Steam Paint Removal (with video)
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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
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Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do most of my steam paint removal in my century-old barn, which was built to handle the moisture.

You don't want to let the steam accumulate in a house. We use ventilation to move it directly out doors when we work with steam indoors.

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Steve Quillian



Joined: 20 Dec 2006
Posts: 4
Location: Tampa Bay

PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried a "Shark" brand steamer a couple of different ways and had mixed results. Granted, I haven't read all I can on the subject, but I had a little trouble with my first try. I don't think this will be my only try because I am not easily discouraged with something that seems so obvious.

So here's what happened. I built a box out of plywood laminated with formica, 3' x 3', drilled a hole near the top large enough to take the steam attachment and another hole at the bottom to push the air out ( I did read a little before my first attempt). I made a removable door that fit really tight, stood back about three feet with my helper, sparks, and smiled. I was really excited.

So I put my sash in the box and started steaming away. I couldn't remember how long I was supposed to keep it in there so I took it out after about 15 minutes to scrape the glazing out. A little came out but most of it was still rock hard, so I shoved it back in for another 15 minutes or so.

I went through this back and forth process all morning and didn't get but two pieces of glass out. Disgruntled and saying to myself, "Huh," I thought maybe my box was flawed so I tried some of the steamer attachments that came with my little "shark" brand steamer.

By the way, this little steamer cost $100. I thought that would be a small price to pay if I failed in my little experiment.

No matter what I did, I couldn't get some of the glazing out, trying so much so that I cracked the glass probably more out of frustration than anything else. I removed some of the paint just fine. There was this little wire brush attachment that really worked great on some of the paint, but there was some that wouldn't budge.

Needing to strip the sash and other parts, I called it a day by packing up and going to get some chemical stripper.

Using the chemical, not even the chemical after all day long removed all the paint off of two or three trim boards, not to mention the sashes. So two days later I am still not finished with two windows (four sashes). I have chemical burns to show for it though.

I am a much better woodworker than I am a paint removal specialist and love working on these old windows. Historical work really greases my wheel if you know what I mean. So I don't give up easily. I'll make a better go at it after I read more and hopefully hear some words of wisdom from you guys.

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Steve Quillian
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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
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Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Steve, thanks for stopping by the Forum here at Historic Homeworks.

Quote:
"Shark" brand steamer


What model of Shark are you using, and how many watts of electricity does it use? We have found that it take a minimum of 1500 watts (more is better); and that it operates at atmospheric presser (not high pressure, and not over 212 degrees). We know for sure that the "Jiffy" brand steamer, model 4000, does work. It operates with 1500 watts at atmospheric pressure. One source for this steamer is:

http://www.oldewindowrestorer.com/steamstripper.html


Also realize that there is the occasional (more like rare) putty that does not respond to steam. So you might try your setup with a sash from another building if possible.

Quote:
after I read more and hopefully hear some words of wisdom


Consider reading the Steam Paint Removal report:

http://www.historichomeworks.com/hhw/reports/reports.htm#Steam

It explains in detail how and why this method works, so you can determine why your setup is not working and refine it to operate better.

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Steve Quillian



Joined: 20 Dec 2006
Posts: 4
Location: Tampa Bay

PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2006 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The shark is actually 1500 watts. Jade seemed to think I might have left it in longer.

More after the holidays.

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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Watch Andy use steam to strip off vinyl flooring:

http://developinggr.com/house/?p=26

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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 7:45 am    Post subject: Steamer Equipment Reply with quote

Steam Equipment

(9/17/17 steamer photos; update: 9/3/15 Earlex; 5/30/14 sources for Wagner 705)


The tried and true Jiffy 4000 steamer
Electric: 115 volts, 1500 watts
- 7 foot hose and plastic steam head
- Heavy duty all metal construction holds up to intense use in the shop or on the construction site
- Repair parts or factory repairs readily available from the maker
Cost: $250-300 new, $50-150 second hand
Supplier: new or used on eBay; or Dave Bowers, the window specialist in New Hampshire:
http://www.oldewindowrestorer.com/steamstripper.html


