What to use to strip paint off exterior of house ????

by Mjordanlmj
I'm in my late 50's and can't hand scrape this whole house....When we bought this house paint looked good, after 5 years it is bubbling all over, tried pressure washing to no avail. I bought a wagner tool but it took three hours to do a 5 foot section. the paint under the green is powdery and just keeps getting worse. I can't afford for a crew to come and so it. ( pics only show one side, but the whole house is bad)
Can someone please give me some advice on what can be done at a reasonable price...both labor and material wise.
Paint Blistering
  16 answers
  • Leslie D Leslie D on Jul 07, 2013
    I'm afraid you're in for a labor-intensive project. A wire brush attachment to a drill can make the work a bit easier. One thing to keep in mind is that perhaps the house was not properly prepared because of the chance of lead paint (if the house was built prior to 1978). You most certainly do not want to scrap or sand lead paint. If you're not able to do the work, call your local Labor Max or Labor Ready office, and find out what it will cost you to get 2 guys for a couple of days. That should be about $400 (about $12.50/hour for each man), and put them to work with wire brushes, scrapers, etc. They are licensed, insured and bonded...important things when you have people working on your property. You will have to have all the tools they need, so be prepared with ladders and tools. Just supervise them closely to assure that they are not scraping too deeply and damaging the wood. You don't have to strip all the way back to bare wood, just remove the loose paint, and block sand any areas where there are uneven areas between good and bad paint. Get a couple of "pull" scrapers...easier to use than a "push" scraper. Your paint store will know what that is. Use chemical strippers as an absolute last resort....they're expensive and messy and could damage things around the house that you don't want damaged (like your bushes, cars that are parked too close, etc.). Once properly prepped, consult your local paint store or pay for a one-hour consult with a professional painting company, and get advice on how to prime, what paint to use to prevent this from happening, etc. It sounds like you're willing to paint, but the prep has kicked your butt. If that's the case then about $400 plus your cost of tools/materials would be your only cost. I don't envy you. I have a door that looks like this and I'm dreading tackling that one door (I'm also in my 50s). If you decide not to paint it yourself, check with the Labor Staffing agencies to see if they have skilled, experienced guys who know how to paint. Some do, some don't, but be ready to pay more for the hourly rate for skilled workers. Again, just supervise them closely and don't be shy about telling them exactly what you want.
  • Your on the right track to begin with. The top finish will need to be completely removed. First off you need to know exactly what type of paint your dealing with. This included both the top coats and the underlying paints. Based upon the style of the home I will make the assumption that the house is at least as old as you or perhaps older. This makes it very likely that the house paints and trims contain lead based paint. i would suggest that you test all layers before moving on. In any case, you will need to remove the finishes down to the bare wood to get it right to make it last. Normally removal of the top surface coats is all that is needed, but it appears that the chalking of the older paints that were covered over is part of the issue at hand. Chalking paint surfaces is one indication of lead paint as well. Normal paint stripping methods do work, however your faced with evaporation of the stripping agents causing wasted time and material. What you need to use is a system such as Strip Away. This is a liquid paint removal system that once applied is followed by a paper covering that keeps the paint stripper wet and helps prevent it from drying out to fast. As it dries it causes the paint to stick to the surface of the paper and you then simply peel the paper off with the paint. http://www.dumondchemicals.com/pro-peel-away-1.html While this sounds easy it is not. It takes time but it works. Once the paint is removed, you will still need to properly prep the surface using HEPA vacuum type sanding equipment as any remaining paint will most likely contain lead. FED laws require that you properly sand using these types of tools. In addition most townships now require that these tools be used or face stiff fines. Lead dust from sanding can travel far distances and end up in neighbors yards and homes not to mention your own. Be sure to use drop-cloths to catch any chipping or loose paint. spray water on shrubs before covering them to help keep them alive. Keep kids away when doing this work. Normally blistering paint is caused by moisture being trapped behind the finish of the paint. However normally this is isolated on one wall or area such as around a bathroom. If the entire house is suffering then the issue was paint adhesion failure no so much moisture. So the final prep will be very important. Be sure the weather does not make the walls wet and paint on the shady side of the house if at all possible. DO NOT use primer and paint in one products. You need to properly prime and paint using a compatible primer and paint product. The local paint store should be able to assist you on this selection. It should be brushed on, not sprayed or rolled. The brushing action works the paint into the pores of the wood giving you a much better bond then a sprayer or roller wood. Once primer is on, a spray or roller method would be fine.
  • Mjordanlmj Mjordanlmj on Jul 07, 2013
    Thanks, Woodbridge Environmental..... this is the answer I was looking for. I will give Dumond Chemicals a looksee and will post my project as I get going on it in the next few weeks.I am sure that the base coat is lead and am taking proper precautions with the sanding.
  • Leslie, while I think the labor idea is a great one, the Federal LLP rules prohibit anyone other then the owner to work on a home with lead paint without a license or special training. So if that labor is applied to the job they must have those credentials in order to follow the law. Fines can range upwards to $32,000 per day per violation. And if they have that type of credential, most likely they are not sitting around in a work labor office looking for work. :( mjordanimj check out Google for paint stripping paper there are other systems such as this available. But it is a common one in my area.
  • Leslie D Leslie D on Jul 07, 2013
    Yep, Woodbridge. I just left out a disclaimer between my "scrap or sand lead paint" and "Hire Labor Max" that said it should be tested. "If tested for lead and no lead paint exists, then hire...." ! My fingers work faster than my brain a lot of times. My instructions were based on "no lead", but I didn't make that very clear.
  • American Painting American Painting on Jul 08, 2013
    the one thing woodbridge didn't go into very far is what best protection for you to wear, obviously that needs to be addressed, u need to protect your lungs and keep the lead off your colthes, washing machine etc. u need to look into that...
