Monday, August 25, 2008

Bought a Heat Gun...

did try to buy used, but every shop had the same answer:

"Heat Gun? We get those all the time. Don't have any right now, but check back!"

That didn't help my impulsive nature; I wanted one NOW. Plus, I've never used one, and wasn't sure that it would be suitable for my needs.

Enter the $20 Milwaukee Heat Gun:

Using the heat gun and the special triangular scraper, I was able to strip the latex paint from about half of this door. It works quite well, and was much easier than the orange chemical stripper I used on the other side.


Puzzling me, of course, is the paint UNDER the latex:

It is white and chalky, and thick. Is it paint? Could it be a primer? Milk paint? Pure lead?

The biggest question, of course, is whether we need to take it off to repaint or whether we can simply sand it smooth. It seems to be VERY intact, and very bonded to the door.


Jason said...

If it is lead paint, be really careful sanding it! Does the chemical stripper have any effect on it?

I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product. We have a painted front door that I'm itching to strip!

elizabeth said...

I love my heat gun. Although, I think it brings out my OCD a bit. Enjoying watching the progress!

Andrea said...

Heat guns work great! The secret though is to not get in a hurry. It is a little slow, but takes off the layers a little cleaner than stripper.

To test whether or not that is lead, you can go to Home Depot and get a test kit for under $5. It comes with two tests. It looks a cotton swab. You put the chemical on the the swab and then swab the paint. If it turns pink, it IS lead and you may not want to heat gun it anymore without a mask!

StuccoHouse said...

I have the same heat gun. Doesn't it work nicely.

As far as what was under the latex, I'd bet oil paint or oil primer. Milk paint was not commonly used that late and even then would not have likely been used on an exterior door. No doube it is lead paint, but nothing to freak over - just use a lower heat setting and follow with chemical. I probably wouldn't sand it off.

Your door looks so nice :-)

Jennifer said...

Jason~ I haven't tried chemical stripper on it yet... hopefully it will work!

Thanks... I've been picking with the dental tool for 2 hours... you are so right!

I've noticed that... I like it a lot better than the stripper we used on the other side!

Thanks for the heads up on the lead test kits... I didn't know they made them that easy! I've been using my respirator for the heat gun work just in case... it's left over from the asbestos days, and may be overkill, but it will certainly keep the lead out!

I am liking it! And the price was awesome, too. It's not coming off with the heat gun on ANY setting... but I haven't tried stripper on it yet. I'll move to that when I get all of the latex paint off!

Robj98168 said...

I love chemical stripper- Works so nice. Clean up is a problem though. I like heat guns- we use them at work.

Jenni said...

I think I hit lead paint with my stripping as well. Not much is taking it off.

Matt said...

Over 1100 degrees the lead in lead paint starts to vaporize, and your respirator won't help you at that point. Please be careful!