Is it acceptable to remove latex paint from cedar siding with a wire wheel
attachment for a drill?
Yes I am aware there are other methods for doing this, but I'm just curious
about using a wire wheel - something like this
That's not the one I'm thinking of, but gives you an idea of what I'm
Lead was used until approx. 30 years ago in traditional
oil-based paints, possibly never in latex/alkyd paints
(new in the 1960s.)
The practical point, however, is that whenever sanding
or scraping we should avoid inhaling any powdered debris,
i.e. wear the right sort of nose/mouth mask.
Sure, you can use it to remove the paint. Just keep in mind
that it is also going to remove the wood underneath the paint.
If you hold it in one place too long, you can actually put a
hole through your siding, especially cedar. Cedar is very
soft and you will end up with a VERY uneven surface. You will
end up with "distressed wood" look.
I haven't used it on siding, or on cedar, or with a drill, but I have
had great success using a wire wheel, on a bench grinder, on wood.
Specifically I remember a hammer handle where the wheel took off
nothing discernable except a few paint stains and the old dirty
surface of the handle, but there was no visible "sawdust" below the
grinder. Then I rubbed in some linseed oil. Of course hammer handles
It's much harder to control a wire wheel or a grindstone when it's on
a drill. Is that why they sell angle grinders? I just bought one and
haven't used it yet.
Say, for example, on metal, Would an angle grinder work with a wire
wheel? Better than a drill?
remove only the paint which is already loose. Stripping all the paint off is
usually unnecessary. If you want to, sand the rest and feather the edges a
little with coarse sandpaper. Use a good primer and paint. House paint
generally does not need to be smooth like automobile paint. It is intended
to protect and to look good from a distance. You can put in a lot of labor
for very little in improvement.
He may be wanting to restore the original wood grain for a transparent
stain. Or he may be trying to remove paint splatters.
The former is a huge job, and probably best done with a heat gun (watch
you don't set the place on fire!) or good & sharp (learn how to sharpen
them properly) hook scrapers, followed by a bit of sanding. The latter
best done with a hook scraper, or perhaps a flat one if it's blobs.
If he's just repainting/solid stain, your suggestions are right on.
Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
I have been stripping my 1926 house, a bit at a time using an infrared stripper.
The result, after priming and painting, looks like brand new 1926 siding. No
paint edges show. No new bubbles form each year where the old paint is losing
adhesion. No sanding marks. It just looks immensly better than the patchwork
prep described here, and I bet it lasts way longer. Yes, it's a lot of work, but
my time is cheap.
The infrared stripper works best on multiple layers of paint. If you house only
has a coat or two, resolts may be not as good.
The thing I use is a radiant heating element in a metal shield with a wood
handle. I hold it over the paint for several seconds, then scrape the softened
and bubbling paint.
My tool is similar to the item below - but was $2 at a yard sale.
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
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