Help with Paint removal

Sorry to be slightly off topic here, but I just moved into a house with a large two-level deck in the backyard. The wood is in good shape for the most part, but it has been poorly painted and is now peeling and in need of repainting. I would like to strip this down to bare wood and use stain as opposed to repainting it.
Does anyone have any advice for this kind of project? I am trying to keep things low cost, but I also don't want to spend weeks sanding old paint off.
Thanks, Richard
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Do you have access to a power-washer? High pressure water might do the trick.
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I borrowed a pressure washer from a friend and tried it. I took a lot of the already peeling paint off, but didn't do that good of a job. The washer was a "home version" and didn't have a lot of power. I'm doing a search for power washer online and am finding both pressure washers and power washers. I'm fairly ignorant about how these things work. Is there a difference in power and pressure washers. Also, for removing paint, how powerful of a power washer should I use.
Thanks, Richard
wrote:

a
most
as
keep
off.
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I have a pressure washer capable of 1200 psi delivery. I used it with a good environmentally friendly stripper and had very good results. By itself the washer could not do the job but with the stripper very good. Allow the stripper to do its job and use the washer like a cutting torch to remove what the stripper loosened. Just do not point at the house as the loose paint can stick to the walls.
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PDQ --
| wrote: | > > Sorry to be slightly off topic here, but I just moved into a house with | a | > > large two-level deck in the backyard. The wood is in good shape for the | most | > > part, but it has been poorly painted and is now peeling and in need of | > > repainting. I would like to strip this down to bare wood and use stain | as | > > opposed to repainting it. | > > | > > Does anyone have any advice for this kind of project? I am trying to | keep | > > things low cost, but I also don't want to spend weeks sanding old paint | off. | > | > Do you have access to a power-washer? High pressure water might do the | > trick. | |
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Had to remove a lot of peeling paint from a previous house - got one of the really powerful power washers - it would dig a hole in very old CYP if held too close. It only removed the paint that was already somewhat loose - even when I sprayed close enough to dig into the wood.
What I had to do was get an old fashioned blow torch - torch in left hand, 1.5" wide stiff putty knife in right hand and move torch along at the point where the paint bubbled and push it off with the putty knife. Was a 100+ YO house - many layers of lead paint topped with latex - that is what made it peel. Really dangerous in terms of causing fires - had a charged hose nearby.
I would also consider some of the chemical paint on removal systems - pricey. Scraping alone won't do it unless the paint is really loose - you will get more off than with a power washer. Sand blasting destroys the wood - leaves awful ridges. Use of a blow torch maybe illegal and your insurance carrier may not cover you in case of fire.
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I've done some paint removal using a propane torch with a fan tip. It's slow, it's a bit dangerous, the fumes are probably not good for you, and it's difficult to avoid scorching the wood. Since you want to stain, I would think one of those big sanders that are used to refinish hard wood floors would do the trick.
Don
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The fumes are VERY dangerous, a respirator MUST be worn! Heat striping should be done with an electric heat gun
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Yup Butch, unfortunately, they will cover it. Insurance companies are required to pay for acts of stupidity. In cold weather areas they pay for stupid people thawing frozen pipes with torches all the time. And for even stupider stuff. That's part of the reason why premiums are where they are.
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On Tue, 22 Feb 2005 16:42:51 -0500, "Mike Marlow"

I always kinda enjoyed the insurance company TV ad that talked about people deep-frying their Thanksgiving turkey and the number who burned down their homes in the process. They were covered.
Dave Hall
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Maybe if I deep-fry a turkey out on the deck and it "accidently" burns down, I can just rebuild the deck :)

for
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are.
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I'm sorry to read you used an open flame torch on the old paint. It is not just a fire hazard--the flame is too hot and causes the lead to vaporize. When this happens you can inhale the lead, contributing to possible lead poisoning. If you are going to use a heat gun to remove paint, make certain the temp stays below 1100*F (although temps over 700* release organic vapors which may also be hazardous). The EPA has some good info online. Take a look at their recommendations.
Dan
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I _think_ the terms may be interchangable. As much as I'm a do-it-myself kind of guy, this might be a time to open up the yellow pages and hire somebody. By the time you screw around trying to get everything right, the guy with the expensive unit can be in & gone. Added benefit being that if he screws it up, it's _his_ problem.
Me, I solved the problem by avoiding it. I used this stuff: http://www.monarchdeck.com/decking.html Sure, it's not wood. But, it also doesn't need attention (so far), machined very well, and looks reasonable (not like the extruded turd appearance of, say, Trex).
If you can save what's out there, great, but if you end up replacing it, the composites are much better options than they were ten years ago.
Dave Hinz
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drive nails down and rent out a floor sander.

