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Stripping very THIN layer of paint off woodwork...

17 years ago

I have an unusual question for old-house owners:

What methods work best with stripping very SMALL amounts of paint from interior woodwork/windows/trim?

I've found lots of methods/chemicals/heatlamps/steam recommended for thick layers, but nobody brags about their ability to remove just a layer or two. The house we're hoping to buy has only had two owners, and the woodwork is covered with either one or two coats of paint-- that's it.

It was all dark wood when they bought it, so I know that the wood beneath is good quality. The insides of the closet doors are unpainted and just take my breath away.

Ideally, I'd like to remove the paint while leaving the original finish on the woodwork, but I imagine that's not too likely.

I plan to test to see if it's lead paint before we get started stripping, by the way. (Current owners bought the house in 1960.)

The current paint is lemon yellow and beige-- not pretty on woodwork! It seems like a crime to add another layer of paint, especially downstairs in the common areas. I'm hoping somebody knows of a good solution! Thanks.

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