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exterior paint removal

Thu Mar 27, 2003 9:12 pm

I am getting estimates to scrape and paint the exterior of my 1902 house. The paint that is on the house is very thick and alligatored with alot of it peeling and chipping. Several of the contracters have said it would be to difficult to take all the old paint off and are only willing to scrape loose paint and then prime and paint over whats left.I dont see how this will work or end up looking very nice.Am I being unreasonable to want all the old paint off? They are also saying that complete removal runs into lead abatement issues which are way more costly then just scraping off the loose stuff. Help please.


Re: exterior paint removal

Thu Mar 27, 2003 11:22 pm

i would suggest you dont go for the quick scrape and repaint. You are only throwing your money away. Find someone who is willing to scrape the entire house to bare wood but expect to pay a lot.

Sounds like a good candidate for vinyl siding.


Re: exterior paint removal

Fri Mar 28, 2003 10:13 am

W.A. This Old House used a new paint stripping product on their recent TOH project. I am sure it wasn't cheap but the result was outstanding and they removed every trace of old paint. You can go to their web site or go to the library and look for recent back issues of TOH Magazine for the article and source of the stripper. If your old paint is tightly adhered to your siding it would be very difficult to remove just by scraping. If it is very loose and easy to remove (like the old paint on my barn!) then scraping would do a good job. Good Luck, Don

Re: exterior paint removal

Fri Mar 28, 2003 10:15 am

Depends how perfect it needs to look to satisfy you... If they do a good job of scraping *all* the loose paint, including the outermost "chunkiest" stuff, and prime well, you do not necessarily have to remove all the old paint.

I recommend that under the conventional primer, you have them painters apply a product called "Peel Stop" by Zinnser. This product "glues down" the edges of the remaining paint and prevents it from causing new paint to fail. We used this on our house three years ago, at the recommendation of a neighbor who used it on his house *nine* years ago. Both paint jobs are still perfect. The neighbor's house has a wall facing the western sun which really takes a lot of heat and the paint is *not peeling* at all after nine years. I was sold when I looked at the wall. (At the time it had been painted six years prior.)

But like I said, if you need the paint to look perfectly smooth, you will not be happy unless it all comes off. On the exterior, the irregularities are not going to show from a distance, so personally they don't bother me. But it all depends on what makes you happy.

Re: exterior paint removal

Fri Mar 28, 2003 12:28 pm


With the Peel Stop did you put on a regular primer on over that? Is the peel stop an oil based product or latex? And if you put a primer on over it what type did you use?

Thanks, Heidi


Re: exterior paint removal

Fri Mar 28, 2003 1:35 pm

Peel Stop is water-based. There is a fact sheet on it at:


I don't think you *have* to use a primer over it, but we did just for extra insurance. The primer used over it was, if I remember right, an acrylic primer. I don't remember the brand. I know it wasn't an oil-based primer.

Re: exterior paint removal

Fri Mar 28, 2003 10:11 pm

It's okay to just scrape where it's needed. I personally like to see the variance in the paint surface, it makes thing look older than a shiney new paint job.

It's odd that ALL the paint isn't alligatoring and peeling. If a section of paint is peeling due to underlying moisture, the new paint will also peel, regardless of whether you prime or not.


Re: exterior paint removal

Fri Mar 28, 2003 10:26 pm

I second the motion for Removall. It's the best thing to happen for old home owners since public television. Wouldn't consider anything but the full strip, believe it or not, without gloves, masks, etc. It really works.

Re: exterior paint removal

Sat Mar 29, 2003 3:22 pm

Thanks for all the good advice.I think I will try to get some one to commit to taking off as much paint as possibly and I will check out removall.I don't have to have it perfect I just want it to look nice and last for a good long time. Thanks again

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