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3-M makes an excellent stripper

Posted by Jennifer on January 13th, 2003 09:51 PM
In reply to Cleaning Old Tin Ceiling Tiles by Pcollins on January 13th, 2003 11:49 AM [Go to top of thread]

Found mine at ACE hardware (but the probably sell it anywhere), and have used it for years with great success. It does not have a noxious odor, so can be used indoors in the dead of winter. It does not burn your skin (although I wear gloves anyway). It's very thick, and clings extremely well to vertical surfaces (though you might find just about anything challenging if you're applying it overhead). It's very easy to work in around moldings and delicate carvings.

Once applied, you leave it for about 30 minutes, and then wash off with warm water with a spritz of dish soap in it. I use a fairly soft fingernail brush around intricate areas. I have never had to apply a neutralizer of any kind (and none is recommended on the instructions). It leaves wood surfaces in excellent condition and ready for sanding and staining (although the warm water wash can be more damaging than the stripper if you overdo it, because old wood can be very dry and porous and lots of water will make pulp out of it). I stripped some aluminum with it and had excellent results.

I have found that it will only go through about 1 coat of that old, hard, lead-based paint at a time, but was still much easier to use than some of the more caustic/toxic stuff, like ZipStrip. You can apply the stripper and then cover it with plastic (the drop cloth kind of plastic, not the Cling-wrap kind which will disolve), and leave the piece overnight. If the stripper dries too much, just apply a light topcoat and wait about 15 minutes and then remove with the water/soap wash.

It's great stuff. Have fun (and watch out for those nasty tin edges -- they can cut you like a surgeon!)

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