paint removal

In our old house I have done a lot of paint removal using a heat gun followed by stripper. Most of our wood work had/has paint over some kind of varnish, and this cleans up nicely. In a few places, e.g., the master bedroom, there is paint which the heat gun handles with something else under it which the heat gun does NOT handle, and stripper has trouble with it, too. It is white. It is a 1926 house. Any ideas on what this unusual (master bedroom) paint might be, and how to best remove it? I plan to use stripper and lots of patience and steel wool, but any ideas about it are welcome. --Phil
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Phil Munro Dept of Electrical & Computer Engin
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@cc.ysu.edu Youngstown State University
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Its called pickled, mainly a pigment that allowed some grain through. Its a nightmare to remove , and is probably a gooey mess. By the time you total the cost it would be cheaper and nicer to rip it out and replace it . If its Birch doubly so . Burning paint with a heat gun is bad, as the chemicals and LEAD are vaporised . Lead poisoning has occured from heat guns. Stripper, thinner, poly, bad for your health. Keep a fan moving the air
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Youngstown State University

Hi, Whereas in the other rooms the wood was originally varnished, in this case it was originally painted; the varnish excluded the subsequent paint from penetrating. The master bedroom will not turn out the same as the clear-finished rooms, ever. I say this because the amount of sanding/wood removal necessary to get the pigment out will result in the complete and thoroughgoing loss of patina in the wood. Pickling at this point is one option. Repainting will be far easier, result in a better and obviously more original effect. Option #3:have the woodwork duplicated in the hardwood of your choice. Birdseye maple is really nice for bedrooms. Casey
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wrote:

More likely shellac or lacquer, not varnish.

Could be milk paint or old enamel paint. Enamel seems unlikely in a bedroom, usually found in kitchens and baths. At least that's where I've run into it, and it was very resistant to removal, but came off eventually using heat, stripper and lots of elbow grease. If it's milk paint it will not respond to chemical strippers. The method I've used is to scrub ammonia on the paint with 0 or 00 steel wool, really wetting the surface, letting the ammonia soak in for 5-10 minutes, then rewetting and scrubbing. May require several applications. If it is milk paint it won't peel off, just sort of goos and globs off. Rinse the surface with water, and if the ammonia has darkened the wood more than you like bleach it back with oxalic acid. It'll sand off, of course, with a lot of effort, start with 50 grit or coarser sandpaper. A google search on "milk paint" may give you some better/different methods.
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Luke
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