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blwegrzyn 03-11-2013 04:35 PM

Stripping off old paint
I started a project of striping old paint from old windows.
I have few windows and doors to do and in the past the process was:
- strip main layers with the heat gun
- use paint stripper to remove left overs
- use wool steel to clean
- stain

The first part when i use the heat gun is no-brainer and is the easiest to use to remove the old pain layers.
What I wonder is what is the best approach after the main layers are removed. What would be your approach?
I have heard about some liquids or paste that you can put over night and just pull it with old the old paint overnight?
Any recommendations?
Something safe and fast for painless paint removal?

I attached photos of how the paint looks like after the main layers are removed.
Also, when I use the heat gun i have it set to 850, and i never go higher as i am afraid that old paint could get vaporized.
I use simple mask I bough at Menards.


joecaption 03-11-2013 04:40 PM

You do know with that many layers of old paint more then likly your dealing with lead paint, right?
I'd be using something like Safety Strip or Peel Away on that one to seal in the lead.
I've never once used steel wool when preping for paint.
Main reason is any specks left behind will cause rust stains.

blwegrzyn 03-11-2013 04:43 PM

so dont use the heat gun?

joecaption 03-11-2013 04:48 PM

Ask your wife if all your health and life insurance is paid up.
No heat gun no sanding!!

blwegrzyn 03-11-2013 04:53 PM

I am glad i asked as i did few windows before that, so I already screw myself probably. So how do i approach that? Get the stuff you recommended?
How this works?


housepaintingny 03-11-2013 04:56 PM

Peel Away Smart Strip stripper works pretty well and you can put plastic over it, as the key is to keep the stripper wet, so it stays activated. Once it dries out it doesn't do much.

blwegrzyn 03-11-2013 05:01 PM

So moisturize with peel away.
Cover with plastic the whole window.
Wait until dries out and then what?

Brushjockey 03-11-2013 05:06 PM

Don't do much stripping myself because of what you are experiencing- it is really labor intensive. And it is VERY hard to get all the paint, including oils that you drive into the wood, out enough to do a good job staining.

Either plan on a darker stain, probably a masking (gel) stain, or reconsider repainting.

And the lead thing is real. It's the dust that's the main thing, but heat guns are also a way to make it ingestible. Do a little googling on Paint Lead.

joecaption 03-11-2013 05:27 PM

Set on staining then remove all the trim and replace.

ToolSeeker 03-11-2013 07:31 PM

I really don't believe those will ever get to stain grade. And I would also try the peel away.

jagans 03-11-2013 09:04 PM

Joe is right, you are pushing chain. There are labors of love and there are forlorn hopes, you have the latter. You cam Mimic what you have with a router and a nice small router table with round over bits and a couple others. The clear pine you will need will probaby cost less than all the stripper you will need. Some things simply are not worth it.

A cheapo particulate mask does not stop VOC's You need a real mask with VOC Canisters which will contain activated charcoal.

blwegrzyn 03-11-2013 09:26 PM

Yes, i know it will never look good, but I did that in the past in all other rooms and I was able to get some look I actually like.
It is not perfect, but at least looks clean. The old paint just looks disgusting.
I cannot remove all the frames as this is old building and we are not allowed to do so.
My mistake was I used the gun and thought it was safe. So far I am a live. In the past I started with stripper but it was nightmare.
I bough it at hope depot. (orange color) That's why I tried heat gut after that.
Last year I did 1 window and few years ago I did 5 doors and 3 windows.
Yep that is so much work. That's why I look for a easy way if there is one.
Attached few photos of what i did in the past.

Brushjockey 03-11-2013 09:46 PM

Those look pretty good. at least you have maple and didn't find some crappy fir underneath.
As far as the Peel away- they have several types and have pretty good instruction info to go with them. Go into a real paint store like SW or Ben Moore- PPG- who ever you have in your area and ask them for the right type. Pretty common product. But not at HD.

housepaintingny 03-11-2013 10:05 PM

blwegrzyn, the photos of your past stripping and staining projects look good. Peel Away will work and make wood stain grade again. I have literally used a few thousand gallons of Peel Away products in the past few years for exterior and interior paint and stain stripping projects, so I am familiar with Peel Away, other wise I would not recommend it. I recommend the smart strip line, as it does not contain methyl chloride which is caustic and is in most strippers, so it is a little safer to work with. It is also water base.

blwegrzyn 03-11-2013 10:33 PM

i bought one at amazon:

The best price i could get 50 square feet should be enough to finish with 2 windows and 2 doors i have.

I hope i will not die!!!

I checked on that lead before and i though i was ok, but the house was built in 1929 so the paint it must be lead based.
I want to finish this so at least it looks clean as those windows are really bad when paint over and over and over.

thank you all for smart advices

i will update this page when i am done

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