Whether you're sprucing up the outside of your home or bringing new life to some old furniture, stripping paint is perhaps one of the most tedious yet important aspects of the process. While some paint is easily removed with a sander, other paints, especially those that have been on for a while and painted over, require more thought and perhaps a different technique. Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding which method to use in paint removal.
The Three Methods of Paint Removal
There are three main ways to remove paint from almost anything: heat, chemicals, and sanding or scraping. Within these are different options as well as the pros and cons for the type of object being repainted.
For instance, using heat is effective, but probably for only smaller amounts. The heat gun is placed over the paint, heating the solvent used to adhere the paint to the wood. This will eventually make the paint peel away. The ideal temperature is somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 - 800 degrees Fahrenheit. Any hotter risks vaporizing the paint, which can lead to inhaling dangerous lead vapors, depending upon how long the paint has been on the house. Not only can this affect the person removing the paint, it can also affect neighbors with the help of a little wind.
Chemical solvents are often the most common choice; however, they are not without their own issues. For obvious reasons, many people with families are wary of chemical solvents. However there are now nontoxic and more eco-friendly options. There are many different types of paint strippers available, from the traditional liquid solvents to newer styles like gels, pastes, and spray-on solvents. While the old fashioned solvents tend to work a little better, they also work at a much slower pace than the newer versions (which are also still time intensive).
Finally, good old fashioned abrasive sanding is the most common choice for exterior and small time paint removal. Using a sander on furniture is perfect for chipping it all away and smoothing it out, getting it ready for a fresh coat of paint. While it may seem labor intensive, the other methods are honestly all labor and time intensive because paint takes time to remove, just like it does to place. It's important to remember, however, as with extreme temperatures, sanding will cause lead based paints to turn into a fine, easily inhalable dust. Using proper safety equipment such as face masks, goggles, and gloves, is imperative when removing paint. Between the chemical fumes and lead paint dust, there are a host of issues that can follow from ignoring the safety procedures.
While there are a few ways to remove years of paint from a surface, no tip should be greater than to remember to follow proper safety procedures. Beyond that, deciding which method to use is basically dependent upon which flaw you're able to deal with. With a little patience, you'd be surprised what new life you can breathe into an old house or project.
Reach out to a company like All Seasons Painting & Decorating for more information.