How To Remove Old Paint from Your Walls
Painting a room can be exciting for homeowners. It’s one of the easiest ways to transform a room into a completely new space. However, in some cases, you have to contend with the old paint job first. Knowing when and how to remove old paint from your walls is the first hurdle you must overcome to get the new room you crave.
When To Remove Paint
Removing old paint isn’t always necessary when you’re repainting a room. For instance, if the old paint job was relatively recent and is in good condition, removing it usually isn’t necessary. Old paint becomes a problem when it’s chipped, peeling, or cracked in places or if it’s a texture you don’t want. If you try to paint over this paint, your new paint job could be uneven and unsightly.
Paint Removal Methods
Before you remove old paint from your walls, be sure to put a cloth on the floor to catch any falling paint and to move furniture out of the way to protect it. The room should also be well-ventilated to protect against dust and chemical fumes.
Sanding and Scraping
If you’re removing the paint by hand, you’ll need to wash the wall with soap and water first. Then, you can apply a sanding block, electric sander, or wire brush to the wall to weaken the paint. Once you’ve weakened the paint, apply a scraper to remove the flaked or bubbling sections. Once these sections are gone, apply the sander again to remove the remaining paint and to ensure the wall is smooth and ready to be painted.
Chemical Paint Strippers
Extra precaution is needed when you’re using chemical paint strippers. Be sure to wear heavy, chemical-resistant rubber gloves; long sleeves; and a respirator or face covering. Most paint strippers are applied directly to the wall with a paintbrush and allowed to sit for anywhere from five to 20 minutes, depending on the brand. The paint will begin to bubble and chip, making it easy for you to scrape it from the wall. Some paint stripper brands work best with multiple coats; you’ll scrape off the paint between each coat.
Heat works similarly to paint strippers, only instead of applying a chemical, you utilize a heating gun to make the old paint bubble and flake. You can then strip off the paint. Even though this method doesn’t use chemicals, the old, heated paint can still cause fumes, so you should still use a facial covering.
Caution on Lead Paint
If your house was painted in the seventies or earlier, there’s a possibility that lead-based paint was used in the room. Chipped lead paint creates toxic lead dust, so before removing paint in an older house, test it for lead content. Never use a sander or heat to remove lead paint. Chemical strippers are recommended to get rid of this paint, but you should consult with a professional and use extra precautions. Then, you can replace the old paint with our odorless* interior wall paint.
Odorless - no traditional paint or polyurethane odor, which can cause headaches, nausea, and respiratory issues.