There are many ways in which paint can be stripped from wood but there are always pros and cons. Depending on the time available for getting the task done can influence which option you choose. The fastest removal process is using a heat gun. The tool literally aims heat at the paint to effectively melt it to remove it. Though this method is fast and effective it can create scorch marks on the wood. If you are painting over it the scorch isn't too bad, but if you are applying a varnish this is not the option for you.
Sanding is also an effective way to remove paint from wood. Using either an electric sander or doing it by hand sanding paint does work though it does make a mess and create a lot of dust. Using appropriate protective garments like face masks helps with the dust situation but like the heat gun some marks can be left behind on the wood. Sanding by hand is a great activity for the family to help but for the quality of finish sanding isn't the best option.
The other most popular form of paint stripping is using liquid solutions. Both solvent based and water based varieties are available though water based formulas are much safer to use. Solvent based paint strippers are highly toxic and flammable. For use at home this method is unsuitable for areas with children and pets running round. Thought the product is effective at removing the paint the chemicals are very dangerous and can actually darken the wood underneath.
Contrary to solvent based liquids the water based paint stripper is the best product to use. It is just as powerful as the chemical based solutions but it is much safer and does not leave marks on the wood. The non-corrosive formula works fast on the paint and softens it so it can be peeled or scraped off the surface. Taking care with any paint scrapers on the surface this method produces the best results when it comes to the quality left behind.
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