  • American Painting American Painting on Jul 08, 2013
    there's a certain protocol being suggested for dealing with disturbing surfaces that could possily be lead contaminated and you can research those guidelines as well, they're about minimizing the spread of the powders into the ground and atmosphere, protecting yourself adequately, stuff like that to be looked into...
  • Therese C Therese C on Jul 08, 2013
    We use an air sprayer (high pressure) on my parents home. But cover your eyes and nose/mouth area first! Then use a good exterior primer and good quality paint. You get what you pay for. When repainting their home we used a Wagoner Power Painter and it took 1/3 less paint than brushing.
  • V Valencia V Valencia on Jul 09, 2013
    I have a similar problem on the trim of my house. I have had to have the trim painted about every 3 to 4 years. I've spent top dollar to have a contractor "prepare" the trim before painting thinking this would help to keep the paint from bubbling up and chipping off. But, even with, what I was told the best prep work, the paint still lifted in spots. One painter told me it is probably because the wood was not primed properly from the start allowing moisture to get in the wood thereby continued problems. Very frustrating.
  • Susan Cryor Susan Cryor on Jul 09, 2013
    Woodbridge is SO right, the peel away is the way to go! Our home (still on the market) was built in 1839, definitely lead. Before all the regulations, my husband at the age of 50 ( demanding wife) took a propane tank (the small hand held ones ) to the outside of the house, stripping the paint all the way to the bare wood....I however stripped the paint off ALL the windows, wood AND paint off all the bricks in the 5 fireplaces, PLUS all the doors using the peel awayThe product is not inexpensive, but it certainly does the trick, safely and SO easy! It was demonstrated on This Old house...they have another product now that is REALLY safe, I finished stripping the stair railings with it. No gloves, no fumes really easy to use. The woman who lived there never cleaned, just painted everything. I am talking about paint over a 1 inch thick! No, I do not own stock in the product, but as much as I used it, should have! Now about the paint, we bought the best, and primed. And in the 14 years that we lived there, we had to paint 3 times! Talk about constant upkeep! We thought it was because the clapboards were the original back in 1839. The 4th time, we were told about Sherwin Williams Duration by our brother in law who is a builder. It had been on his house for 15 years! One application! it is self priming as well! And it filled in those cracks that occur in clapboards. We loved working with it and wish we knew about it when we first painted the bare clapboards! However, I definitely agree, there might be a moisture problem....my neighbor replaced all his clapboards, the paint blistered every year, on one side, so he scraped and painted every year, and every year still had what your picture shows! Now their hot tub was inside, on that wall, house built in 1790 Insulation without a vapor barrier? You definitely need to check out the moisture issue before you start reprinting. Just sharing what I have learned.
  • Katie Clendaniel Katie Clendaniel on Jul 09, 2013
    HI! - you have wonderful siding. I hope that you won't consider scraping it up with a wire brush. I've done a lot of research for my own home and just got an ultra-violet paint remover which is a form of lead-safe paint removal that will remove all layers of paint, which is softened and then easily scrapped off. Look for "speedheater" brand versus the silent paint remover which I understand does not stand up to the use required for substantial jobs. Also I am looking into paint options, something that will soak in and preserve the wood versus giving it a plastic type envelope. I am hoping to use linseed oil paint, which can be expensive but which is supposed to last 50 years and be non-toxic.
  • We have had this problem for years (due to old home and sun damage) and finally found a expensive primer that dries clear, stays pliable, and keeps the top coat from peeling. It is called peel bond and most good paint stores carry it. All the loose paint needs to come off and then dusted to get off the dirt. ( Or power washed and allowed to dry) - Primed then with Peel Bond and then painted with good quality exterior paint. ( Not from walmart) We had a painting business for many years and love this new product.
  • Blaze heart Blaze heart on Jul 10, 2013
    rent a sprayer and by 5 gallons of paint thinner,can dilute with water 50[50- or less if to weak,try a test spray,use full strengh if needed,you should do 10-15 ft section at a time ,after a 10,minutes ,rinse with strong pressure washer,can rent that as well,or good powerful garden nozzle,.you can also paint with a sprayer ,if you rent its usaully 25 /30 dollars for 6-8 hrs.this is the fastest cheapest easiest and very affective,i use on old auto paint when in tight spot or cannot be sandblasted which is another method but more expensive,definatelt better than a sandpaper or wire brush with a drill,or sandpaper,lay a old sheet or plastic under your sections for easy envio, clean up .may have 2 reapeat but doubtfull,5 -10 minutes paint is flaking wet like old lettuce wipes right off,wire brush only maybe needed around windows,wear respirator or wet dishtowel over mouth and nose,i have a autobody and autopainting college degree since 1998 good luck sir
  • River Deep with all due respect I am not sure about Canada, but nothing you suggested will be allowed in the US. Between the risk of environmental damage, the killing of plants and shrubs should this toxic mix get on them, the risk of dust traveling, plus the fire hazard risk when spraying I do not suggest any of this being done. Painting autos and working in a controlled environment such as a filtered ventilation system or spray booth is nothing like paint removal on an exterior house. I also shudder to think your using a wet dishtowel as a respirator for any kind of sanding or application of paint or thinners. IN addition the chemical makeup of house paint is nothing like that of what is used on an automobile.
  • Brenda K. Jones Brenda K. Jones on Oct 15, 2014
    If u have a Sears card, put siding on it
  • Brenda K. Jones Brenda K. Jones on Oct 15, 2014
    My mom's house had the old bull pine on it, was built in the 50's... I sanded it down to the wood put 2 coats of Kilts on it then two coats Kelly Moore paint on it. About five years I did it again. It just want stay on that wood and siding is the answer