removing paint from wood :heat gun or chemicals?

25
Found 31st May 2016
Hey everyone

I need to strip down some door frames from layers of paint. Been reading about the different options.

Heat gun or nitro morse? I know it's a time consuming job but the quotes I've had are steep. So I'm prepared to learn and attempt myself.

If heat gun, any recommendations for which one? Or if chemicals then which products?

Any other advice on removing paint from wood is welcomed. It's a old victorian house so could replace but would be even more expensive to take off current door frames, skirting boards and then buy new ones, fit and then paint.
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Heat gun and a scraper. Nitromors is MESSY.
Given the age of the building the paint will have lead in so chemical is your only choice
I've seen some reviews on screw fix for heat guns and they sound spot on. Just wondering if it is as easy as they say.

Any dos and don't?
I always used both or one & a sander

I always used both or one & a sander


Just need to know that heat guns actually work. Read some reviews of some on screw fix. Will be purchasing tomorrow and see how I go.

Seems time consuming but decorators were charging on average £100 for a day. And there's lots that needs to be done. So looking at that, I'm going to put the time in and at least attempt to try. If I can save a shed load of money then brilliant.
You're not going to like this....leave it well alone. Wood was not intended to be left unpainted in Victorian homes (however beautiful the wood is underneath) . It Will without doubt be lead paint underneath. And the only way to get the final coats clear and smooth is by sanding. I have done this. Do you know what lead poisoning does? Please please please don't strip the wood yourself. If you can't afford a professional in a gas mask leave it. And even then the lead with be in the atmosphere in the house for some time.
Wilco sell (or used to) Victorian coloured paint at a fraction of the price of farrow & ball. This is by far the safest option. Don't risk your family's health or the health of an unborn child or even your pet's health

Government advise "How can we make sure we’re safe?• The easiest way of dealing with lead paintwork – if it’s in good condition – is to seal it in with an overcoating of modern paint.• But if the paintwork is in bad condition and needs to be removed before you can decorate, use methods that don’t create dust or fumes, like a solvent or caustic-based liquid stripper. Don’t forget to follow the safety instructions if you do use solvents or liquid strippers and remember that solvent-free, water-based paint removers are now available – ask at your DIY store for details.• If you have to use a hot-air gun, use it just enough to soften the paint – don’t burn it because this will release fumes. A good guide is to make sure your gun is set below 450°C. Keep surfaces moist when removing paint."
Victorian house= high lead content in old paint,get yourself a decent dust mask.

You're not going to like this....leave it well alone. Wood was not … You're not going to like this....leave it well alone. Wood was not intended to be left unpainted in Victorian homes (however beautiful the wood is underneath) . It Will without doubt be lead paint underneath. And the only way to get the final coats clear and smooth is by sanding. I have done this. Do you know what lead poisoning does? Please please please don't strip the wood yourself. If you can't afford a professional in a gas mask leave it. And even then the lead with be in the atmosphere in the house for some time. Wilco sell (or used to) Victorian coloured paint at a fraction of the price of farrow & ball. This is by far the safest option. Don't risk your family's health or the health of an unborn child or even your pet's healthGovernment advise "How can we make sure we’re safe?• The easiest way of dealing with lead paintwork – if it’s in good condition – is to seal it in with an overcoating of modern paint.• But if the paintwork is in bad condition and needs to be removed before you can decorate, use methods that don’t create dust or fumes, like a solvent or caustic-based liquid stripper. Don’t forget to follow the safety instructions if you do use solvents or liquid strippers and remember that solvent-free, water-based paint removers are now available – ask at your DIY store for details.• If you have to use a hot-air gun, use it just enough to soften the paint – don’t burn it because this will release fumes. A good guide is to make sure your gun is set below 450°C. Keep surfaces moist when removing paint."


I don't think the paint has been there for that long. More likely the previous owner just painted and painted over the wood. I think the paints been there for no more than 20 odd years.

Thanks for the advice though and obviously I'll be careful. I'll probably have a attempt. Got some face masks and eye goggles for protection and will leave window open.

Not living in the house so family won't be affected. It's going to be the family home but probably going to take me 6 months before its ready.

How can I tell if it's lead paint? Any tell tale signs?
So what prep work should I do on the wood before I start? Shall I wipe it down with a damp cloth?

So what prep work should I do on the wood before I start? Shall I wipe it … So what prep work should I do on the wood before I start? Shall I wipe it down with a damp cloth?



