Hi. I can't help you with your first question. But the best paint removal product I have found is a product called Jasco (or Jasko) that you can buy at most hardware stores. It's pretty toxic and you need to wear gloves, mask, eyewear, etc and make sure the room is always well ventilated. But I found it much easier and faster than sanding, using a heat gun, etc.
I would like to find something less toxic but as effective. Any suggestions out there?