Can A Primer Save You From A Paint Stripping Nightmare?

Jeremy Holderness

House with partial paint strippingMaybe my least favorite thing to do of all painting-related activities is paint stripping. For those of you who've had the pleasure of removing old paint from a house, I don't need to tell you just how fun this can be.  

There are times when it is unavoidable because the old paint will no longer stick for one reason or another, but there are other times when the high cost and mess of stripping coatings from your home can actually be averted with the use of a specialty primer.


Peeling Paint

When the paint on your house is peeling the first course of action is usually to powerwash and/or hand scrape the loose edges before feather-sanding and applying your primer & finish coats.  But what do you do when the paint won't stop peeling?  

1354545It's not an uncommon problem to encounter paint that will begin peeling again shortly after you've thoroughly scraped the loose edges. And in the past this often meant having to strip some or all of the coatings down to bare wood. Well, an alternative to this drastic action is using a binding primer.

A popular choice is Zinsser's Peel Stop, which is a water-based primer that penetrates chalky surfaces and helps to glue-down the edges of cracking and peeling coatings to the substrate so they can be successfully painted over.  It can be used on both interior and exterior applications in lieu of paint stripping.


Rough/Uneven Surfaces

Another common problem on old homes, or homes that have multiple layers of old paint on them is the unsightly appearance of areas of previously scraped paint that have been painted-over, or old oil based coatings that have cracked. In the past, if you couldn't live with the look of a rough or uneven surface your only choice was to strip all of the coatings off down to a bare surface.  

814514354A new line of specialty high-building filler/sealers can fill and bridge rough surfaces.  A couple of the more popular choices for these products include XIM's Peelbond and Zinsser's Peel Stop Triple Thick.  These primers apply at up-to 30 mils thick per coat -- as opposed to a standard primer which will apply closer to 4 mils thick -- and reduce the need for excessive surface prep by helping to level-out rough and uneven surfaces, bridge hairline cracks, and level-out brush marks.  Although some surfaces will require multiple coats.

XIM makes a similar product called Peel Bond Trim Magic for use on windows and trim.  It builds an even heavier, self-leveling film that's particularly helpful because of the nature of these areas to show more severe signs of weathering and damage.  


It is important to note that these primers are not miracle products that will eliminate the need for standard surface preparation steps.  So, you will still need to clean, scrape, and sand as you normally would.  Where they do help is to prevent some projects from having to be stripped-down prior to painting.


Stripping Paint

But what if it is necessary to strip the coatings off of your home?  What are your options then?

Paint stripping is easier than it once was with the introduction in recent years of chemical stripping products like those available from Dumond Chemical's Peel Away line.  Peel Away has several different stripping products that address a variety of applications, some of which will remove up-to 30 coats of paint in a single application.  By applying a special laminated paper over top of the product that keeps the compound wet, it not only allows it to penetrate to remove deep-down layers of paint, but also makes clean-up and containment much less messy.

Some professional painting contractors are also able to make use of more environmentally-friendly abrasive blasting equipment to quickly, safely, and effectively remove coatings from your home without the use of chemical stripping products.




If you're located in the Greater Pittsburgh or Western Pennsylvania areas and would like some assistance with your paint stripping or abrasive blasting project -- or help with determining if it can be avoided -- please give us a call at 724-898-2446, visit our 'Contact Us' page, or click on the button below to have us contact you.


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Photos courtesy of the Paint Quality Institute






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