Is it worth salvaging painted tongue-n-groove?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by jill.costello, Jan 11, 2007.

  1. jill.costello

    jill.costello Well-Known Member

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    Again, this is about our 100-yr-old farmhouse and the copious and sacreligious use of paint as a quick-fix over the years by past owners.

    We have a marvelous front porch (10 x 40 ) and the ceiling of the overhang is tongue-and-groove bead board. Unfortunately, it has been painted and repainted many times, without ever being sanded in between. It is clumpy, cracking, peeling, etc.

    I am very wary of using and type of wet/ chemical "product" on it; I'm worried about doing all this up above my head and having anything drip down onto my face, etc.

    I'm also not convinced about scraping and sanding for the same reasons: a crick in my neck and nasties in my eyes and lungs.

    Is there a "trick" for doing ceilings without killing yourself upsidedown and backwards on a ladder? Is there a sanding screen-on-a-pole? :shrug:

    Just how effective is a pressure-washer on multi-layered peeling paint?


    Thanks! -Jill
     
  2. Pony

    Pony STILL not Alice Supporter

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    As it's outside, the best suggestion I can make is to do a small area at a time, and consider it your hobby for the summer. Scrape a foot square section at a time. There are low-toxicity products you can use. If you feel like doing more than one square a day, great, but the work will be easier and you'll be less frustrated than if you try to tackle the job in a week.

    But I do believe it is worth saving. Be very careful with a pressure washer. It can put wicked gouges in wood. BTDT, and my cedar shakes show it. :(

    Pony!
     

  3. via media

    via media Tub-thumper

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    :bawling:

    I hope you're able to find a way to salvage it. Please let us know what you try and what ends up working best for you.

    /VM
     
  4. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've seen pros use a torch and scraper. You have to be careful, though, so as not to blacken the wood. Much faster than just doing it by hand, but as stated above, it would be your hobby for a while. I think it would be worth it.
     
  5. Macybaby

    Macybaby I love South Dakota Supporter

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    We are currently using the old wood from parts of our 100 yr old house for trim.

    We invested in a few tools (planer and jointer) and have been reworking the lumber. So far so good . . . Our plan was that we will be saving more in trim costs than the cost of the tools. Then we'll have the tools for future projects. We already have lots of woodworking tools, as we have always done as much of our own work as possible.

    May not be able to do anything about the flooring that had carpet glued to it. We are going to try pressure washing it once the weather warms up. DH is worried it will go through blades faster than the wood is worth. We shall see.

    Cathy
     
  6. Ohio dreamer

    Ohio dreamer 1/2 bubble off plumb

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    My FIL has a pressure washer that has 5 different nozzles. We used #2 on wood with no problem (He says #5 will cut things like rubber tires...I don't want to know how he knows) So, if you are thinking of renting a pressure washer ask they guys your renting from, buying...do the same. They should know which setting is best for wood.

    For this project I would suggest a face shield. It won't keep all the crud our of your eyes and mouth, but it will keep most out. They are also more comortable (for me) on a hot day, not to metion more coverage then goggles.
     
  7. Silvercreek Farmer

    Silvercreek Farmer Living the dream. Supporter

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    My uncle restores 100 year old houses and I believe he uses a heat gun (hair dryer on steroids) to remove heavy paint from porches. Good luck!
     
  8. haypoint

    haypoint Unpaid, Volunteer Devil's Advocate Supporter

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    It is likely that at one time the roof leaked, staining the wood. Therefore, if (not likely) you could get all the paint off, you'd still have oddly stained boards. If you could carefully remove the boards without splintering them, you might be able to reverse them and expose thge other side. Migh take a lot of sanding, but still less effort than stripping. You might have to forgo the beaded part. Beyond that, you can still buy beaded t&G pine that would give you the original look. Words of experience: 16 feet long pieces look best, but are about 10 times harder to get seated into the grooves than 8 feet long boards.
     
  9. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    New 6 inch grooved car siding costs in the neighborhood of $1.00 per sq ft. Just a guess but that is likely what is there now. Wouldn't that look sharp with a light clear stain? Could even be put over what's there if removing the old would be a hassle.
     
  10. via media

    via media Tub-thumper

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    One thought that just occurred to me: Could some of the layers be lead paint? (I have no idea what I'm talking about here, but I recall being warned about the danger of messing with lead paint.)

    /VM
     
  11. The Paw

    The Paw Well-Known Member

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    You can find some citrus-based, low fume strippers. They take longer, but are much less toxic, and clean up easier.

    I have used a heat gun, and that is probably the quickest, but scraping the melted paint out of the grooves formed by the beading will take a long time. As mentioned above, you do have to watch you don't char the boards. You also need to wear a mask and have it well-ventilated. Oh, and don't use the heat gun right above your head, because sometimes the stip of paint catches fire and drops off... Not a big deal if it hits the floor, but if it lands in you Afro it could be quite a scene.
     
  12. Chas in Me

    Chas in Me Well-Known Member

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    First of all, old paint is almost certain to contain lead. Protect yourself from any dust, and if you use heat, from any smoke. Lead poisining is a terrible affliction and you may never recover from its effects.
    If you have good shoulders, scrape and sand away the rough areas. Smooth it to the point where you can live with it. A small pad sander with coarse paper will do wonders. Use 60 grit and then 80. Use a good latex house paint with some body to it and it will fill the sandpaper marks.
    Unless you point out the ceiling, most people will never notice it. People don't look up, they look down or ahead.
    My father ran an antique store that was an old country store. One day a man walked in and walked all the way to the rear of the store and asked Dad if he had any old railroad lanterns. Dad said no, they were hard to find. The man thanked him and walked to the front door down another isle. All in all, he walked beneath more than 70 railroad lanterns Dad had hanging from the ceiling.
    Dad laughed about that for years.
    So, whatever you do to your ceiling will probably be fine. BTW, a historical note, the old porch ceilings were usually painted a pale blue to resemble the sky.
     
