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Hi, I just bought a house that has beautiful Pecky Cypress in the living room. The only problem... the last owner painted it all white! What is the best way to remove this paint. Such a shame they ever painted it, but I want to restore it to its natural beauty. Pictures attached
 

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Strippers tend to be the best way to remove paint. I'm cringing as I think about what an awful job that's going to be....
 

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As Stick/shift stated, that's gonna be one hard a** job. Problem is you really can't buy the strippers that were once most effective at removing paint, methylene chloride is banned. The citrus strippers take forever and sometimes don't get all the paint off in one or two rounds of stripping. I would test a citrus stripper somewhere inconspicuous to see if it would work. Sometimes you have to brush it on and then cover it with plastic so it can marinate without drying. Leave that on for an hour or so before trying to scrape off the paint. I would use plastic scrapers so you don't gouge the wood.

There are other ways to strip paint off wood such as soda blasting, walnut shell blasting, etc. but these may be difficult inside and could actually damage the cypress. I don't know the softness of Cypress, but, if it is a soft wood you could do some damage.

This may be one time you want someone to come take a look, someone who has experience stripping paint off of cypress. They may know some secrets that we are unaware of. Most of us here have experience stripping paint off of pine, oak, etc and rarely see something like cypress.
 

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Based on my own personal experiences, having finished 10 rooms of pecky cypress, including a lot of cabinetry and a bar, you’ll “never” be able to remove the paint from the pecks and strippers are going to really make a mess out of them. I just use a DA sander and buzz the paint off the faces leaving the paint in the pecks, and hand scrape/finish sand the perimeters and v-grooves (if any) where the DA can’t get. In the photo, after sanding the paint off the faces, I finished it off by mixing a little liming paste with clear paste wax, towel applied it, and buffed it out with a synthetic pad.

Edit: Media blasting isn’t a great idea because it will likely blow completely through the decay , even with using the softest media.

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