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Q. What is the best way to strip alligatored paint from shingle siding?Scraping is not working for us because it loosens many of the old shingles.

A.There is no easy way to strip paint from shingle siding. A combination of a disk sander with 30- to 50-grit paper, applied with a light but deft touch, followed by spot scraping, seems to be the only practical way. If the paint is latex, a carbide sanding disk will be needed. If the shingles are readily coming loose from scraping, they may be too old and brittle, and probably should be replaced.

If you do choose to remove the old paint, test the paint to determine whether any of it contains lead (it probably does), and take appropriate precautions during removal and disposal. Guidelines for the safe removal of lead paint vary from state to state, so check with your building department before proceeding. At the very least, wear a dust mask, drape the scaffolding with plastic to contain the dust, and spread drop cloths over the ground so that the paint chips can be collected and disposed of, not left in the soil where children might play.