Removing Paint from Radiators

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  #1  
Old 05-18-16, 09:21 AM
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Removing Paint from Radiators

I'm building a nice radiator cover for our fixer-upper, but the problem is that the radiator (as well as others) has been painted numerous times, the last time this ugly light pinkish color which has been peeling off.

We were able to pick off about 1/3 of the paint, and scrape off a little more, but the going is getting rough. We don't necesarily need to get it off the back, just enough so that the ugly pink doesn't show through.

Other than sandblasting, is there a better way? It's probably lead paint, so I'm thinking that maybe a heat gun with good ventilation and a respirator might be the best way.
 
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Old 05-18-16, 09:33 AM
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If you are covering the radiators do you really need to strip them? What is your end goal?

I wonder if the last coat, the one that is peeling was latex ?? If it is, you could scrub it with denatured alcohol and remove the latex. The oil base paint underneath would be left intact. The peel away type strippers are usually best for removing lead based paint.

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/pa...latex-oil.html
 
  #3  
Old 05-18-16, 09:45 AM
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Thank you for the quick response!

The primary goal was to remove the peeling and chipping paint so that we could go over it with a silver paint. Then it was pointed out that paint on radiators inhibits the heat from getting out, so it's better to leave them unpainted. So, even if we paint it silver, we figure it would be better to get rid of as much of the old paint as possible.
 
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Old 05-18-16, 10:25 AM
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If it is lead paint, you cannot use a heat gun as that will aerosolize the lead.
 
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Old 05-18-16, 03:21 PM
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I would look for an auto body shop to sandblast the radiators. You might even get a deal on getting them painted.
 
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Old 05-18-16, 05:01 PM
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Sandblasting would NOT be my preference if they have leaded paint. If you are willing to remove the radiators (which you would have to do to sandblast) then finding a furniture refinisher or large auto repair (machine) shop that has a "hot tank" where the entire radiator is immersed in a hot, caustic bath would remove ALL the paint.

Problems that can arise include the physical work involved in removing and re-installing the radiators as well as finding a facility that has, and is willing to do the hot tank. Leaded paint sludge/remains IS a hazardous waste and the cost of disposal is not trivial.
 
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Old 05-18-16, 09:34 PM
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Thank you all for the suggestions, but removing the radiators is NOT an option. I'm sure that would open up all new cans of worms.

I'm looking for a simpler solution that will allow the rads to remain in place. Therefore, if respirators and air purifiers are not good enough to enable me to use a heat gun, and there's no good chemical method, I guess it's just old fashioned elbow grease to get off what we can, and then paint.
 
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Old 05-19-16, 03:21 AM
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While any non lead paint on top of the lead paint can be sanded - it's not a good idea to sand lead based paint!!! While a respirator would protect you while sanding, any lead dust that is left behind can still be toxic. The 2 main dangers of lead paint is ingesting chips and inhaling the dust!

Why have you discounted using chemical strippers?
 
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Old 05-19-16, 08:02 AM
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Why have you discounted using chemical strippers?
I haven't, sir :-) I just assumed that since you were the only one who recommended a "peel away stripper" it might not be a good answer.

What type? A gel?
 
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Old 05-19-16, 08:08 AM
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Even if he's the only one, anything Mark recommends is something I would put on my list to try.
 
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Old 05-19-16, 10:28 AM
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Peel away strippers are preferred for lead paint removal because it's easier to contain the lead debris but any chemical stripper will work. The biggest issue with stripping radiators is all the angles and hard to get to areas. Personally I'm not sure I'd go to that much trouble. IMO removing the loose paint and apply a fresh coat is probably good enough.
 
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