How to Remove Paint From a House - Fine Homebuilding

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The Daily Fix

The Daily Fix

How to Remove Paint From a House

comments (0) April 8th, 2009 in Blogs

Hand scraper
Power scraper
Click To Enlarge Photo: Krysta S. Doerfler

by Hugh Schreiber



Hand scrapers

You can spend more than $30 on a carbide-blade paint scraper, and it is money well spent if you’re painting a house that requires selective paint removal. The sharp blades cut loose paint away from the surface with ease and disturb the least amount of firmly bonded paint (a plus if lead paint is a concern). Hand-scraping paint is hard work and usually requires follow-up sanding, but it is the most common and least expensive method unless the entire house needs stripping. Mild steel-blade scrapers cost less and dull much more quickly.

Pleated pouch bag Make a sack Box the bottom corners
Hand scraper   Carbide-blade scraper   Mild steel-blade scraper

Many vegetables can be pickled
Power scrapers

Power scrapers like the Paint Shaver ($599; are expensive, but they make quick work of removing large areas of paint from flat surfaces like clapboards and shakes. A vacuum hose connected to a shop vacuum collects the paint, keeping the mess and the user’s exposure to lead minimal. Nail heads hidden just under the paint are one of the weaknesses of mechanical scrapers. Corners are another.

Chemical strippers

Ideal for removing paint from intricate details and tight spaces, most chemical strippers are brushed onto the surface and take a few hours to work. When the paint blisters or appears to be degenerating, it can be scraped gently from the surface without damaging the wood or creating a cloud of dust or pile of chips. Although this process might seem ideal for lead-paint removal, the best strippers can be bad for your health as well. Chemical strippers should be used with extreme caution.

Stronger chemical stripper Safe chemical stripper
Stronger chemical stripper   Safe chemical stripper

Many vegetables can be pickled

Electric heat guns, heat plates, and even infrared heat ( are effective for loosening paint without risk of surface damage. Like chemical strippers, heat does the work and requires only a gentle scraping to remove the paint. Unfortunately, heating a surface to remove paint is a slow process and can be dangerous. The heat can create hazardous lead fumes and fire. Torches and other open flames never should be used to remove paint.



Read the complete article...
There's No Escaping the Scraping
Washing, scraping, sanding, patching, and priming are dirty, difficult jobs that can make exterior paint last twice as long
by Hugh Schreiber
Get   the PDF


posted in: Blogs, painting, siding, sanders

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