by Walter Jowers
Just about all old buildings have paint
problems-some peeling here, some
alligatoring there, some just plain
unsightly buildup. And sooner or
later, all old buildings have to be
stripped of paint-at least partially–
to allow a proper repainting.
Generally, you want to take the paint
off an old building in the following
• It's peeling badly.
• There are so many coats that the
paint is alligatoring and losing its
bond with the substrate.
• The paint is so thick it obscures
details such as column capitals or
intricate moulding profiles.
Before we talk about stripping
methods, here's an important safety
warning: Just about all pre-1950 paint
contains lead. You don't want to
breathe it or eat