Saturday, January 14, 2012

Petchhouse Forum

I'm looking for your torrid, sexy stories about stripping. I want stories with lurid details and climactic endings.

I'm talking about paint stripping, of course. When I strip the paint in the parlors I'm going to try a different approach to stripping than I normally do. Kelly made a comment on my last post about methyl chloride paint strippers, which is what I normally use. Actually, what I normally use is a heat gun. Here was my response to Kelly.

If the original finish was shellac, then it is a no-brainer for me: heat gun.

If it was originally painted and a flat surface then I will also use a heat gun. I go this route in this case mainly because it quick. I don't have to apply stripper, wait for it to work, test it, wait some more, etc, etc.

If the piece of wood is flat and has no detail then a heat gun and sharp edged scrapper goes pretty fast.

In the parlors I have wood that was originally painted and has a lot of detail. The heat gun a scrapper routine would be very tedious and time consuming.

In this situation I normally use the methyl chloride based strippers because they do work reasonably fast, compared to some of the "green" strippers. I like the semi-paste variety (think slime) because they cling to vertical surfaces.

The downside to methyl chloride based strippers is the caustic odors and potentially flammable fumes. It is not a big downside in my opinion, but it is something to consider.

In the parlors, since I'm only working on the weekends I may try one of the "green" strippers. These usually work much slower and can stay on for days. The idea is that I will apply the stripper Wednesday evening and then spend the weekend taking it off. Methyl chloride based stripper generally dry out quickly and don't like to be left in place after they have done their job.

I would be interested to hear about "green" strippers from others.

So let me hear it, people. I want to hear your "green" stripping stories. I want your stories with product names, devices, and methods used.

(Go Niners!)


Lori R. said...

I used Soy Gel on a 150 year old oak table and chairs that was my husband's great grandmother's. It was so filthy that the wood work was black. I was able to strip it down to like new showing the tiger eye oak. It took me about a week to stip the table and 6 chairs. Then I used denatured alcohol to do a final cleanup. I don't know what the finish was because as I said, everything was black with age.

Sarah said...

We've had good luck with Ready Strip Pro and more recently Smart Strip. With three kids under the age of 8 we have to work with dust and chemical free strippers in our 1905 Victorian. That being said, it is not the fastest method out there, but definitely cleaned up multiple layers on our originally painted heart pine trim.
Smart strip is messy so make sure you have a large bucket (we used laundry detergent bottles with the top cut off) to collect the lifted paint. Some spots, especially detail work, required one or two more applications. We haven't had any problems reapplying paint.
Best of luck on your project!

Sean said...

I have tried Citri-Strip for a varity of projects, and it only really works well on shellac - when trying it to remove paint or varnish, it doesn't cut it. I had to go back with my usual chemical stripper.
How many layers of paint do you have to contend with? When I have stripped originally painted trim, I hit it with the heat gun to get the top layers off, and then follow up with a chemical stripper to clean up the residue, followed with some denatured alcohol and steel wool to smooth the surface,followed by a light sanding and a primer.

Greg said...

The paint is pretty thick. No telling how many layers, but considering it was a rental unit for 80+ years, I'm guess many, many layers.

Has anyone used the 3M product, 'Safest Strip'. Safety is not a big concern, I am an adult, after all. I'm just a big fan of 3M. They always seem to put a lot of R&D behind their products and don't bring things to market unless they work as advertised.

Kathy from NJ said...

I too love 3M and I bet they would send you a sample to try. They work with a lot of bloggers, why don't you write to them? I wrote to them once about a wonderful tape that is advertised as absolutely waterproof. It truly is - I used it to tape my husband's feeding tube (it was made of silicone and had developed a crack). I sent them a complimentary letter and they responded with a free roll of tape and some coupons!

The Devil Queen said...

I tried out a $66 bucket of "green" Removall 320 in 2006. It worked okay for latex, water-based paint, but it didn't really work at all for oil-based or what was probably lead based paint. I also had a lot of trouble keeping it from drying out - even with extremely thick applications under ideal conditions. I gave up after 5-6 applications of it and opted for a heat gun and scraper. I would not recommend it.

Greg said...

Great info, John. That is what I'm looking for. How is life without The Devil Queen? I you guys are doing well.

Kathy, excellent suggestion. I'll fire off an email to 3M and see what they say.

Greg said...

Well, no free samples from 3M, but they did respond promptly to my email...

Thank you for your inquiry. We appreciate hearing from you. 3M only offers one stripper, Safest Stripper, which is water-based and safe to use without any personal protective equipment. We also have 100's of abrasives that can be recommended for these applications. The key with Safest Stripper is that it be used for small scale jobs such as footrests, chairs, or a front door as a few examples. Please see our full directions below.

The instructions she gave are probably the same that's on the bottle. The important one is about the duration the stripper should stay on...

-Lacquer or shellac -- 45 minutes.
-Paint, Varnish and Polyurethane -- 1-3 hours.
-Multi-layered paints and other stubborn coatings -- 10-12 hours, cover with plastic overnight.

I think I'll try it and see how it goes.


purejuice said...

what heat gun do you like best, greg?