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Tue, Feb 22, 2005, 10:52am (EST-3) snipped-for-privacy@msn.com (RichardGreen) wants to know: <snip> Does anyone have any advice for this kind of project? I am trying to keep things low cost, but I also don't want to spend weeks sanding old paint off.
Screpe it. Prime it. Paint it.
JOAT Intellectual brilliance is no guarantee against being dead wrong. - David Fasold
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Richard Green wrote:

Paint removal chemicals work OK, but they can be very toxic. Peel Away 1 is good, but lye-based, so it's caustic amd will discolor the wood. Peel Away 6 and 7 won't discolor the wood, but they are expensive. Methylene chloride will work, but it's caustic and requires good ventilation and a safety mask. Do NOT use Citrustrip. It smells bad, and won't work very well.
A heat gun may be the best solution, if you don't mind the electrical bills and safety issues.
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A few people have mentioned heat methods. I am concerned with the safety of using heat. The blowtorch idea seems too risky for me, but the heat gun may be OK. Is the risk also high with the heat gun?

a
most
as
keep
off.
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of
may
Not nearly as much. A little common sense will take you a long way.
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of
may
Heat gun is what the pros use
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On Tue, 22 Feb 2005 10:52:09 -0800, "Richard Green"

You want everything. You can't have everything. Whichever way you choose will require some "danger". If you want fast, it's relatively dangerous and messy. If you want cheap it's time consuming and requires effort. TSP is cheap, as are other ways and means already mentioned. Whichever way you look at it, you'll have some work to do, and if you don't have the patience don't start. You could wrap a section with cloth, then soak in some warm water saturated with TSP. Wait a while, then remove and hose away. Whatever, it will be messy.
I'd prefer to use two methods already mentioned and forget about straining unless you go for contrast of top with edges. Scrape the edges, drive in nails and sand the top. Repaint.
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Richard Green wrote:

There are several options, all involve time and money.
1) Hire a flooring contractor to come in and sand the decks.
Quick but expensive.
2) Same as above except you rent the sander and do the job yourself.
Quick and less expensive BUT you face a steep learning curve to do it correctly. If you are not careful, you could destroy the deck.
3) Chemical strippers
Expensive, messy and time consuming.
4) 1,500 Watt electric heat gun and a scraper.
Still messy and time consuming BUT not as messy as chemical stripper.
5) Pressure washer, at least 2,500 PSI. Don't send a boy to do a man's job. Anything less than 2,500 PSI belongs in toy land.
You don't indicate what type wood; however, EXTREME CARE must be exercised if you don't want to destroy the wood by washing out softer tissue leaving only the hard stuff.
A wood like teak is especially vulnerable to pressure washing.
I've seen $10,000 worth of teak trim on a boat destroyed in one afternoon by improper use of a pressure washer.
Best option of all is to make friends with somebody who either is a flooring contractor or maybe an employee of one.
Turn this project into a week end deck sanding party.
Invite the guy over to do the job, be his grunt laborer, buy all the materials (Don't soil your pants when you find out the price of 2/0 sandpaper for a flooring sander),pay him some reasonable amount for his time and expertise, and have a BBQ complete with a cold keg of beer.
If you can't pull that one off for a while, it would be worth waiting till you can.
SFWIW, did something like this in my youth.
Reclaimed a bunch of oak flooring from housing that was scheduled for demolition then re laid it in the fraternity house and sanded it out.
But that was then and this is now; however, you don't forget those kinds of jobs.
HTH
Lew
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