05:51PM | 11/13/01
Member Since: 06/17/01
15 lifetime posts
Hi all,

I have a 1925 Bungalow. I started to strip the window trim in order to re-paint. The old paint trim looked like an 'alligator' and what I've read (first time for me doing anything like this) 'they' say to completely strip before repainting.

Okay...I have found out this is a lot harder than I thought! The semi-paste I used (grabbed the wrong can, thought it was paste) didn't strip it even down to the wood. So, I have started to use a heat-gun instead, which is working much better, except it heats the old 1925 paint to almost a gum-like gooey texture. Difficult to remove even with a bladed-scraper, just sorta goops it around. I'm sure its got lead in it too.

Now, on top of this, my old double-hung windows are stuck (fortunately, stuck in the closed position rather than open!). How do I unstick it. This old gooey paint is almost like cement!

Would love any suggestions as to how to make this an easier and more effective process. I am totally doing this project by myself as I am single and the Queen of my castle---go me!



02:14AM | 11/15/01
Member Since: 09/12/01
8 lifetime posts
I am a similar first timer to this, and just finished stripping my first door. My house is from the 1930's, with about 12-13 layers of paint. (Paint must have been the only thing not rationed during the war, and everyone just put another layer on to pass the time.)

There are a lot of older posts about stripping/refinishing on this bulletin board. I would check those first.

My experience has been to buy a smaller can of each of the strippers and see what works best. I started with the CitriStrip thinking that saving the environment was a good idea. It worked well on the top few layers, but left a lot to be desired. I then decided that finishing my door in this decade was more important than the environment and moved to the harsher strippers.

I am now using StrypEeze (not sure of the spelling). It is available at Home Depot. It works well on for me. A lot of people suggest PeelAway products, they didn't work to well for me but they might work for you.

As for the heat gun, I would be sure to wear a ventilator, or do it in an area will a lot of ventilation. It is not that hard to vaporize the lead, and then you end up inhaling it.

I also had a few stuck windows. It was due to paint sealing the window. I just gave it a few whacks with a rubber mallet where it looked like the paint had sealed the window. It worked for me.


02:01AM | 11/16/01
Member Since: 10/09/01
48 lifetime posts
Hi Kimber,

In an ideal world, all the old paint should be stripped off and start again with "new" wood - but this is easier said than done sometimes - as you are obviously finding out.

Being in Canada, I'm not sure what is available in your neck of the woods but there are fillers and primers which will adhere to the old paint, after a good sanding. These can be applied over the old paint and then be sanded smooth. After all, the old paint is well bonded to the wood and all you want is a good smooth surface. I'm in the process of doing the same job in a 100 year old farmhouse and I gave up on the stripping and resorted to the "filler" idea - all the trim etc looks great with a coat of Satin/Eggshell top coat. Incidentally, "Pittsburgh" make a primer which will adhere to even gloss paint.

As for the stuck windows, if yours are Sash windows, bottom pane slides up and down, I'd venture to say forget it - the old paints will have probably run into places which will be impossible to get at. But I am open to ideas as to how one can solve this problem if anybody has any ideas.

Good luck.


08:54AM | 11/16/01
Member Since: 06/17/01
15 lifetime posts
Thanks for the responses! I guess I am doing the right thing with both the stripper and the heat gun. I just didn't expect this to be such hard work!

I had to laugh about the comment on 'paint being the only thing not rationed'!! LOL...that is certainly true! Plus, who knows what the heck some of those early coats of paint where made out of! I'm down to the first two coast on one window and the heat gun just melts never gets to a point that you can remove just runs and spreads. Weird.

I have found out that my double sash windows are also painted from the inside of the house. I figure I will just have to learn to live without opening those windows from the top...unless some one knows a way to easily unstick them?

Thanks for your help!


08:23AM | 11/17/01
Member Since: 07/11/00
80 lifetime posts
Your job would be easy to do using the PEEL AWAY I product which will remove all of the paint in one application. Safe for lead paint since the system is always keeping the paint in a wet or damp state. Visit the web site at


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