Final Stripping on the Door

Noel did a little experiment this week to figure out the best way to strip paint off the wood. The heat gun is fast, but hot and fumey and it leaves behind a gunky residue that is basically impossible to remove with the heat gun. Sanding is not a good option, so we were left with chemical strippers. So Noel got out the massive jug of Safest Stripper and gave that a try for the last bit of removal.

Stripping the door panels

He felt the Peel-Away didn't work very well for cleaning up small amounts of paint (it works really well when there's a thick layer of paint to peel off). I've had good luck with the Safest Stripper, so that seemed like a decent idea.

Safest Stripper on the trim

It acts a lot faster than the Peel-Away, but you do have to be careful about it drying out (no leaving it overnight uncovered).

In the end he decided it was a lot of work to clean up, so he's going with the Peel-Away everywhere now, in a thin coat to remove that last bit of yucky old paint.

Peel-Away on the door

He went and got some sacrificial paint brushes to use for application, which has helped a lot.

The door edge

The edge of the door shows the lowest level of surviving paint. That light tan colour is the wood underneath, and the paint is a heavily alligatored oil paint. It doesn't strip very cleanly with the heat gun, but the Peel-Away seems to have no trouble with it.

Using waxed paper on the Peel-Away

The bucket of Peel-Away comes with a sheet of the special paper to help you peel up the paint after it's dissolved, but that's not nearly enough paper for all the stripper in the bucket, so he used waxed paper to finish half the door.

Scraping off the Peel-Away

After a couple of days of sitting with the Peel-Away, the paint came off pretty well. He's getting the hang of using the stripping tools on the crevices, too.

Paint removal debris

It seems to come off pretty well, a lot cleaner than the Safest Stripper. Still a bit of a mess, but manageable.

Cleaned wood

I think the wood looks really good. The version of Peel-Away we're using doesn't require a neutralizer; you just have to let it sit unpainted for 30 days (not a problem, given our glacial pace at working on the house).

posted by ayse on 03/31/12

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