Paint stripping – Part 1

We are blessed with 100 year old quarter sawn oak around our windows and doors, and intend to restore as much of it as possible.

Before Marcus got too far along with the framing, I needed to get the doorways and window cleaned up.  This meant stripping 100 years worth of paint from more than 10 doorways and about a dozen window casings on the first floor.

It’s time to pull the Silent Paint Remover back out of the closet. It has worked great for us on the linoleum tiles and the trim for the basement.

The process that I found to work best with the doors and windows is scraping off as much paint as possible using the Silent Paint Remover followed with one coat of SOY Gel. The Silent Paint Remover uses infrared heat to soften the layers of paint to the point where they can be scraped off. The more layers of paint, the better the Silent Paint Remover works.

I used the SOY Gel, a paint and urethane remover, to clean up any remaining paint residue.

Generally, I was able to move along pretty quickly on the window casings. The problem was that each room seemed to have a different interior design history, with widely varying types and layers of paint. The application of heat could result in a slab of paint popping off with barely a touch, or it could be a slimy mess with weird colors and consistencies that required repeated applications.

Timing is everything.  I developed a system where I’d hold the device next to the wood, count to seven or eight after seeing the first tendril of smoke, then lift the device off the wood and scrape the heated area.  That plan failed when I moved to my first overhead piece.  I held the device in place and counted to almost six when I saw a smoke tendril .  I hadn’t accounted for the fact that heat rises, and an overhead application does not allow heat to disperse like a vertical application does.

The doorways were more involved because of the door stop trim piece.  Each area of doorway thus requires two angled heat applications to get into all the corners.  The doorways had enjoyed the same design interpretations as the windows.  My favorite was the bathroom door, which in the past few decades had been painted magenta, then sparkly silver, followed by black.

With the Silent Paint Remover I was able to clean up the vast majority of the windowsills and doorways in just a few weekends.

2 thoughts on “Paint stripping – Part 1

  1. That Silent Paint Remover is an amazing thing – one of the most effective tools we’ve ever discovered. I learned about it through a couple of house blogs.

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