Chemical and thermal paint removal

Chemical paint removal

This can prove to be an expensive undertaking, if we have a large area to be cleaned.

The secret is waiting patiently, until the preparation works – otherwise, several layers will have to be applied, to get to bare wood or metal.

Chemical preparations that remove old paint are usually based on solvents, although environmentally friendly substances are also starting to appear. If we are using a solvent preparation, skin and eyes must be protected (some of them can cause minor burns or irritation). Do not inhale vapors, so a protective mask will be recommended.

Chemical paint strippers are usually sold in liquid or gel form.

They are applied with a brush and scraped off, when the paint starts to bubble and come off. By using chemical means, always follow the instructions on their packaging.

Instead of removing paint from elements yourself, which can be disassembled and moved (door, unglazed frames, steel gratings), better to bring them to the plant, who takes care of it. However, there is a risk, that components may be damaged during sandblasting or chemical paint removal (discoloration of the wood, joints in the joinery can also fall apart).

Thermal paint removal

Most paints soften quickly, when they are subjected to the high temperature emitted from a heat gun – wrinkle and form air bubbles, so they can be removed quite easily. However, you have to be careful, so as not to overdo it with heating, as the paint may catch fire. Do not cover the floor with newspapers – hot paint fragments that fall off may cause a fire. Just in case, it's a good idea to have a bucket of water handy.

Also wear protective gloves.

Heat gun This tool resembles a powerful hair dryer. It emits an air stream that is hot enough, to burn the wood or shatter the glass, if we don't use it carefully. Usually a heat gun is purchased with different nozzles, to be able to adjust the air flow as needed.

Thermal paint removal

1 We hold the heat gun with one hand approx 15-20 cm from the painted surface, scraper with the other hand and move the tools at the same time. We use a triangular scraper to clean the protuberances. We try not to burn the surface of the wood or damage it, because it will be visible from under the new paint. If we remove paint from window frames, we keep the heat gun away from the windows, to avoid breaking the glass.

2 After removing the paint, rub the wood with medium-grained sandpaper along the grain, paying attention to the protuberances.

Removing paint from radiators

If we have heaters at home, which need to be renewed, it will be wise to remove old paint from them before re-painting. Too many layers of paint can result, that the radiators will lose their heating capacity. To get rid of old paint, it is best to use a brush wheel for a drill.

Removing paint around door handles

It is a good idea to remove the handles and fittings before removing paint from the door. However, if for some reason it is impossible to dismantle them, use a piece of thin plywood, to shield them from the heat of the heat gun. If the wood is dry-cleaned, we probably won't damage the metal, however, it is worth trying the effect of the preparation on an invisible piece – for example, on the underside of the door handle.