Stripping Trim

I'm stripping the trim in a small room in our house and due to the age of the house and likelyhood of lead paint - used a chemical stripper ( in fact two).
The first was Ready strip which is one which you leave on for a while before stripping - It probably would be good for large flat surfaces as these parts of the trim came off in large sheets but the small detail parts of the baseboards etc. didn't come off and involved much scrapping etc.
The I used the plain old chemical stripper contain (MEK) which appeared to loosing the paint fairly well and enable the other large areas to be stripped.
However the main surfaces appear to be free of paint/stain etc. but the detail work still has gooey paint residue in there which is real difficult to get out. Can anyone give me any ideas about how I can get this crap out of the valleys in the trim so that I can get it nice an clean before trying to paint it.
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If the old paint won't come off even under the influence of a stripper, I'd say just paint over it.
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snipped-for-privacy@spottysworld.com (spotty) wrote in

I have not tried this, but you might want to get the striper in the detail work, wait the time advised, then use a old/cheap electric tooth brush, the kind that rotates, not the old kind that goes up and down. Just a thought, no experience doing this.
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clipped

Semi-paste stripper, applied heavily. Leave on 20 min. Scrub along the groove/carving with an old toothbrush, being careful not to splatter. Brush the stripper back over so it covers completely and let stand another 20 min. Use a round toothpick, nut pick or whatever will dig out the now-softened paint without gouging the wood. Brush the stripper back down again so there is no bare wood and give it another 20.
You may have to repeat the process once with clean stripper, but that will do it. Remove previous appl. of stripper and the softened paint with medium steel wool. When the paint is gone, scrub the wood with fine steel wool and mineral spirits, wipe with clean rag or paper towel, let dry.
If I was going to repaint it, rather than stain and clear coat, I would likely not do the second application. Scrubbing with steel wool should give you a nice smoothe finish. Semi-paste stripper has parafin in it, so you don't want to leave it on the wood, thus the mineral spirits.
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You're almost there. Use a paste stripper. You will need a small brush to get into the detail. When you remove the paint / stripper mess, use a fresh brush and synthetic steel wool, something like #1 or #2. You don't want bits of metal left behind to cause rust spots after applying a latex paint. After removing the most of the mess, wipe the whole thing down with an alcohol / toluene / methanol type stripper. You can make up your own mixture if you like as it would probably be cheaper. This will do two things. It will remove any stubborn paint and it will remove any residual wax from the paste stripper. It evaporates reasonably quickly so you should be ready to prime and paint withing minutes of wiping the trim down.
Good Luck.

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I personally use a heat gun to do my paint stripping, followed by sanding with a 1/3 sheet sander and a sanding sponge.
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I am very wary of a heat gun on something like this. There may be lead paint which should not be heated to remove it. It was not clear from the original posting but I do not like heating wood that does not have access to what is behind it. Dust behind the trim or even in the wall just behind and above the trim could ignite from the heat of the heat gun. As for the sander, I do not believe in removing the top 1/8 inch of wood just to remove a relatively extremely thin top coating of paint or clear coat.
Good Luck.

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