After the smelly smoke of my first foray with the Silent Paint Remover nearly drove my family out of the house, I knew I needed to change my plans for stripping paint in the south bedroom upstairs. So I moved my operation down to the garage where effective workspace ventilation is as simple as opening the overhead door.
For my second round with the Speedheater I also refined my technique. Previously I had forgotten the part of the instructions that showed how to leave the heater on and pointing away from the work surface while scraping, so I kept turning the tool off after each little section I heated. This caused the Speedheater to blister the paint more slowly than I expected because the tool spent most of the working time trying to reach full operating temperature. This weekend I left the tool on and let the paint fully blister before scraping.
I worked on a door again this weekend. Like the door from a week ago, this one just had primer and a single coat of paint over unvarnished wood. The paint came up easily, but the primer seemed to shrug off the Silent Paint Remover. I don’t know the age of the primer or it’s composition, but the Speedheater manual recommended wiping old oil-based paint surfaces with a mixture of boiled linseed oil and mineral spirits. I’m going to try that and once it has dried, give it another round with the Speedheater to see if I have better luck getting down to the bare wood.
This second round with the Silent Paint Remover went much better than before, belligerent primer notwithstanding. It took me a couple hours of easy-going work to strip one face and half of the sides of the door. I have put to rest my nervous doubts about purchasing the Speedheater and I’m sure that with some more practice I’ll be working even more quickly and effectively. Now the biggest holdup to more paint removal is the uncomfortable chill of the sub-zero weather ventilating my workspace.