I am attempting to remove the paint from a banister and spindles. I also will be removing paint from the dining room entry frame and door frames. I am at a loss becuase I am not sure about what to use. I was told several different things work best. Someone suggested a heat gun, using Jasco paint remover, Smart Strip, then there was peel away 1 or 7, and the "Real" Speedheater (looks real tempting). Are there better products to use? They all seem to have some pro's but I am a novice at this and want the job to go as quickly and smoothly as possible. Any suggestions? I know at some point, I will have to do some scraping to get rid of some paint. Is this a DIY or should I have professional come and do it?
I want to get rid of the current paint and get down to the original wood (but dont damage), then shellac.
It appears that I have several layers on the stairway but dont know how many. Thanks in advance for your comments and suggestions!!
First thing to consider is what type of wood are you dealing with? Is it a nicely grained hardwood and worthy of the work? Is there varnish under that paint (which may have protected the pores of the wood from primer/paint sinking in).
I would personally use a good chemical stripper of some sort. (I like Strypeeze for paint removal) and do some test areas on each zone (wood area) to see what you have underneath the paint.
Wow, your spindles are probably going to be a trial. Especially if there are lots of groves and shape changes. If there is any way to dismantle these, and remove/take apart, I would look into taking them out and having a professional strip/dip them.
Door frames may be easier, because they are flat to one plane basically.
I am at a loss for what is under the paint! I dont know if its salvageable or not. I really dont know what I am looking for once I peel back the layers. I guess my banister will look like a dalmatian for a moment while I try a few test zones.LOL
The spindles are the regular rectangular ones, so that is a good thing. No grooves, etc!!! LOL
I am thinking what you describe, is going to be costly to have a pro come and do it. And I have stripped old darkened varnish from wide oak woodwork in our first home (1918 vintage), and it was work, but beautiful when done.
All that Paint (is it white?) is probably going to be a labor of love, I'm afraid. I would do a small area 4"?, as hidden as possible, with a chemical stripper or the Peel away and see what you get. Then decide if it is worth half a year of weekend efforts to strip the rest?
You may decide that the paint is not so bad and touch up what you stripped?? Our DD thought we should paint all our 1958 vintage blond hardwood woodwork white in our home for a better sale price. Needless to say, NO we will not.
That sounds like a LONG labor of love! Then finish it with shellac? IMHO shellac is not a permanent finish, although some will argue with me. I think a varnish would be far better. The shellac I have seen is touchy to get a uniform color and it can be softened with excess humidity. This all supposes that you can get a uniform color on the bare wood.
I have a fair amount of experience with natural finishes. If my wife asked me to do what you are attempting, I would ask her what color PAINT she would like on the spindles.
I was once asked to complete the finish a pro painter started on a customer's staircase. He had a nice paint finish on the spindles - sort of an orange color - and had started a varnish job on the treads. I completed the job and it turned out well; the customers were very happy with it.
Ditto to Bob's statement.
A REALLY LONG labor of love.
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