wood shingle siding

The wood shingles on part of the house have thick paint, after 50 years of just putting on another coat of paint. Some of it will just crack off down to the wood in big strips. I want to remove the loose stuff, maybe use a heat gun on some, but the process will be pretty slow as I don't have a lot of time each day to work on this. Is there something I can put on these shingles that would protect them from the weather until I am ready to prime and paint a whole section? (If I put primer on a small section at a time, how long can I wait to put on a top coat of paint.?)
Any advice for getting more of the paint off without using a heat gun? These shingles are not at all smooth: the look is as if someone took a steel comb to them and essentially removed the softwood. (Looks like a farmer's field after it's been furrowed: nice straight grooves from top to bottom.)
Thanks Bill
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be water seeping outward, separating the paint from the shingles. Is this happening on weather side of house, is there overhang, good drainage along gutters, leaks, etc. I wouldnt think leaving the shingles exposed for a time would do any harm at all - they were meant to protect the house without any paint at all - too bad they were ever painted. Also be careful, as paint that old likely has lead in it. Use a respirator/filter when chipping/heating it. Erosion of shingle surface is either due to weathering from rain or sun the years it was unpainted, or the house was pressure washed at some point, removing the softwood between the growth rings. For really deeply weathered wood, I use boiled linseed oil - several applications, weeks apart , then prime once the oil is dry. This tends to hold up better.
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Probably Cedar, It never should have been painted rather stain. Cedar only lasts so long then it rots. Removal of paint is worthless if you have any rot . Also the cost may make replacement better. Id just prime with oil and paint latex and not make a big deal of it. Replacement is probably best and needed soon.
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when stripping paint off of the barn (and we were pressed for time) we always rented a sand blaster - right down to the bare wood each time - perfect. For smaller jobs we use the pressure washer / water.
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