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Subject:  Re: Painting Cupboards Date:  5/31/2010  12:05 PM
Author:  pauleckler Number:  4610 of 4658

Caat, as to how to do your remodelling, I think you might get some good suggestions over on the Building and Maintaining a Home board--

On your cabinets, how old is the house? How old are the cabinets? Are they solid wood? