A.Mike Shannahan responds: I’m not sure it’s the "best" way, but here’s what works for me. I use a Porter-Cable disc sander (#7402) that comes with a paint remover attachment. The pad takes 6-inch tungsten carbide discs. I typically use 36 grit, which is pretty coarse and requires a light touch. The problem with a finer grit is that it gums up too quickly.

Often, I’m cutting through six or eight layers of paint. Even with 36 grit, it doesn’t take too long for the disc to gum up with latex paint. At around $6 per disc, I can’t afford to throw them away, so I remove the discs and soak them in a can of floor stripper — the stuff you use to take up old mastic from vinyl floors. I let them sit over...

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