paint stripping - need advice

Hey folks. I'm having a devil of a time trying to figure out the best way to strip the moldings in my house. The idea is to strip all the paint and underlying varnish off the wood to then retreat it as exposed wood. I live in a 1923 Bungalow and the old Dug Fir trim really is nice - some great tight grain is hiding under some not so nice paint. I've tried Peel Away 6 & 7, but it doesn't do much with the Varnish layer. I also tried Star10 stripper, and it works pretty well, but it's highly flammable (don't ask me how I know) and makes a terrible mess.
Has anyone ever stripped the windows/doors/baseboards, etc. in their home? I'd love to hear how you did it!
Thanks, Jason
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On 04 Jun 2007 00:41:53 GMT, Jason ( snipped-for-privacy@millergrp.net) wrote:

I'm probably not much help. But here's what I did. On my front entry door, I was able to use a heat gun for most of it. And a little zip strip for the rest.
The side entry door was pretty much the same, 'cept more zip strip since it's construction had more trim to it.
I did some interior doors too, but in those cases I took them outside and used a product called "Kleen Kutter" which is a highly liquid product that appears to be made mostly of Methylene Choride with some other hot solvents mixed. If you get this stuff *DON'T USE IT IN THE HOUSE*. That's some really nasty stuff but did a bang up job removing the old varnish. Kleen Kutter also does a wonderful job on old paint too.
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wrote:

I agree with George Max. The old school chemical is Methylene Choride and it will get the job done. Look specifially for a product with a high percentage of this chemical if you want something effective. There are alternatives out there but their only advantage is envrionmental. None of them are as effective as MC. Some places may have outlwawed it by now in which case you may be stuck with the "green" alternative.
Take very seriously all warnings associated with the use of that product. Do not expose family members, pets, or livestock. Wear long sleeves, old clothes, heavy rubber gloves, and eye goggles. Ventilation is a must. Use cardboard or newpapers to protect benches or floors. The stuff is dangerous and you have been warned. Please note that there are places with dip tanks that can remove your paint for a fee. Look for furniture refinishers.
Use horses so the section being worked on is not touching anything else while you are working on it. You goop it on, never brush it. Put it on thick and leave it on for a certain amount of time but never let it dry out. If it dries out another application will be required. Put it over a measured area that you guess you can complete before it dries. Scrapers,paper towels are used to get the goop off. Then mineral spirits and steel wool are used for the final cleanup on the wood. If that doesn't get all of it off then it can be repeated on the areas that remain.
I also agree with his heat gun suggestion. It is easy to scorch the wood, however, which is a major downside. The really nice heat guns are digital. Mine goes from 150 degree to 1100 degrees in increments of 10 degrees. A gun like that gives you the control needed to avoid scorching.
With a regular heat gun it is possible but harder to avoid scorching. One thing you can try is to use a heat gun to get off the majority of the paint off but don't try to get it all off. This avoids scorching. Then, use MC on what is left. It uses both methods to their relative advantage. Good luck and be safe!
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Thanks buddy!
Yeah, the MC stuff really is the best. I have a lot of old molding that refuses to detatch without either cracking or taking some of the wall's plaster with it. So I've resigned myself to do as much as I can outside and for the more difficult molding, in place.. maybe.. I change my mind every time I strip in place. What a mess!
-J
P.S. As for cleaning the wood post-strip.. has anyone every used a pressure washer? I read a few comments elsewhere that folks had luck using that to remove the bubbled paint et al.
Cheers, Jason
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TSP. Back in the 60's Popular Mechanics, I believe it was, had an article on stripping wood using TSP. I tried it and it worked good.
You mix TSP, (sorry forgot ther mix ratio) with water, and heat to below boiling. Wear protective gear! Soak the part you want stripped for a few minutes or how long it takes, and bruch away multi coats of paint. I told a friend who restored old Victorian houses, and he tried it, then had a shallow tank built with a burner below, to strip doors, shutters, etc.
I wonder if you could soat a towel in it and hold against a verticle moulding and apply heat, with an old iron or something else, and see if it would work that way.
If you can find a box of TSP,(real TSP) try it on something small with a lot of paint, and you will be amazed. DON"T leave things in very long or it will soften the grain.
Good luck
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Wow, never tried that or heard of it. They don't sell real TSP in MN anymore so it may be outlawed in many other states as well. I think they can still call the product "TSP" but when you look closer it also says, "phophate free". Will this green replacement work with your method?
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It's worth a try. I remember the instructions said not to get it hot enough to boil. As with all stripping, be sure to wear protection!
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Thanks George.. that WAS a help!
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On Jun 3, 7:41 pm, Jason ( snipped-for-privacy@millergrp.net) wrote:

