Removing Lead Paint from Exterior Clapboards

herzAugust 20, 2010

Has anyone had experience with RemovAll or an infared paint remover that they can share. Thanks.

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I have a lead paint job. House is good shape(1955) but paint peeling. I have just started and tried many things. I have the Paint Shaver pro($500) and a HEPA vacuum($400) which as u can see are costly. The "lead" guys are out there ready to take advantage of your fears.

I use chemical strippers(Soy Gel/Jasco/Klean strip) and they all work well on surface paint...primer takes many coats.

I bought a Heat N Strip(AIT version of speedHeater)...i am pleasantly works well but again not for tight spaces. It will strip down to the wood in about 20 seconds..Paint peels like leather. Versus chemicals on a big job it will more than pay for itself, and the good thing is you will have NO problem reselling it on ebay when ur done. They have a high demand. Look for a used one if u can as their i not much to wear out on them other than the bulbs.

It does get tiring holding it up after awhile, and you need to invest in some good scrapers.

I have found there is NO easy way to strip paint from an old house...but the infrared from my experience is one of the top tools.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 10:24AM
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I saw a video from a site linked to another thread about using steam to remove paint--works fast according to the video, and I don't think would release any lead fumes from heating like the infrared....I will try it when I can figure out how to do it myself.

Here is a link that might be useful: Historic HomeWorks

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 8:28PM
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Try Paint Shaver from American International Tool Industries. AITI makes only the head. The body and motor is from a Hitachi grinder -- something we found out when one of the motors seized and had to be replace.

Their literature says you can remove 1 s/f of paint in 1 minute with this tool. Our experience is that it takes about 2 minutes average to strip, sand and scrape the corners that the shaver does not reach. Still, this is pretty fast. In fact our painters will now not use any other tool -- so much for our $2500 investment in infrared technology.

To comply with EPA RRP rules the shaver has to be attached to a HEPA vacuum. The web site explains how this is done.


    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 10:39AM
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Instead of laughing out loud, try taking a look at a product that took ten years to bring to market:

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 10:12PM
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Ten years. Lord, what took you guys so long?

More seriously, it's usually considered polite to disclose that you sell the product you are promoting on this forum, so readers don't get the idea that you are giving an impartial opinion. Also rather than promoting your product by trashing the other guy's product, why don't you just tell us why you think yours is better. From your post, I know more about why you don't like Paint Shaver than I do about why you like your own product. I'm sure it has some good points, so why not tell us about them.

I have not tried your product, so don't have any idea how well it works.

As to the paint shaver, there really is only one. The other, shaver-like products, sort of work. At least one relies on proprietary sanding disks which do not last very long and are quite expensive. I think it's the Metabo, but I could be wrong, probably am, in fact, so please, all you Metabo fans, don't jump down my throat. Most professionals I know are of the opinion that the Wagner tool is a waste of money. That's also my opinion, having owned and thrown away two of them.

Any tool is dangerous when used by a fool -- you can kill yourself with a spoon if you're careless enough. Most people know to keep fingers and other key body parts away from spinning blades. The way the tool is designed, there is no reason to get fingers anywhere near the blade when using it. It's not any more dangerous than a router or power saw. If you can use these safely, you will have no problem with a Shaver.

Paint Shavers can spread dust if not matched to a vacuum of sufficient power. The manufacturer sells a compatible HEPA vacuum, but you can buy any HEPA unit so long as it is powerful enough. If you are getting a lot of dust with a vacuum, you have the wrong vacuum.

I like the tool overall. It's fairly light weight, so not fatiguing. It's pretty well balanced and even though the blade spins at a high rate, it does not tend to pull the tool. Replacement carbide blades are expensive, but you can do a whole house on one set of blades if you are careful and don't hit too many nails. And old blades can actually be sharpened at least once at the local saw sharpening shop, which reduces your cost. The Hitachi 6 amp motor is underpowered, but the newer 8 amp motor seems about right.

Like any tool, the Paint Shaver takes some getting used to. So start where any mistakes will be least noticeable, like the back wall of the garage, until you get proficient with the tool. At the start you will probably not be able to hold the tool steady or at the right angle and will get some gouges, which can be a pain to sand out. But after a few hours you will get in the swing of it and enjoy watching the paint fly off your clapboards. And yes, it works very well on clapboards -- it even removes the paint under the bottom edge of the clapboards, which otherwise is a true PITA to get at.

If you remove all the paint, you will hit wood, and then you will have to sand away the roughed up wood the shaver leaves behind. A belt sander with a medium grit is usually sufficient. We use an el-cheapo, mostly plastic, light-weight 4"x18" belt sander and just junk it when it breaks. It will usually last about 6 months. Better sanders are mostly metal, heavier, and, therefore, more fatiguing to use all day long on a vertical surface. We buy belts by the 100 count direct from the manufacturer for about $1.00 per belt. I think you can order as few as 50 belts. Even with this step thrown in, the shaver/sander combination is much faster than any alternative we have tried.

If you are doing your own house, a used tool will work. You can usually find one or two for sale on E-Bay for about 1/2 retail from someone who has just finished doing his own house. Pay a little more for the 8 amp version. It works better, I think. When you're done, put it back on E-Bay to sell. You will recoup most of your initial cost.

Of the tools and techniques we have tried, the Paint Shaver is by far the most efficient way we have found to remove a lot of paint quickly.

I have absolutely no connection with American Tool, the maker of the Paint Shaver. I don't sell or rent the tool. I use the tool as a remodeling contractor, and that's my only connection to the tool or its maker.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 1:46AM
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I use the SIlent Paint Remover and hope to finish my nearly 3000 sq ft Craftsman this year. It is a bit slow work, but the cedar claps beneath look brand new when I'm done. It heats up the paint, breaking the 'seal' it has on the wood, and I can just remove it with a gloved hand. It won't burn the wood, unless you don't pay attention, there are not too many little pieces, and I actually bought it for the lead safety issue 4 years ago. It's quite easy to use, works well, and while it's slow, I find that most of renovating old houses is best done slowly and deliberately. It did allow me the time to look at the house and fix any issues that came up. I personally love the tool!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 11:57AM
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