Best professional or commercial grade paint remover

I am stripping an old set of oak stairs. Can anyone suggest a commercial grade paint remover?
Thanks. Matt
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Matt Zack wrote:

Use something relatively safe, like Peel-Away 6 or 7, for the initial layer removal. Once you start hitting the wood, use methylene chloride _AND FOLLOW ALL SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS_. Use brass-bristle brushes to get the paint from the wood pores. Dental picks are good, too.
Avoid Citrustrip completely. Smells awful, barely strips, requires oily-smelling chemical to clean it up.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 03 Jan 2005 17:07:00 -0500, Brian Siano

Actually, I kinda like citrustrip. Smells nice (IMO), and it took about seven layers of paint right off a couple of sets of built-in walnut cabinets for me. I didn't use the chemical cleaner, since I had to bleach out some analine dye after stripping and it seemed redundant. The way I did it was to get a nice thick coat of it on the wood, and then cover it with tinfoil so it didn't dry out. The next morning, the paint comes off right with the tinfoil, and the little bits that are left are really easy to get off with one of those cheap hardware store scrapers. The biggest appeal was how much easier it was to use when working on cabinetry that covered most of the walls- no chemical mask required, and the fumes don't burn your eyes. Aut inveniam viam aut faciam
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

FWIW, I have tried _perhaps_ every brand of paint remover over the years and never have had much luck -- even when the stuff is recommended by friends who claim they got good results. I use a heat gun. I did a set of 90 year old steps, including the railing, square ballusters, newel posts, and the paneling on the side of the stairway. I ended up using chemicals only for some residue. The wood, I believe, is chestnut. Of course, since the wood was to be stained, I had to be careful about burning -- and I did make one small mistake with the paneling.
Used the same to remove probably all 90 years of paint layers on the carved woodwork along the facia of my front porch - which I then re-painted (but then the carving could be seen). -- Igor.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
There is a brand I've seen used called Jack Goddard. Works slick, but won't touch poly, but then I don't know what will. Don't know where it's made. The stuff I saw used came from Houston.
Fred
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

36 grit.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

removing paint from a cabinet. I mention it in the post but please do yourself (and others) a favor and make sure the paint is not lead-based before you use heat or mechanical means to remove it.
---------
I have some experience here and I will provide what I have. I have and have been working on an old house for some years now so paint stripping is one of life's constants for me. Couple of observations I have made (personal opinions and experience only so please keep the flame-throwers in check)
1) Chemical strippers are frought with issues. The best chemical stripper I have used is Peel-Away 1. It strips paint like nobody's business but the watch word here is MESSY. The process is that you smear it on, put a "special" paper on it, wait a while, peel off the paper and the paint. You have to "neutralize it" after you are done and you basically need to repaint as it stains the wood. Peel Away 7 is supposed to not require neutrilization and not stain wood but I have never used it. The company says that it is perfectly safe but you can hear it working. For my money, if I can hear a chemical working then I am giving it it's distance and applying all sorts of safety measures regardless of what the manufacturer tells me. There are others, that are of varying degrees of effectiveness, mess, hazard. MC-based ones seem really dangerous. Peel Away 6 doesn't work worth a crap in my opinion.
2) Heat gun. If you are SURE the paint is oil-based and NOT lead-based (this goes for all layers of paint) then a heat gun might just be your best bet (assuming you are repainting). You just need a good scraper, lots of time, and lots of patience. Watch for fire though, especially if the cabinet is not free-standing and there is a substrate behind it.
3) Sanding / mechanical removal. This is tough-love and I don't recommend it for things with any appreciable amount of surface area.
4) There is a product call the SilentPaintRemover that is quite good. I have one and am quite familiar with it's operation and can answer questions if you have them. Web site is www.silentpaintremover.com. I am unafiliated with the company but have only had positive interaction with the product and the company.
This topic is discussed to death in old house forums, you might also want to try there for more information.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I've had decent experience with Peel-Away 6, and 7's supposed to be better. Peel Away 1, however, is lye-based, and can discolor the wood, so I'd use it only if I was planning on repainting.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
There is a stripper made specifically for floors. I don't see why it wouldn't work on stairs although the risers would be tough as the stripper is on the thin side. Besway makes it: 1-800-251-4166 or their website. As others have mentioned, Peel-Away is really good on paint. This is the one time I would think twice about a methylene chloride containing stripper since you need really good ventilation. There are no respirator cartridges that will protect from methylene chloride. You would need a supplied air helmet or the equivalent. People that do architectural stripping inside will use an NMP containing stripper as well as some souped up versions. These work really slowly and will require you to cover the wet surface with plastic as they work overnight. Citristrip is a hobbyist grade version. I don't find the overpowering orange smell pleasant in the least after about 15 minutes. Sanding and scraping are tedious and remove wood. Heat guns and infrared removers are very skill dependant. Other than the obvious hazards, you run the risk of igniting any dust or tinder behind the surface you are heating unless you have access to it to check and clean out if needed.
Good Luck.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.