Removing peeling and blistered paint from exterior house siding.

Questions & AnswersCategory: Paint Preparation QuestionsRemoving peeling and blistered paint from exterior house siding.
Jake Staff asked 2 years ago

With respect to removing peeling and blistered paint from exterior house siding, I have a comment and a question.

It is often really hard to get off the old paint with a scraper alone. Lots of paint patches are left that are not firmly attached, yet the scraper doesn’t remove them completely. Even after vigorous scraping, you can still go back and pick off small edges of the old paint so the adhesion of the new paint is not going to be great. But getting off that residual paint will take forever with hand scraping.

You recommend power sanding for such situations and I agree but the resulting dust and particles produced are dangerous to the worker (me) and the environment (ground, plants, air quality in area including neighbors, etc). Even tarps and covers can’t be totally effective. It seems to me a power sander with a really good, built-in dust collector would be the best solution.

Here’s my question: Does such a tool exist? What is your experience with such tools?

5 Answers
crowderpainting Staff answered 6 years ago

You are correct that scraping alone really isn't enough to get all of the loose paint off and produce a smooth desirable surface for painting. So far I haven't found a solution better than sanding. The biggest problem (here in the US) is we can no longer sand old homes due to the EPA's lead rules. To counter this problem we are using Peel Stop from Zinsser to glue down the remaining paint edges and then top priming with XIM Peel Bond to help 'hide' the remaining paint. This helps but it's not perfect.

I have used a vacuum attachment for a Makita disc sander that I bought a few years ago and it did a good job. It didn't get all of the dust but it was able to vacuum most of it. I have been unable to find the original company that made the attachment. As an alternative to sanding I will be trying a infrared paint stripper as soon as I can afford to buy one. These are expensive but seem to be the only method currently available.

There is a major lack of innovation right now due to the lead rules and fear of getting sued or worse. Hopefully this will change soon.

I guess I can't really answer your question as these tools did exist but might not anymore. In my experience with one tool, they do work; not perfect but much better than sanding without.

Anonymous Staff answered 6 years ago

Thank you Karl for the thoughtful reply.

I have a paint contractor working on my house and he suggested sticking with hand scraping to minimize the resulting dust. While he was reasonably careful with the scraping and drop sheets, there were still a lot of paint chips left strewn around. Subsequent vacuuming picked up some of the residue but it is hard to get it all.

I wonder what environmental/health impact this might cause.

Here is Canada, we don't seem to have the same level of EPA action on lead paint as you do in the USA. I don't see or hear about any of the rules as you describe.

As you indicate, there seems to be a need to develop better practices/tools to deal with this problem.

For me, I will do some looking for that sander/vacuum combination tool that you described. I'd also like to see results with the Zinsser and XIM products if available here. Paint that lasts longer than the typical 5-7 years cycle would be another good option.

Your advice is much appreciated.

crowderpainting Staff answered 6 years ago

Here in the US we have to cover the ground with 6mil plastic, out 15-20 feet, and encapsulate the area we are working on. This prevents the paint chip problem but slows us down a bit.

For a good reference to the risks you should check out the <a href="http://www.epa.gov/lead/&quot; target="_blank"> EPA lead website</a>.

The primers mentioned are worth finding and using. They can definitely extend the time between painting. Go to your local paint store and ask about these products and also ask if there is any good substitutes available in your area, just in case these products are not available to you.

Anonymous Staff answered 5 years ago

To answer your question of any tools with sanding, here in upstate NY THE LEAD PROGRAM I TOOK TO GET CERTIFIED THEY HAVE A VACUUM CALLED HEPA VACUUM. THIS IS THE ONLY THING I KNOW OF TO HELP WITH SANDING PROJECTS. CHECK OUT http://WWW.OCGOV.NET MAYBE INFO FOR YOU TO USE.HOPE THIS HELPED OUT.

Steve's Painting Services Staff answered 5 years ago

Upon reading this I decided to have a look around. Here are a few links that have a vacuum system with Hepa filtration designed for lead and asbestos based paints.
<a href="http://www.spycor.com/S50_HEPA_vacuum_with_power_tool_outlet_120V_p/200800094a.htm&quot; rel="nofollow" target="_blank">spycor.com/S50_HEPA_vacuum_with_power_tool_outlet_120V_p/200800094a.htm</a>

<a href="http://www.spycor.com/S25_HEPA_vacuum_with_power_tool_outlet_120V_p/200800018a.htm&quot; rel="nofollow" target="_blank">spycor.com/S25_HEPA_vacuum_with_power_tool_outlet_120V_p/200800018a.htm</a>

I also found this link which has a complete sanding and vacuuming system. From what I have read it looks to be Grade -A-
<a href="http://www.paintshaver.com/&quot; rel="nofollow" target="_blank">paintshaver.com</a> and
<a href="http://festools-online.com/index.php/festool-tools-1/festool-sanders-and-polishers-1/festool-sanders-rotex-rotary-1/571810-festool-ro-150-feq-dual-mode-6-inch-rotex-sander-with-multi-jetstream-t-loc.html&quot; rel="nofollow" target="_blank">festools-online.com/index.php/festool-tools-1/festool-sanders-and-polishers-1/festool-sanders-rotex-rotary-1/571810-festool-ro-150-feq-dual-mode-6-inch-rotex-sander-with-multi-jetstream-t-loc.html</a>

I am not sure whether any of these would meet the EPA standards but it is definitely worth looking into.

Hope this helps a bit.
Steve M.

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