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Old 06-20-2011, 03:36 PM   #1
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Painting Clapboard Siding

I have a 1915 Bungalow that I am working on painting. I've owned the house for about 3yrs, and I don't think it's been painted more than a few times over it's life, so lots of flaking paint, etc....

I've been using a makita orbital with 20grit paper to strip the bad area's followed by a random orbital palm sander finishing with about 80grit paper, but I can't help thinking there has to be something easier/better out there. I know Porter Cable makes a paint remover, but it's pricy and I wonder what it'll do to my old, neglected cedar. The pictures I see online show it not getting very close to the overlap and not doing the bottom edge of the siding, which are a couple of the tougher areas to get.

I've been searching a little today and see that Wagner has a 'Paint Eater' that seems to get good reviews and it's a decent price and seems that I could even get just the abrasive head for it and use on my angle grinder. It looks like it might even get the bottom edge of the siding where one piece overlaps the next.

The next thing I'm trying to find is some sort of mechanical sander that might get into the corners where the trim meets the siding. With an orbital it leaves a triangular area that needs scraped/sanded. I'm guessing all of these might do the same thing. I've tried scrapers/chisels, but they dull out quickly and I have a long way to go. I've tried a detail sander with multiple heads and even a cheaper multi-tool with a sanding head, but neither seem aggressive enough to do the job.

Any feedback/ideas would be great...

FYI....I have about a 3" overlap on the siding.


Last edited by Master Brian; 06-20-2011 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 06-20-2011, 03:40 PM   #2
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Infrared paint strippers are based on technology out of Scandinavia and are wonderful. They have come down in price but are still expensive. You should be able to rent and the handsfree attachments you want at a good tool store or equipment rental yard. You can most certainly rent them online.

They are safe, fast and easy to use and make short work of stripping layers of paint from clapboards and such.

You will need to buy quality, SHARP scrapers to go with the tool and your detail sander will still come in handy at corners, window trim and so forth.

Do be careful on that house of yours whatever you use. Given its vintage, you probably have lead in the paint. Don't draw attention to yourself sending it airborne with a sander. Make sure you are wearing protective clothing.


Last edited by user1007; 06-20-2011 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:20 PM   #3
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Thanks, maybe I'll look into renting one, but as you state, I don't want to draw lots of attention and I've actually been working on this a little at a time....painting just isn't my favorite thing!

I haven't actually tested any of this paint, but I'm sure it does have lead in some/most of it and I've been sure to use a resperator. My understanding is that a home owner can do their own paint removal, even with lead paint, it's the contractors that can't, but of course as you can guess I haven't stayed on top of the laws, just know they changed them to some degree.....
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