I bought Kleen Strip "sprayable" paint stripper, but found 6 layers of
paint and varnish were just too much to do easily. I gave it 4 coats
over about a 90 minute period with lots of scraping and I still don't
have it clean down to the wood.
Are there any products recommented for horizontal door trim with paint
made prior to 1958 (ie lead)? I've heard there's a sort of gel one can
As it was, I wore the gloves, mask, goggles, had fans running, etc.
The shame is the varnish/shellac was STUNNING in a sort of rich oxblood
brown / cany apple sort of look. Can that be repeated with modern
Did I just ask a two-part question?
There are all kinds of products around. I have heard of one that comes
with a material like canvas with it. It is soaked and laid on the work
where it is left to do it's job then removed. It may have had a moisture
resistance backing to keep it from drying out as it did the job.
The real truth of the matter is that some jobs are just very difficult
to do and take a lot of hand work.
If you aren't in a hurry, there is a product called Redi-Strip that works
very well, is water based, and does not smell at all. It is however, very
slow. If it dries out, you can just spray water on it to reactivate it.
The product that Joseph Meehan is probably referring to is called
"Peel-Away". It comes in different types. They all use a cheesecloth type
cover that keeps the stripper wet and then enables you to peel off the
finish. It is handy when stripping lead paint since the material is left
encapsulated. It is tedious to use, however.
Of course, the finish that you see with the clear coat can be duplicated
but you have to know how to do it. After stripping, the wood will have lost
its patina but it can be finished in a way that will make it look just like
the patina is still present.
As previously stated, architectural stripping is never pleasant. It
involves a lot of preparation.
The fabric makes the paint removal a lot less tedious. You brush on
the remover, lay the fabric on and press it into the remover. Then you
go away for a day or two. When you strip off the fabric, almost all of
the paint, even many layers worth, come with it. There is a bit of
cleanup required in the nooks and crannies, but it's a lot less work
If there's lead paint present, it's really the only way to go.
I second the heat gun approach, that's what I do to get most of the
paint off, and then move on to the chemical stripper. One advantage is
that it gets off almost all the paint in the first pass, even if there
are a dozen layers of paint. A second advantage is that it tends to
leave the film of varnish (if there is one there) on the wood that
keeps from driving the paint into the wood, as what happens when you
use chemical stripper right fromt he start.
They say that it is bad to use a heat gun on lead based paint because
it makes fumes that will put the lead into the air and then when you
breathe it goes into your lungs and your bloodstream, and cause all
sort of bad things to happen. My totally unexpert judgement says that
since I'm and adult (not a child susceptible to lead), and that I'm
doing this as a homeowner on my own house (not a professional that does
it every day for a living), then the negative effect on my body is
limited. I strip 3 or 4 windows or door jambs a year, so it's not like
I'm doing it all the time. And of course I have the whole area taped
off with plastic sheets, and fans running full blast removing the
contaminated air from inside the house to the outdoors.
Lead accumulates in the body over time. If you're intent on checking
out, there are faster ways to do it.
That's a good start, but if you're not wearing a respirator rated for
lead removal, you're doing yourself a disservice. The respirators are
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