Stripping paint from old window

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by amelia, Nov 27, 2004.

  1. amelia

    amelia Well-Known Member

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    Oh, no--she's been dumpster diving again. . .

    I just snagged a beautiful stained glass windows from a demo site which I would like to restore for a Christmas gift. The glass is nice and tight, but the wood frame, as well as the lead bead around the perimeter, is covered thickly with several coats of paint. I'm wondering what the best way of stripping the paint would be. It's probably lead-based so I'd like to avoid sanding right off the bat. I'm thinking either a paint scraper followed by sanding, or a chemical stripper. Would scraping a lead bead be a safe thing to do? Would a chemical stripper harm the lead or the glass?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
     
  2. barbarake

    barbarake Well-Known Member

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    Let me double-check and get back to you tomorrow. My ex-husband makes the chemicals used to strip furniture, etc. and I know he supplies the chemicals to one company that restores windows from historic buildings up and down the East Coast.

    I'm sure you can use chemical strippers - the question is 'which one' (there are a number of different kinds).

    The big problem with a scraper is the real possibility that your hand could slip and you could break the glass.
     

  3. amelia

    amelia Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Barbarake! Since posting, I tried using a scraper--big failure. It was OK for removing the peeling parts, but didn't work at all on the parts where the paint is firmly adhered. (And sounded like fingernails on a chalkboard!) Also tried donning a respirator and using 60-grit sandpaper. Didn't even come close to reaching bare wood. So I guess I'm looking at a chemical stripper. Thanks so much for checking with hubby on this! ~Amelia
     
  4. ratherbefishin

    ratherbefishin Well-Known Member

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    if you go to the napier website, you;ll get a good idea of non toxic paint strippers that are on the market.This Old House always uses their products- no burning skin on contact,bad fumes etc.They have one specifically designed for removing hazardous [lead] paint www.napierenvironmental.com
     
  5. insanity

    insanity Well-Known Member

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    Scraping will also stire up enough dust to be harmful.Be careful!
    I met a painter once that swore he could sand blast wood smooth and clean (like new).And i think he even said windows.Id think it would pit the glass.But then agin i no, they now use lots of stuff other than sand to do the job now days..Might check into that.
     
  6. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Use a heat gun (or hair blowdryer) on the old paint to soften it. Once it's warm, the paint will scrape off much, musch easier.