Stripping paint from crown molding

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Old 02-09-14, 05:57 AM
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Stripping paint from crown molding

My husband and I bought a gorgeous old 1926 house that needs a lot of work. My first project has been stripping paint (while he tackles bigger stuff.) I quickly discovered some amazing wood underneath a dozen or so layers of paint -- but the molding is annoyingly difficult to scrape. I'm using Citrus Strip (I think that's the brand name) and it's brilliant at getting the paint loose, but are there any tools designed to get around all the odd shapes/curves of crown molding? No one at the hardware store has been able to suggest anything.

~Helen
 
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Old 02-09-14, 06:21 AM
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There are scrapers that come in various contours. You won't find one that matches it all but using several different profiles should get the job done. Care must be used so you don't scar up the wood!

I have taken a grinder and shaped tools to fit the contour of what I had to strip.

almost forgot welcome to the forums Helen!


You might also be able to use a plastic putty knife along with steel wool to remove the softened paint.
Also - the age of the house indicates that lead based paint is likely on the woodwork
 

Last edited by marksr; 02-09-14 at 06:29 AM. Reason: add another suggestion
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Old 02-09-14, 07:07 AM
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Old 02-09-14, 07:12 AM
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Helen, I don't know how big the crown is or if you have a number of other paint stripping projects to deal with but you may want to look at "The silent paint stripper" which utilizes infrared technology to heat the paint at the interface of the wood and the first coat and makes it fairly easy to get off all the layers at once. As a matter of fact, the more paint layers there are seem to make it easier to get off. And, this is done by keeping the temperature below the threshold at which lead out gasses from heat.

The units are a bit pricey but they do save time and are not as messy as using liquid type materials. The initial finish on the trims may be shellac which dissolves with denatured alcohol, so when you get down to that layer try the alcohol.

As marksr stated, you can grind or file tools to match your profiles. I have used the services of the company that grinds knives for my wood moulding machine to make custom scrapers in thinner metal (moulding knives are 1/4" thick).
 
 

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