WAGNER 705 POWER STEAMER
Electric: 115 volts, 1500 Watts
Cost: about $50
- One gallon tank 75 minutes run-time
- 11 ft. steam hose
- 6 ft. power cord
- made of heavy-duty poly-ethylene plastic
- Weight: about 6 lbs. empty
Be sure to get the 1500 watt model, some 705s are 1300 watt and may not work as well. It does not have an on/off switch nor an on-indicator light--somewhat inconvenient.
I have been using this steamer for 5 years and it works well. I always use this one when I travel to work or give training sessions because it is compact and light weight. The insulated hose has less condensation, so it gurgles less and spits out less scalding water than the Jiffys, however it will spit a little right a first when it is warming up. You can buy extra plastic steam heads separately and adapt them by cutting, heating and bending to create custom steam heads.--JL
Manufacturer: http://www.wagnerspraytech.com/products/surface-prep/wallpaper-steamers/705-power-steamer/
Sources:
- Your local construction or DIY tools outlet
- Amazon.com: (lowest price?) http://www.amazon.com/Wagner-0282018-1-Gallon-Wallpaper-Steamer/dp/B0009XEL4O/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
- GleamPaint.com: (does not sell the steamer, but does offer Separate Parts & Accessories: http://www.gleempaint.com/705-steamer-1500-parts.html

Other Steamers

The following steamers appear to be suitable for Steam Paint Removal, although we have not tested them. If you get one, please let us know your experience.


Earlex SS77USSG Steam Generator
- 1500-Watt
- 1.3-Gallon capacity
- Over 2 hours of steam per fill
- 23 minutes steam up time
- 12-Feet super cool running hose
Source: Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Earlex-SS77USSG-Steam-Generator/dp/B005JRF43M/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8



HTW Steam Team Wallpaper Stripper
has built-in scald prevention safety feature and hose/head storage
(available in the UK)
More Info:
https://www.hiretech.biz/htw-features



Warner Tool Products 5687 15 Amp 1500 Watt Wallpaper Steamer
A heavy-duty wallpaper steamer designed for the rental industry or sales to professional contractors. Simple to operate yet effectively removes all types of wallcoverings. Features a 1.5 gallon capacity stainless steel tank and a thermostatically controlled 1500W heating element. Requires 15 to 20 minutes to produce steam and will produce steam for 1 to 1.5 hours from a full tank of water. Also features a safety release weight cap, hooks for storing pans and hose, a heavy-duty cord with GFCI and enlarged safety instructions in tri-lingual format. Steamer includes a 15' hose, 2 steam pans (8" x 12" and 2-1/2" x 14"), a 5 minute how-to video, a rental window banner, and an extra gauge glass. 1 year warranty.
available at DoItBest:
http://doitbest.com/Wall+Paper+Remover-Warner+Tool+Co-model-5687-doitbest-sku-787892.dib
more info at Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Warner-Products-5687-Wallpaper-Steamer/dp/B0002P19P8



Earlex "SteamMaster" Wallpaper Steamer
more info at EquipSupply:
http://www.equipsupply.com/products/1668-STEAM-MASTER-WALLPAPER-STEAMER


Let us know if these or other steamers are working for you.

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Last edited by johnleeke on Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:24 pm; edited 25 times in total
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JLee



Joined: 06 Nov 2006
Posts: 79

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has anyone tried the Wagner 905 steamer? I need to remove some old wallpaper but if it worked on paint & putty as well...
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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wagner 905 info:

http://www.wagnerspraytech.com/portal/on-demand_steamer_spray,,747.html

While this steamer does operate at 1500watts (the minimum for Steam Paint Removal), it keeps the steam under pressure (higher that atmospheric pressure) and appears to give you a blast of steam. We have tested one steamer that operates under pressure and found that it did not work. See the results earlier in this discussion:

http://historichomeworks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=829#829

I have not tested the Wagner 905, but I would put it in the category of consumer steamers not suitable for large scale Steam Paint Removal. If anyone tries the 905 please let us know your results.