I agree with George Max. The old school chemical is Methylene Choride and it will get the job done. Look specifially for a product with a high percentage of this chemical if you want something effective. There are alternatives out there but their only advantage is envrionmental. None of them are as effective as MC. Some places may have outlwawed it by now in which case you may be stuck with the "green" alternative.
Take very seriously all warnings associated with the use of that product. Do not expose family members, pets, or livestock. Wear long sleeves, old clothes, heavy rubber gloves, and eye goggles. Ventilation is a must. Use cardboard or newpapers to protect benches or floors. The stuff is dangerous and you have been warned. Please note that there are places with dip tanks that can remove your paint for a fee. Look for furniture refinishers.
Use horses so the section being worked on is not touching anything else while you are working on it. You goop it on, never brush it. Put it on thick and leave it on for a certain amount of time but never let it dry out. If it dries out another application will be required. Put it over a measured area that you guess you can complete before it dries. Scrapers and paper towels are used to get the goop off. Then mineral spirits are used for the final cleanup on the wood. If that doesn't get all of it off then it can be repeated on the areas that remain.
I also agree with his heat gun suggestion. It is easy to scorch the wood, however, which is a major downside. The really nice heat guns are digital. Mine goes from 150 degree to 1100 degrees in increments of 10 degrees. A gun like that gives you the control needed to avoid scorching.
With a regular heat gun it is possible but harder to avoid scorching. One thing you can try is to use a heat gun to get off the majority of the paint off but don't try to get it all off. This avoids scorching. Then, use MC on what is left. It uses both methods to their relative advantage. Good luck and be safe!
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IF YOU HAVE CHILDREN, PLEASE, READ THIS BEFORE YOU BEGIN. LEAD PAINT IS VERY HAZARDOUS TO CHILDREN.
I hate to burst everyones bubble. But, if the house was built before 1978 it probably has lead paint. Removing lead paint with heat or Methylene Chloride can be a major health risk. You might want to do a little more research before attempting paint removal by those methods.
I've been looking for a method for my own house. Built in 1953, all of the exterior paint is lead, and at this time is flaking off. When working with lead paint it very important not to release the lead dust into the air, by dry scraping or sanding. Preferred methods are wet sanding, dry sanding with a HEPA filter shop vac, chemical encapsulation or using a Silent Paint Remover (which you can be rented at http://www.silentpaintremover.com/rentone.htm ). One other method I've seen, but, have not tried is Steam Paint Removal. See website http://historichomeworks.com/hhw/video/spr-video.htm .
Good luck.
snipped-for-privacy@millergrp.net wrote:

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See websitehttp://historichomeworks.com/hhw/video/spr-video.htm <<
See more video Of Steam Paint Removal at my Reports from the Field:
http://www.historichomeworks.com/hhw/video/rftf.htm
I have published a new Report from the Field on Steam Paint Removal, which covers methods, techniques, equipment, sources, making custom steam heads and profiles three steam paint removal projects. 21 pages, 23 illustrations, 2 step-by-step methods on making custom steam heads. See it here:
http://historichomeworks.com/hhw/reports/reports.htm#Steam
Discuss Steam Paint Removal at the Historic HomeWorks Forum:
http://historichomeworks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t 3
John by hammer and hand great works do stand by steam and heat we strip it neat
www.HistoricHomeWorks.com
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