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Architrave paint stripping and lead paint

Anon posted on the 26/03/2018 10:05:51 AM

Does anyone have any advice on stripping paint from architrave in a tenement? I've made a start using an eco friendly chemical, but not getting very far as there are so many layers of paint. I'm also not keen on continuing as I'm concerned I might have uncovered lead paint. Are there any local companies who can test for lead paint and remove it safely too?

5 Replies :

#1 - Mark replied on the 27/03/2018 11:58:47 AM

Lead paint is an occupational hazard and you're unlikely to have serious issues with it unless you're exposed to it regularly for a long period of time. In your own home, buying a decent mask and trying to get rid of everything in the one week will almost certainly be fine. Obviously I'm not a doctor or a chemist, make up your own mind, but that's my take on it.

As for the actual stripping you will have no success at all with modern paint strippers, it is much easier to use a heat gun. Open all your windows and doors and wear a decent mask. You'll probably need to isolate or cover your smoke alarm too if it also has a heat detector.

When it comes to getting doors done, it is much easier to remove them - you can take the heatgun outside, where you can forego the use of a mask, or you can send them off to get stripped at a door dipping company. They will be licensed by the relevant local authority to make safe use of heavy duty paint strippers that are banned for consumer and DIY use.

#2 - Mark replied on the 27/03/2018 2:10:03 PM

By the way, I suppose you realise you can also remove shutters and architraves and have them dipped but prepare for a lot of dust and probably a bit of plastering if you go down that route.

#3 - CV3V replied on the 29/03/2018 2:27:40 PM

Did a bit of this last year. If there are a few layers of paint then assume it is a few layers of lead paint. Chemicals are slow, messy and dont do a lot. You CAN use a hot air gun, but it has to be used on the low setting and dont burn the paint (just enough to bubble it), you MUST clear up carefully all the old paint every single spec. You should also wear a mask (check, but i think it needs to be P2 standard, Screwfix and BnQ sell them). There is DEFRA advice leaflet on the subject if you search for it. But after a few weekends of that, i found that putting a screwdriver into the layers of paint and then by slowly stretching the paint i can just peel all the layers of paint off in seconds and get back to the original wood treatment. Using the latter method i did a whole door frame in an hour!

#4 - anon replied on the 30/03/2018 11:13:31 AM

Re the latter method, you mean without a heat gun or chemicals??

#5 - Beejay replied on the 30/03/2018 12:25:10 PM

Google 'removing paint from architrave' and follow the links to Youtube. There are loads of videos showing how it's done. From experience, chemicals don't work. Best with a heatgun and various shapes of paintstripping tools with sharp and hooked edges (B&Q, etc) - even sharp screwdrivers, etc, for the deep grooves. The paint will literally fall off the flat surfaces, the grooves take a bit more time but you'll soon get the technique right. If in some places the paint is stubborn don't be tempted to apply excessive pressure as this can lead to the wood being scored. Apply more heat and it will gradually come off. It's likely that the wood will burn in places on occasion but don't panic as it's only on the surface and sands off easily. You might want to wear gloves as sometimes the falling paint flakes can be a bit uncomfortable but I find gloves get in the way. When sanded down, and then repainted, the difference is amazing. Good Luck!

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