Historic Echo Park
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Becky Koppenhaver
We would like to strip the wood trim inside our 1915 bungalow. I found a "peel away stripper" in the Antique Hardware catalog. Does anyone know if it works? Does it have a strong odor? We have two small children--I want the least toxic alternative.
Kevin Kuzma

Hello. Here's a thread on American Bungalow's very useful discussion group that explores a number of different wood stripping methods.

     As I'm sure you know, avoid sanding like the plague. It will get lead dust everywhere (and remove your wood's nice patina of age).
  --Good Luck, Kevin Kuzma
Rayna Saslove

Try the Silent Paint Remover at http://www.silentpaintremover.com. We just got it

and it's amazing. Removes layers and layers of paint at once without any

chemicals or worry about lead paints. As an additional advantage it dries

the wood.
-Robert Stacey

When we purchased our place in 1976 we began to restore old surfaces. The rear doors were caked with many many layers of paint, probably some with lead in it.

    We tried and tried to clean them up to no avail. Finally I bought a heat gun, which is good for vertical surfaces outside if the paint will cooperate. To get it to cooperate and hold together at removal I found that coating with Kilz and letting it dry made a kind of glue or frame for the paint underneath and after using Kilz to cover over the old paint my heat gun could easily loosen an area that I could simply peel away with a  good scraper.
    It took many hours but now my back doors are pristine and ready for a good paint  or stain job which will take them back to original.

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