Just wanted to report on a paint stripper I used that seems to work well.
I'm stripping a light fixture that had many coats of paint on it. Did
the bulk of the fixture with Citristrip, which worked reasonably well
and fast. Used up the last of it and needed to do one last piece (the
"fitter"), so I went to the hardware store (Orchard) and picked up a jug
of 3M's "Safest Stripper", since it was cheaper than Citristrip and
because I hadn't used it before and wanted to try it.
Turns out to be pretty good stuff. It's a very thick white goo that
sticks well even to vertical surfaces (better than Citristrip in this
regard), and it works reasonably fast. It's taking a few passes to get
all the paint off this piece, but it's coming off nicely. No smell, and
the active ingredients are dimethyl adipate and dimethyl glutarage. (Any
chemists out there who can explain what these are? and I'm curious as to
why all strippers seem to want to have chemicals with "methyl" in their
This is partly aimed at the "give me the good old toxic stuff,
goddamnit" crowd here. Yes, it's true that none of these kinder,
gentler, environmentally-friendly strippers work as well as the good old
toxic shit: I looked at several other strippers (Bix, Jasco, etc.), and
they all contain methylene chloride. The toxic crap works well, no doubt
about it. But given a choice between a world where the paint strippers
work fantastically well and the cancer rate is high, and one where the
paint strippers require a little more patience but the cancer rate is
lower, I'll pick the second one any time, as most reasonable folks also
Washing one\'s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the
powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.
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