  13. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

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    The old paint does have lead in it. As a matter of fact, any house built before 1978 has lead in it. Lead is a wonderful binder and makes paint last and wear great. Lead also allows paint to hold and keep its color. The bad side is that it causes permenant health problems, particularly in children under the age of 5.

    You should read some of the actual studies that have been done in areas where lead based paint was in homes and apartments where kids live. The learning and mental retardation rates are astonishing.

    The health risk to all people-especially kids, is the reason lead is no longer used as an additive in gasoline.

    Alot of people believe in the myth that there really isn't that much lead in old paint. I too, once subscribed to this misnomer. Until I read a painter's handbook from 1898, I didn't know that one gallon of paint contained 9 or more pounds of lead!!!!!!

    So, if you have kids, again under the age of 5, you can't be safe enough! Even a little leaded paint dust or chips can have life long effects on their bodies. Really. It is true.

    Wash your clothes after scraping, and try to contain all dust and chips....don't just sweep them into the yard. It will remain there for years!

    As for the actual paint removal, I too think the heat gun is the best method. The bad thing is that the heat can easily vaporize the lead into the air, and you can breathe this in easily. It is effective and reletively fast.

    I would stay away from a pressure washer. Too messy, and you can't control the lead dust and chips.

    Dont forget to prime the wood when it is bare.

    clove
     
  14. jill.costello

    jill.costello Well-Known Member

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    Wow, great suggestions all! We don't have kids, and thankfully the only paint stripping needed INSIDE is window frames and doors; which I will do with a high-quality mask and 1/3 sheet electric sander. I believe I will look into the heat gun; I have a bad shoulder and will only be able to do a bit at a time, anyway, so the help that the heat gun will give me will be a benefit.

    The paint is so peel-y that I will SEE how much a pressure washer is to rent; it seems as though it SHOULD come off in nice 3"-5" pieces, but thank you for letting me know to ASK THE GUY which nozzle is the best for my particular job!
     
  15. Jeslik

    Jeslik Well-Known Member

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    I'm a little late coming to this thread, but I thought I would show you this option as well. It's too pricy for me, but I'd love to get one.

    http://www.silentpaintremover.netfirms.com/

    If you can afford it (Base Price - $395!!), I've heard really good things about this product; on the house repair sites I visit, they have nothing but praise for it. http://reviews.houseinprogress.net/archives/000380.html

    On the other hand, it is pricey, and these are people dedicated to preserving the past. Keeping the original trim & siding is important to them just because; for $400 dollars, you could buy a fair amount of new tongue & groove. For $400 dollars, you could buy a decent router & bench to make your own tongue & groove planks, on a limited scale, at least...
     
  16. savinggrace

    savinggrace COO of manure management

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    Sure it is! I'm doing it! It's tedious work, very slow going but nekkid old wood is so breathtaking it makes it all worth it.

    I have done-scraper. 'good for the environment' stripper (worthless garbage!)
    Serious fume chemical stripper-it has it's place.

    But the heat gun-is wonderful. Mine has variable heat settings and I love it.

    There is a great community www.oldhouseweb.com many helpful folks who are very devoted to the restoration of old houses, and there are more than one threads on how to strip!

    Best of luck! :)
     
  17. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

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    One major problem with a power washer is the amount of water that you will force into the wood and all the surrounding areas. This is hard on the old wood. It MUST be allowed to dry 100%, or you will have problems with your new paint adhering to the wood.

    If your paint is peeling in 3-5 inch areas, that is often called sheeting. It is most often caused by moisture in the wood, behind the paint. It can be caused by roof leaks, and high humidity inside the house, as in the bathroom. I would try to determine WHY this is sheeting on an old house before I did anything. Typically, the linseed oil in old paint will completely dry out, and crack, but is still adhered to the wood. This is called alligatoring. Then, the old paint will loose adhesion, and fall off, slowly.

    What you are describing sounds like sheeting, again a moisture related problem from a leak or humidity. In an old house, most often starts with alligatoring, and it rarely cracks in such large chunks of 3-5 inches, it usually is smaller pieces.
    clove
     
  18. jill.costello

    jill.costello Well-Known Member

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    Pictures to show the peeling....

    [​IMG]
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  19. bachelorb

    bachelorb Well-Known Member

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    I'm redoing an old house too. I've done two of them so far, but by no means do this for a living, so take this for what its worth (hows that for a disclaimer....)

    Looking at your boards it looks like they've painted over scraped areas before, so you just might look into scraping. If I were scraping, I'd probably makes some scaffolding out of some old 2x4's so I could lay on my back and do it. Just make some "H" shaped supports and lay some 2x8's (or whatever you have as scrap over them. Then, I'd probably just cover up good and start scraping.

    I'm sure this will not be an OSHA type reply, but I've worked around lead paint a lot and found that if your covered up it's really no problem.
     
  20. T.K.

    T.K. T.K.

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    My father and I stripped the clapboards of his entire house in one summer with two heat guns. Heat guns are definitely the way to go, just don't stay in one spot too long.