac base as you say the heat works as if by magic.


Nick said...

You can build your own silent paint remover:

I've been planning on doing this myself once we get to stripping our porch trim...

Jocelyn said...

I have stripped ALOT of trim and I used a heat gun to remove the majority of paint layers- say about 7-8. Then I used Strypeeze to remove remaining paint residue. The heat gun was way faster then stripping all those layers with stripper. Unless you have a way to soak the boards overnight, this is what I'd do. One tip with a heat gun: keep it moving to avoid burning the wood. Good luck!

derek said...

Thanks for the suggestions. The homemade SPR looks cool. Anyone have problems with setting off the fire alarm with the heat gun? I may try my neighbours, he said it wasn't such a good idea with lead paint, I didn't think it got hot enough to have the lead vapourize.