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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a house that was built in the 50's. The kitchen cabinets have been painted more times that I care to count. 6 times that I can see. The paint is peeling, etc. and it is time to update the kitchen. One of two things is either going to happen. I will strip and then repaint, or strip and then satin/clear finish.

Does anyone have ideas/methods for safe paint removal. I know that some chemical strippers are very hazardous to the health and want to stay away from them if possible. Is there a better alternative, or a product that someone is aware of that is not so caustic?

If I decide to strip, stain, and clear, does anyone have a suggestion for testing what kind of clear finish might of been on there originally so that I can use something that will not counteract.

Thank you,
rh111
 

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I've used 10101 from 3M with good results. No strong fumes so you can use it indoors. The residue was not toxic and in fact was biodegradeable to where you could wash it down a drain. No gloves needed either. I've generally found the non-toxic strippers usually have to be left on longer than their more caustic cousins. I left it on over night. And on a heavily painted piece I've had to use 2 applications. But it worked well and I could leave the wood in place (didn't have to remove the pieces out to a garage or area away from everything).

I'm sure their are others and I know I've used others, but that one comes to mind first so I must have thought it was ok. :)
 

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I have removed old paint from many things many times and the only thing I have found to be effective is the kind with MC (the hazardous kind). These can be used safely out doors or inside with a lot of ventilation. I open a window and put a fan in a window,blowing out, across the room. There is another consideration before you do any sanding, Did the paint contain any lead.

Regards
Jerry
 

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jerrymayfield said:
I have removed old paint from many things many times and the only thing I have found to be effective is the kind with MC (the hazardous kind). These can be used safely out doors or inside with a lot of ventilation. I open a window and put a fan in a window,blowing out, across the room. There is another consideration before you do any sanding, Did the paint contain any lead.

Regards
Jerry
I agree Jerry the best Paint Stripper is the kind with Methylene Chloride in it. It takes lots of Ventilation. I work with it every day at work. It may take trial and error to find some less Hazardous that works as good.

rh111 If you decide to use a stripper with MC in it I would advise using a good vapor mask with filters for MC. We use breathing air when working with and clearing equipment containing Methylene Chloride.

As far as sanding I believe that a majority of the old paint contained lead in them.
 

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Almost ALL old paint contains lead.
History (abbreviated):
lead in paint is historically attributed to the Dutch who were actually heavily involved in the tanning of hides. A by-product of one of the tanning operations was large quantities of "white lead" residue. They found that by adding the white lead to paint it increased the durability of the paint immensely. Thereafter, everyone was using lead in paint for durability.

Aside from feeling very much like Cliff Claven right about now, I should say that I was trained in lead based paint detection (I'm certified to run an x-ray flourescence spectrometer) and removal.

Any time you're dealing with old paint, ASSUME it contains lead and DO NOT fool around. Get into your best overly cautious gear before messing with old paint. NIOSH approved respirator, gloves, throw-away clothing if at all possible. No smoking, eating, picking your nose, wiping your eyes, NOTHING, until after you clean up thoroughly.

Lead does NOT go away. It does NOT filter out of your system. It gets stuck and accumulates over time and some of the symptoms are not pretty. So please, guys (and gals), be safe. It's not "just a little paint dust".
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok, finally started the project and pulled out the putty knife to see what would happen. In about a hour work, I have half of the cabinets down to the original clear finish. No stripper, just some good elbow grease. My thought from here is to get a good degreaser and then to sand the clear finsish with something like 120 to scuff and dull the finish.

Here is where the next question comes in. If I am not mistaken, would a pigmented shellac (Zinnser) adhere to just about anything? Or do we have another suggestion? We are going to repaint them. I have found 5 layers of paint already.
 

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It seems like a deck cleaning solution would remove any residue on the wood. Did you try Citrustrip? Its about as safe as you can get. Yes, Kilz will work excellent as a primer coat for paint.
 
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