Chipping *and* peeling paint--two different areas

soozJuly 14, 2012

The exterior frame (jamb?) around the front door of the little house we rent out has a chunk of paint that has chipped off. I can slip a thin putty knife under it and pop up more chipping paint.

One of the interior doors (a room addition) was painted slapdash and has peeling areas.

We think that in order to make the house look good to sell, they painted these areas with any paint they had left over from other projects. From what we can tell, the front door's frame has been painted with white, green, and white again--there may even be pink as the first coat. The interior door is another story with peeling, rather than chipping, paint.

After the stripping, I figure using a good Zissner or Kilz primer, then repaint appropriately.

What's a good product to use to strip off the peeling layer, and to strip off the chipping layer? I've read a lot about Soy Gel. Thanks for any input!



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Paint peels for a variety of reasons, but the three commonest ones are: improper preparation before recoating, incompatibility between layers of paint, and moisture.

Before recoating, it would be wise to decide which factor is the reason for the failure, and correct it. Otherwise you're just doing a patch you will need to repat, over and over.

You mentioned that this is a rental unit so be aware that may raise additional issues due to the possibility of lead being in one or more layers of the paint. Trim paint was more commonly lead-adulterated than flat wall paint, I;m sorry to report. if the structure was built after the mid 1970's when lead was banned from paint you're OK. If it was built before that then you need to practice lead-safe removal techniques and encapsulation of non-disturbed areas.

This is particularly true in rental houses where there are children. It can get to be a big, sometimes expensive, deal to handle lead paint in rentals, depending on your state and local laws.

You can get help on local lead-abatement rules from your county health department, or by searching on line (in some areas).

Chipping and flaking paint is a problem, if it has lead in it, but so is scraping, sanding or burning it off, which can also create lead issues. You need to know wht to do, how to doit, and how to contain the mess and prevent further contamination of the property.

There are cheapo lead test kits at big box stores (and accuracy maybe reflected in the price), and more expensive tests where you send samples away.



    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 10:34PM
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Thank you so much for your helpful and detailed reply. The areas in question were built/done after 1985.


    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 3:13AM
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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

I believe RRP laws are federal not state or local

Here is a link that might be useful: RRP

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 4:53AM
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If the building was built after the mid 1970s then all you have is a paint problem, not a lead paint abatement problem. Whew!

On interior doors: scrape, sand, prime and recoat.

On exterior jamb trims: consider that it may be evidence of water getting in behind the trim. Correct that first, if it is. Otherwise, scrape, sand, prime, and recoat. All this is why you get the big bucks for being landlord. LOL!

Hope it goes quickly with no unforseen events.

If you think it may be either the case of paint layer incompatibility or too many layers of paint you might try steaming it all (or most of it) off with a household steamer. Sometimes that's easier, but there is a learning curve and things have to dry out before recoating in most cases.

I hae used SoyGel, it's pretty innocuous, certainly when compared to other chemical strippers which will rot your brain. It works better on flat surfaces than vertical ones. Be sure to give it lots and lots (and then some more) time to work. You can cover it with Saran wrap to keep it moist and working.



    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 9:18PM
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Thanks again, Liriodendron, for the great advice! Well, we're not going to get rich by collecting rent because we rent it out to an "older" disabled person (on SSI limited income) and a roommate for less than market value. Stilll, we try to think globally and act locally and all that, and we're glad we're in a position to do this.

Ohhhhh, did I find a picture of you online???

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 9:42PM
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