Bob Vila Radio: Paint Stripping Tips

It’s not uncommon to find beautiful woodwork with coat after coat of paint obscuring its detail, especially in older homes.

Photo: From Bob Vila's Home Again "Bob's Shingle Style House"

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Listen to BOB VILA ON PAINT STRIPPING, or read text below:

It’s not uncommon to find beautiful woodwork with coat after coat of paint obscuring its detail, especially in older homes.

It’s no longer considered safe to use heat guns or scraping and sanding to remove paint in homes built before lead paint was banned in 1978. Instead, you should use a chemical stripper.

Environmentally friendly citrus-based strippers are now as common as the old caustic gel. Brush the gel on, leave it to do its work and then scrape it off. Here’s a quick tip: sprinkle sawdust on the gel to make it easier to scrape off and throw away.

For tough jobs, try a stripper that peels away after dissolving the paint:  you may not have to scrape much at all.

Finish what you start the same day, because dried gel can be tough to remove. The chemicals may affect the animal glues in older furniture, so be prepared to re-glue here and there. And you should always follow the precautions on the product label.

Get more info at BobVila.com… and right here at home with me, Bob Vila!

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 60 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day. Today, it’s all about Paint Stripping.

For more on paint stripping, consider:

Quick Tip: Stripping Paint
Stripping Paint to Reveal Original Detailing (video)
Exterior Paint Stripping and Priming (video)