Sand lightly & repaint

Sand lightly & repaint


So don't use heat gun to take all the paint off?

Sand lightly & repaint


So don't use heat gun to take all the paint off?



yep. you just scour the top layer of paint to get rid of the dirt & grease which makes your new paint bind on properly.

No doubt the top layer does not include lead unless it hasnt been painted for over 25 years.
Edited by: "YouDontWantToKnow" 1st Jun 2016
Thanks for the responses guys. Always appreciated.
Acetone is cheaper and you can buy it for less than a tenner for five litres.

Xylene is also good but is more expensive.

Toluene is better but again, more expensive.

Acetone is cheaper and you can buy it for less than a tenner for five … Acetone is cheaper and you can buy it for less than a tenner for five litres. Xylene is also good but is more expensive. Toluene is better but again, more expensive.




is it liquid based the ones above? you just apply it, let it set and then peel off?

Sand lightly & repaint



so you're saying don't use a heat gun? any advice on grade of sand paper so I just take off a few layers of paint and its smoothed down. down want to sand and damage the wood with my rigorous sanding X)

Heat gun and a scraper. Nitromors is MESSY.



is there a liquid I can use which I just apply, let it set and then peel off? im guessing buying the liquid would be more expensive but then its not a laborious as using a heat gun.

is there a liquid I can use which I just apply, let it set and then peel … is there a liquid I can use which I just apply, let it set and then peel off? im guessing buying the liquid would be more expensive but then its not a laborious as using a heat gun.



Any of the solvents I suggested will make the paint dissolve then you simply wipe it off.
If you are going to paint it again, then just a light sand fill holes, sand again and paint

If you want a bare wood finish, then it might be better to just replace it. A lot quicker anyway.

What are you stripping?

Have you upset someone or have we got some sad old git negging everything you write?


Edited by: "chocci" 1st Jun 2016

If you are going to paint it again, then just a light sand fill holes, … If you are going to paint it again, then just a light sand fill holes, sand again and paintIf you want a bare wood finish, then it might be better to just replace it. A lot quicker anyway. What are you stripping?


I'm doing door frames and skirting boards. I want to go back to the wood but I'll see what it's like underneath. If its not worth it then will lightly sand down, and then paint.

It's a nice Victorian property so nice chunky skirting boards and door frames. Replacing them won't be cheap as smaller door frames will not look as good. Solid have to buy new ones, get them fitted and then painted.

I'm doing door frames and skirting boards. I want to go back to the wood … I'm doing door frames and skirting boards. I want to go back to the wood but I'll see what it's like underneath. If its not worth it then will lightly sand down, and then paint. It's a nice Victorian property so nice chunky skirting boards and door frames. Replacing them won't be cheap as smaller door frames will not look as good. Solid have to buy new ones, get them fitted and then painted.


Just try sand / strip a small section but even if they have only been painted every 10 years then you could be looking at 12 layers of paint oO

Just try sand / strip a small section but even if they have only been … Just try sand / strip a small section but even if they have only been painted every 10 years then you could be looking at 12 layers of paint oO


Ideally I'd like to take it to the wood, see the condition, then maybe varnish. Or just repaint. But I might have to compromise and just sand it down a bit, then just repaint.

Ideally I'd like to take it to the wood, see the condition, then maybe … Ideally I'd like to take it to the wood, see the condition, then maybe varnish. Or just repaint. But I might have to compromise and just sand it down a bit, then just repaint.



I would forget about varnishing completely.

It is so hard & time consuming to remove all traces of paint.. It gets into the grain & to remove that takes a hell of a lot of sanding or rubbing with wire wool plus all the time spent on removing the layers.
Edited by: "YouDontWantToKnow" 1st Jun 2016
You might want to look at companies that provide a dipping services that all you have to do is deliver the doors to them & they strip all the paint off by putting them in a corrosive bath. Some of them sell prestripped doors.

Also look at reclamation yards for period doors already stripped.
Edited by: "YouDontWantToKnow" 1st Jun 2016

You might want to look at companies that provide a dipping services that … You might want to look at companies that provide a dipping services that all you have to do is deliver the doors to them & they strip all the paint off by putting them in a corrosive bath. Some of them sell prestripped doors.Also look at reclamation yards for period doors already stripped.


Can only dream of doors at the moment. Need the skirting boards and door frames sorted X)
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