After having presented the "hierarchy" of exterior
paint surface conditions from a mild condition such as
mildewing which simply requires cleaning prior to repainting to
serious conditions such as peeling and alligatoring which require
total paint removal one important thought bears repeating:
if a paint problem has been identified that warrants either limited
or total paint removal, the gentlest method possible for the particular
wooden element of the historic building should be selected from
the many available methods.
The treatments recommended based upon field testing as
well as on-site monitoring of Department of Interior grant-in-aid
and certification of rehabilitation projects are therefore
those which take three overriding issues into consideration:
- the continued protection and preservation of the historic
- the retention of the sequence of historic paint layers; and
- the health and safety of those individuals performing the
By applying these criteria, it will be seen that no paint removal
method is without its drawbacks and all recommendations are qualified
in varying degrees.
Methods for Removing Paint
After a particular exterior paint surface condition has been
identified, the next step in planning for repainting
if paint removal is required is selecting an appropriate
method for such removal.
The method or methods selected should be suitable for the
specific paint problem as well as the particular wooden element
of the building. Methods for paint removal can be divided into
three categories (frequently, however, a combination
of the three methods is used). Each method is defined below,
then discussed further and specific recommendations made:
Abrasive [hand; mechanical]
"Abrading" the painted surface by manual
and/or mechanical means such as scraping and sanding. Generally
used for surface preparation and limited paint removal.
and raising the paint layers by applying heat followed by
scraping and sanding. Generally used for total paint removal.
of the paint layers with chemical strippers followed by scraping
and sanding. Generally used for total paint removal.