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Old 10-20-2008, 05:15 PM   #1
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Stripping Latex Paint....Help!


I need to know what is the best, easiest paint stripper to use to remove latex paint from metal stair railings....I have purchased the "Citristrip" gel and tried it and OMG what a sticky gooey mess. I need something that will cut through all that and get the job done as quick and easily as possible! HELP

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Old 10-20-2008, 09:51 PM   #2
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Stripping Latex Paint....Help!


If you can protect the work area from the wind, I'd suggest using a heat gun and a Sandvik paint scraper (the one with the tungsten carbide blade).

Other than that, I think if you used a paint stripper with methylene chloride as the active ingredient, you'd get more done faster. "Citrus" paint strippers use a chemical called "d-Limonene", (which is produced from citrus fruit rinds) and even though it softens latex paint, it's not nearly as effective as methylene cloride at dissolving latex paint. The citrus growers lobby in Florida is he11 bent to get d-Limonene into every product they can. So, even though d-Limonene works, no one ever claimed that it works WELL.

Another stripper I like a lot is made by the 3M company and is called "Safest Stripper". I have very sensitive skin on my hands, and I can use Safest Stripper with bare hands all day and never even get a rash from it.
It's surprisingly effective at stripping paints even though it's not a harsh chemical to work with.

I'd recommend buying a small quantity of both a paint stripper that uses methylene chloride and a small quantity of Safest Stripper, and seeing which one you like better.

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Old 10-20-2008, 11:24 PM   #3
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Stripping Latex Paint....Help!


Thank you, Nestor...I will certainly give those options a try, otherwise, I'm afraid I will just have to repaint over the old finish, and not strip them (I have 3 more sections to do that are still in the house and I just finished painting all the wood trim around them), I don't really want to take them off and risk banging up my drywall getting them down, so was looking for a way to do it that I could do, while they were installed without messing all my other work up. Guess I went about it backwards..............
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Old 10-20-2008, 11:26 PM   #4
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Stripping Latex Paint....Help!


Just out of curiosity, how much is a heat gun and the other thing you mentioned, or can you rent them?
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Old 10-21-2008, 08:15 AM   #5
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Stripping Latex Paint....Help!


I appreciate your question as I am attempting to get latex paint off of our bathroom walls. Anyway, I was at Lowe's just yesterday and considering a heat gun, their choices ranged from about $25 - $60. The salesman actually discouraged me from making that purchase and recommended I attempt to use my own hair dryer first. In my case that probably wasn't very practical advice. I'm talking about 4 walls in a bathroom and hair dryers aren't meant to be run for hours on end like that. Anyway, good luck with your stair rail.
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Old 10-21-2008, 10:28 PM   #6
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Stripping Latex Paint....Help!


Use Multi-strip, found at paint stores. You do have to protect the area underneath because it will drip off, but it takes off 4-5 layers at a time. On the heat gun, make sure it's not lead paint before using one. Could be hazardous.
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Old 10-22-2008, 01:13 AM   #7
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Stripping Latex Paint....Help!


Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaDarln View Post
Anyway, I was at Lowe's just yesterday and considering a heat gun, their choices ranged from about $25 - $60. The salesman actually discouraged me from making that purchase and recommended I attempt to use my own hair dryer first.
Good Grief.

Comparing a hair dryer to a heat gun is like comparing the Geico Gecco with Godzilla. You can blow warm air from a hair dryer on paint all day long without softening it. You will leave black scorch marks in your wood easily with a heat gun. Just one more example of a home center employee speaking authoritativly and at considerable length about something he clearly knows nothing about.

You can buy a heat gun for $30 or so, that will have 3 settings; Off, Low and High. However, if you want electronic temperature control, you have to pay more. I have a Milwaukee Modle 8978 heat gun with 12 temperature settings (electronic variable temperature control) that cost me about $135.

To avoid scorching the wood when removing paint, use the heat gun on the LOW setting, or hold the tool further from the wood and use it on the HI setting. If you opt for a more expensive heat gun with electronic temperature control, you can find a heat setting that allows you to work at a faster rate without scorching the wood.

The BEST paint scraper to use with a heat gun is the Sandvik paint scraper, which may be sold under different names now that it's patent is probably expired. Basically it has a tungsten carbide blade on a metal handle that will tolerate thigh heat. If you use a normal plastic paint scraper with a heat un, you'll just melt the paint scraper. The Sandvik tool costs about $30, but you can get Chinese made equivalents for less.

You can also make a pretty good paint scraper for use with a heat gun by dulling a single edge razor blade in a belt sander and gripping it in a pair of needle nose style locking pliers. The all-metal construction of the tool will stand up well to heat, but you need to wear leather gloves when using this tool because it will get pretty darn warm, and burn your hand unless you're wearing a glove to protect your hand.

Here's what the Sandvik tool looks like (but get the one without the plastic knob on the handle, cuz it'll only melt:

http://www.turbosquid.com/FullPrevie....cfm/ID/275571

And, here are the Chinese equivalents sold by Lee Valley:

http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.a...90,43040,43041

The problem with the Lee Valley ones are that the plastic handle is so close to the scraper blade, the handle is likely to melt when the tool is used with a heat gun.

PS: You shoulda told that Lowes sales man that using a heat gun like a hair dryer would quite possibly set your hair on fire, so how could a hair dryer and heat gun be used interchangeably? Even on the "LOW" setting, a heat gun would be way too hot for skin to tolerate. It's like comparing a hammer with a pile driver.


Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 10-22-2008 at 01:20 AM.
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