"Except for our cries of "ooh" and "ahh", it WAS silent!" - J
We found out about "The Silent Paint Remover" on the "This Old House" website. And wanted to try it because we have to strip the ENTIRE exterior of our house and garage, as well as floor tile glue from wood floors, paint from trim and wallpaper from walls.
Well recently AJ and L came over to grill and help with the house. And we tried out...
We immediately broke some cardinal renovation rules...so, LEARN FROM THIS:
1) Read the packet of instructions that come with new equipment (we just read the ones on the side of the box.)
2) Use a face mask whenever using chemicals or things that mess with chemicals indoors.
3) Ventilate workspace properly.
4) Use a VERY GOOD, professional paint scraper...the kind that pulls towards you and that you can get at a quality paint store.
We used an old, small, dull scraper that we found on the workbench at the new house and a thin, wide spatula best used for applying spackle.
But...having set up these adverse conditions...(click on a picture = LARGER)
We started out with two pieces of wood found in the house. One seemed to be a piece of painted trim that had been removed. We don't know what the other one was originally...it was a painted board with stain underneath.
AJ did try the "just small old paint scraper" technique on the big board. He actually got some off. It was brittle paint. This didn't work at ALL on the small trim board.
What to do, L? What to do?
Would the SPR do a better job?
A fires up the SPR. After a few different ways to hold it against the board, we decided that with the length going WITH the grain of the wood and for no more than 9-12 seconds was best for this paint on this wood. (It will vary with types of materials and thicknesses of paint...so go slow at first.)
Whoo hoo! Look at AJ go! And this is with the THIN SPATULA THINGY. We also found that getting the most paint off WHILE it was still warm was best. And the spatula had the wider blade even though it was as dull as a blade of grass. Don't allow the paint to heat and cool many times.
It comes off DRY...no dripping. No noxious liquid stripping fumes. No incredibly unbearable heat. Just a slow, steady heat...nothing you'd want to get too close to your arm, but it isn't going to start a brush fire either.
"My hero," AJ is thinking as A tries the trim board with the obnoxiously hard paint.
Wow! Look at 'er go! And if you are careful, the paint comes off but the original stain can stay intact! Or, you can keep going to pull out the stain but it takes some more time. The SPR website recommends a special technique for removing stain that involves linseed oil...check it out if that is what you want to do.
That was lovely stain before they painted over it.
TWENTY MINUTES later, we are ready for the second challenge....
Previous owners had laid 12 inch tile over the hardwood floors with some terrible black glue. YUCK! They tried pulling some of it up and then just abandoned the project.
Will the tile come up pretty easily with the SPR?
Voila! J shows us the newly pulled tile...BUT WAIT!
Using the spatula thingy, it pulled up pretty easily without the SPR too.
How about the glue left on the floor though?
Argh. "Glue = 10" "J with spatula = 0" No luck.
NOW! With the SPR...
Ahh! MUCH better.
Ummmmm. MUCH MUCH better! Zoooooommmmmmm.....
Make sure you get those shavings out of the way as you work though. Leave them around and they may burn and harden. Try not to touch these, as I am doing here. This is a DON'T picture. After all, it might be toxic. Nice, eh?
So, the SPR gets the THUMBS UP from us. We don't have any curved or decorative moldings to strip...can't speak to those. We DO have wallpaper and paint over plaster...we can post the results of that experiment when we carry it out.
And now...a note from our lawyers:
The folks running this site are not affiliated with any company which makes or markets the Silent Paint Remover except as paying customers. They do not endorse using or not using the product...they know you are very smart and will make up your own mind as to what is best for your situation. Read and follow the directions that come with the product carefully...this site is not meant as a substitute for those instructions. Use care and proper toxic waste removal guidelines whenever handling dangerous chemicals or materials. Don't poke yourself in the eye either, please, because that is pain-FUL!