A Fully Stripped Radiator

by Josh on December 30, 2009 · 6 comments

in Bedroom,Projects

A few posts back, I talked about my disappointment with my progress onstripping the paint from the radiator for my bedroom project. With the radiator already partially stripped from a prior session of less-than-satisfying paint removal, I found the chemical strippers I tried either a) didn’t work well,  or b) softened paint but produced strong solvent odors that I couldn’t adequately ventilate with the house buttoned up for winter.

Reader Tyler, commenting on that earlier post, recommended Soy Gel stripper, so I thought it would be worth trying another round of green/low-odor paint removers on my radiator. I didn’t find Soy Gel at my local True Value Hardware, but I did find some low-odor strippers I hadn’t yet tried: Hi-Speed Ready-Strip, and Jasco Green Strip.  I bought a container of each.

Radiator being stripped

In the past two days I have spent several hours working with these strippers to finish cleaning the radiator.  Here’s what I found:

It May Be Ready But It Didn’t Strip

First, a caveat: because I have been pecking at this radiator for a while with a variety of paint removers, the paint that remains has proven (for reasons that escape my understanding) to be tougher and more resistant to removal.  That said, the Ready-Strip also didn’t seem to make much of a dent in the  belligerent remaining paint. Ready Strip’s opaque white color also made it challenging to spot visual changes in the paint surface– at least with white paint. It has great vertical cling and lived up to its claim of low odor, so I would be curious to try Ready-Strip on wood trim where it might have a better showing. But this time, Ready-Strip just wasn’t radiator-ready.

Jasco Green Strip Gets It Done (Eventually)

Like Ready-Strip, Jasco Green Strip is a low-odor paint remover made without methyl-chloride solvent. Unlike the Ready-Strip, it softened the remaining radiator paint just enough for me to finish stripping the radiator, though it took two coats to do it. Unsurprisingly, the results were best at the end of the 45-90 minute working time, and Jasco Green Strip’s clear gel composition made it easy to see when the paint had puckered. But the most persistent paint patches still required a lot of forceful scraping with a putty knife to fully clean.

I’d say that in this challenging stripping project, the Jasco Green Strip’s performance was excellent among the other green paint removers I have tried, though not up to the standard of conventional, noxious chemical strippers. Here’s how the radiator turned out:

Fully Stripped Radiator

New Paint Is Next

Now that the paint lumps, drips and chips have been removed, the last thing I want is for the new paint job to be messy. Fortunately, my brother, an air brush painter, has agreed to help me put a smooth, durable new finish on the radiator. After a final wash-down with a TSP solution, I’ll be able to take the radiator out of the kiddie pool and get set up for painting.

Disclosure: I was one of five bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program and my DIY project as well as my posts about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

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