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Circa 1850 Demo: Removing Paint Off Cedar Boards

cedar board

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Paul from Trusted House Painter here doing a little  product demo for this what they call circa 50 it is a varnish and paint remover. The reason why we’re doing this little demo is because we’ve removed some siding and the siding was painted, and it was painted over a stain so if you look carefully, you can see that the original wood here is wood and then you see a little line of white that’s probably a primer that might be a solid stain of a previous coating and then you see green, so the green identifies paint. I know that because it’s shiny and it’s got these bubbles all over it and when you just by simply popping a bubble you can see that I’m lifting up the paint and it’s happening everywhere all through here. 

So because this rough cut cedar makes it very difficult to use a flat scraper and try and get edges without actually damaging the grains of the wood. So what we’ve done is we’ve taken a heat stripper to give it a try and now we’re going to use this paint and varnish remover. This is super toxic stuff, i don’t know if they’re going to be selling it much longer, they have a much better you know retail consumer level products that are safe and that you can use that are similar like this, but i’m just going to show you how this works and how it’s going to penetrate this and then i’m going to do a little sample of taking it off. 

So what i do first is i just pour a little bit on just a tad bit it’s kind of gooey. What I do is I take this paint brush and I just kind of work it in. You can see how it’s already taking it off, it’s actually taking off, it’s almost as if I’m unpainting it, so you work it on. Keep in mind you need gloves, you should be wearing eye goggles, they’re on my head but that’s all right. You just want to work it now in hotter temperatures, this activates more.

And another tip is once you do this and you strip it you should then neutralize the wood with a neutralizer water solution so that you can be able to stain it and paint it and that’s not soaking into the wood. After you paint it, most residential varnish removers and stain paint removers, they don’t need that neutralizer. Anyway, so I’ve kind of done that there, so you can see how easy this is just simply slightly scratching it going with the grains. Now if I had a wire brush, it might help.

So what’s happening here is that this green layer, you can see how easily it’s coming off. I’m putting no pressure on it it’s easily coming off and the coating below it which is the white or the cream color is also coming off but it’s not coming off as gooey and gummy as the green.  The green is an acrylic latex and it’s sticky and gummy, whereas i believe from what we’re seeing here the white is probably an oil paint i’m not 100 sure but you can see it’s even activating right now with the little bubbles on the white so it’s gone through the green.

So this is generally what most paint and stain removers look like when you’re doing it. Now I’m just doing this for demo purposes to see what it looks like but I would definitely use a wire brush in order to scrape that off and then to actually maintain the wood grains. So that’s what you do: you make sure you want to clean it up properly. This was just a test sample we’re going to go ahead and do a big big aspect of it so we’re going to put down drop sheets.

We’re going to keep all this contamination kept close then we’re going to dispose of it properly. So remember you can paint cedar but when you only paint cedar with the wrong primer this is what happens it bubbles and the heat of the sun heats it up and it bubbles and pulls away. Cedar loves solid stains if you can stick to solid stains, you should if you want to paint it use a long oil primer and then you can put your acrylic latex on it, but hope this was educational for you. 

If you’ve got more information, you can call us at 1-866-PAINT-18, that’s 1-866-72468-18, and if you have a painting project that you need done, you can post your project at, you can find local painters near you.

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