The steamer best know to work with Steam Paint Removal is the Jiffy 4000, often available on eBay for less than $100 used, or about $310 new from Dave Bowers, the window specialist in New Hampshire:

http://www.oldewindowrestorer.com/steamstripper.html

Earlier in this discussion Martin describes his successful use of a steamer that I would have put in the consumer category as not suitable:

http://historichomeworks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1327#1327

Last year in Collingswood, NJ I talked with a homeowner who had successfully used a tiny no-brand 30watt steamer that holds just two cups of water, and she was getting some success, though it was slow going on patches of paint just 2 or 3 square inches at a time--good and perhaps best for detailed careful work where you don't want to deal with a lot of residual steam.

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Kit



Joined: 21 Jan 2007
Posts: 16
Location: Durham, ME

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a quick question about ventilation with interior use....

I have an 1810 cape and would like to use the steamer to remove paint from some lovely woodworking around the windows in the formal front room. Do you think that fans placed facing out would be sufficient for ventilation? These are pretty big windows and fit a full sized fan easily. I plan to do the steaming in the fall so hopefully the overall humidity would be lower than it is right now!

We'll do the actual sash paint removal either outside or in our garage so that isn't a problem with the steam.

Hopefully this is a better solution than some of the safe chemical peelers. I used it to successfully removed the paint from our family room but now we have some leakage that I think will cause the paint to fail in the future (which makes me very unhappy).

Thanks!
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Sean



Joined: 27 Dec 2006
Posts: 170
Location: Salem, MA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A question about the Jiffy steamers: I see that the steam head has a plastic insert with three holes in it for the steam to escape. Should I remove the insert so that the steam head is completely open?

Sean
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This could work. Test the performance of the fan and steam first, watching for moisture buildup on or in the electric motor of the fan.

If there are finishes on the wall next to the wood work, such as wallpaper or decorative paint, that could be damaged by the steam, protection with 6-mil plastic sheeting might be helpful.

Resolve any existing water leaks around the windows before, or as, you do this project.

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jade



Joined: 11 Feb 2005
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Location: Hawley MA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

personally, i would opt for steaming an interior area only as a last resort...though it is one of the (relatively) safer methods for removing lead paint, it introduces A LOT of steam/water into the home...if you choose to go that route, yes indeed fans will help...a dehumidifier or two will also be a good investment though the steamer introduces more moisture than the dehumidifier can remove in the same amount of time...

that being said, each option has its pros and cons...steaming is safer than dry scraping, chemicals, even safer ones, create a big mess...if safety is your MAIN concern aside from a nice finished job, i would say steam is your choice....HOW'S THAT FOR A CONFUSING RESPONSE???

the wand may be carefully removed by prying apart the two 'clamshell' sections...unless you adapt the hose, it is too HOT to hold, trust me on that one...you can become creative and purchase shopvac attachments that fit your application...the sky is the limit as long as you consider safety first!

IF YOU ARE PURCHASING A J-4000 PURCHASE THE BASIC MODEL--NO NEED FOR ANY FANCY ATTACHMENTS...

i think john covers his various adaptors somewhere...perhpas he'll chime in.....

good luck!
...jade
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Kit



Joined: 21 Jan 2007
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Location: Durham, ME

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks! Safety is my main concern as I am new at this whole refinishing thing. I would like to do a safe job first and then fine tune my actual abilities down the road. And given the layers and layers of paint in this house anything will be an improvement! I'm against the chemical route given my previous experience and basically scared of the heat route as I'm terrified of fires so I really think steam is my tool of choice right now. Am I missing an option?

John, thanks for the tip. There is no wallpaper or decorative paint, in fact the color needs another coat so I'm okay with experimenting in this room.
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The basic J-4000 model is good. Get it with the 7' hose and plastic steam head.

The Steam Paint Removal Report:

http://www.historichomeworks.com/hhw/reports/reports.htm#Steam

has detailed step-by-step instructions for adapting the Jiffy hose and steam head for paint removal.

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Haldis Fearn



Joined: 14 Sep 2008
Posts: 42
Location: San Leandro, CA

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has anyone tried using steam to remove paint from cement? Or if you have found any way to do it, please let me know. Thanks Haldis
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