It can seem that sanding is a cleaner, quicker method of paint removal but there are pros and cons to both methods, and when they are all weighed against each other it can clearly be seen that stripping is actually the more efficient method. Let us take a look at both processes:
Issues with Sanding
Sanding is an invasive method of paint removal, and it can scratch and damage the wood, especially thin veneers. Quite apart from that, it is a very hands-on, lengthy matter, and it can get very tiring as you need to go over the surface many times in order to remove every trace of paint and varnish.
It can be very slightly easier with very old, flaking paint and varnish, but even then there tend to be tough little patches that need intensive work that can leave your surface looking uneven.
Even using power tools to sand can be a lengthy process, and you will find sanding dust everywhere in the room for days afterward.
The best thing about using a paint stripper is the fact that it relies on chemical action and time to work. You must leave the stripper on the paint or varnish for at least as long as the instruction allow.
Apply the stripper and leave it to do its work as you get on with other tasks – such as taking the doors off their hinges ready to be done next if door stripping is on the agenda, or making sure that you have enough of the new paint or varnish to go on as soon as the surface is ready for its new coating. Once you come back to see how it is getting on, you can simply wipe off the by-now soft and loosened paint.
Speaking of door stripping – or any other wooden item that might have very old paint on it – there is one last reason to choose stripping over sanding. If the paint is older than forty or fifty years, it may well contain lead.
This can become problematic if sanded, as tiny flecks of lead-infused paint could be breathed in, causing illness. With a stripper, the lead remains bound into the paint, and is harmlessly wiped up and disposed of.
If you are still not sure about how to proceed: save yourself the time and stress, and give us a call. We offer a great range of expert services and we can set you right in no time.