Has anyone in the group had any success with the porter cable power paint
remover ? I would appreciate any comments as to the viability of this tool
to remove paint from a drop siding pattern, the material is cedar and has a
number of coats of paint.
I'm going to try to keep this short, although, I have a lot to say on
First question, what type of paint?
A bit of background.....I have a 98 year old home sided with poplar.
It had numerous layers of peeling paint when we bought it back in
1993. Plan was to strip most of it off before repaint. The porter
cable was one of the tools tried. The problem was, the last coat of
paint, prior to our stripping attempt, was latex. This gummed up the
carbide disks on the Porter Cable in no time. Sure, they can be tossed
in a bucket of lacquer thinner, and cleaned with a brass brush after
the paint has softened, but doing that after stripping every 3 sq ft
sure puts a pinch on the operation. In addition, there was no dust
collection provision on the model I was using (don't know if they have
changed that), which means that it through a nasty stream of lead
paint particles everywhere. I'm not a total safety weenie, but
scattering great clouds of lead paint dust to the winds is not a good
thing, and can guarentee the local EPA types, if enlightened by a
neighbor, would drive the point home. If the disk could be slowed
down, and dust collection added, it might work. But, for my situation,
it was a failure.
Metabo has an interesting unit out that looks like it might hold more
promise. There have been a couple of good reports that I have come
accross with Google, but have never seen one in the flesh. It seems to
be a carbide planer type device with dust collection. Problem is
price; somewhere around $450. Would like to find one to rent before
making the plunge.
The item that worked best for us was a Warner hotplate. Basically, a
rectangular electric calrod element under a sheet metal protective
cover (approximately 4"x6"). Since there are no moving parts, it is
silent in operation and on flat surfaces, it works much better than a
heat gun: since it keeps the heat on the surface of the wood, where it
If used with brain fully engaged, it is safe. But don't use heat to
strip the underside of horizontal surfaces, like porch roofs, due to
the likelyhood of easily ignitable dust buildup on the backside, keep
a live water hose, fire extinguiser, and wrecking bar nearby. Also,
stop well before you leave the homesite. That said, I never set
anything on fire.
BTW, in days past, you could buy these things through Old House
Journal. Mine was less than $60. I don't know if that is still the
As an aside, we never did fully strip our house. Just stripped the
worst areas and did a lot of scraping (good quality 1 1/2" stiff
bladed putty knives sharpened at around a 50 deg angle and sandvik
carbide blade scrapers worked the best). Any sharp transitions were
feathered with 60 grit sandpaper on a DA sander.
Hope that helps,
I purchased one of the power paint removers to use on my old house. My
house was built around 1917 and has many layers of old paint on it. Using
the coarsest carbide disc that Porter Cable makes the 30 or 40 grit the
sander would do a good job of removing the paint for a little while. In
use, the disc gets hot and paint sticks to the disc rendering it unuseable.
There is no way that I know of to clean the discs. They are expensive,
about 7 or 8 dollars each some years ago.. The problem I experienced with
the sander might have been just the type of paint on my house. I would try
to rent one of the sanders and use it before I bought one. Hope this helps.
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