Stripping paint


Old 04-04-06, 04:45 PM
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Stripping paint

Hello everyone. I have a 62 year old ex-military home.

I'm looking to strip the paint off the door jams so that the doors in this place will close and latch again. There is at least 14 layers of paint on each of them (enough to make a once square edge look rounded).

My question is should I use a heat gun or chemical stripper to strip the paint away? My neighbor mentioned a heat gun, but with that much paint, would chemical be better (and faster)?
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Old 04-04-06, 06:03 PM
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being from a military family i know what you are going through, as the old saying goes " if it don't move, paint it". the only concern i have with using a heat gun would be the potential lead in the old paint(which would be my preferance if it was latex). the other concern i have is the chemicals that are in the paint strippers, not to mention the mess that they can create. if it we're me (remember, i said me), i would replace all the doors and jams, with new ones, a little at a time as my budget would permit, starting with the ones you want to have a privacy lock on (bathrooms, bedrooms,etc). and in my opinion, would be a lot quicker, and would be more safe for your family as well as yourself, and you may be able to justify some of the new tools to the wife to complete the project(and many more).

barry's $1.00-.98 worth
Old 04-04-06, 07:13 PM
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I'd replace the trim

Dollars to doughnuts it's got lead on it

UV, chemicals, and heat, don't offer as much danger as the dust from sanding or ingesting the chips, but still, it's a long dangerous way to go for some trim, and far more effort (labor) than replacing the trim
The chemicals are expensive and messy, and noxious
The UV is wonderful and safe, but real pricey
The heat gun will take forever, generally does not work real well, and is more of an exposure risk

I'd replace the trim
Old 04-05-06, 09:54 AM
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Replace the doors and jams

The only problem with replacing the doors and jams is these are older doors. I think they were custom built for the frames (none of the ones I've seen in the HW stores will match up), and since the walls are made of concrete, I can't really adjust the frame.

Plus, the doors have transums (sp?) above each one.
Old 04-05-06, 04:56 PM
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You might opt to keep the doors and strip them outside/garage, replace base and casing. That would leave only jambs and windows to strip inside.
Old 04-12-06, 09:22 AM
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Definitely test your paint for lead before starting. You can buy a do-it-yourself kit from any paint store or home improvement store. If there's no lead then heat guns work well. But sometimes the easiest method is to just take a scraper and scrape it. You have to be careful not to scrape too hard though or you're damage the wood. After you finish scraping give it a good sanding.

I have an old house and have scrapped lots of paint off moldings and door trims with a metal scrapper (carbide steel is best), it worked great.

Here's a photo of a scraper
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