If you have peeling paint on the outside of your house it is long overdue for some maintenance. But before you consider covering the exterior with vinyl siding, consider preserving the look of your house by removing the old exterior house paint and repainting.
There are several methods for stripping paint off the exterior of a house. A popular, but dangerous method is to use a propane blowtorch to achieve a clean surface. This method gained popularity because of the ease in which the paint is removed.
However, this removal process could create more problems than it solves. If your house has lead paint, almost a certainty in older homes, you will create toxic fumes using this method. And using a torch on a wooden house is an excellent way to create a fire.
You can still use heat to remove some paint by using a heat gun. Because these guns operate at a lower temperature, there is little risk of toxic fumes. However, the chance that you could set something on fire is still present. This technique is best saved for any ornamental work on your house.
Chemical strippers can also be a good idea for small portions of your house, but is too costly and toxic to remove the entire exterior. Good chemical strippers can cost more than $50 per gallon. If you multiply that cost over the amount needed for the exterior of your home you’ll quickly realize it would be cheaper to call a professional.
However if you want to do it yourself, an electric sander is the common tool used. Either a rotating or belt sander is an effective way of preparing the surface quickly and easily. You must be fairly methodical with this method, let the sander run away with you and you could gouge the wood.
Scraping the paint away with a blade made for the task is also an excellent choice for exterior removal. You minimize dust and have control over any damage created on the wood. If you keep the blade sharp, you should be able to finish the job quickly.
If you do call a professional to do the job, chances are that person will use a sandblasting to remove the paint. In the hands of a professional, the sandblasting will expose the grain of your wood. This may or may not be esthetically pleasing to you.
Removing exterior paint is a dirty and hard job. Whatever method you choose, be sure to wear the appropriate protective gear, including face and eye masks. If you are unsure whether or not you’ll have time to complete this project in a timely manner, call a professional. They will be able to best preserve the exterior of your house and leave you time to tackle other projects within your house.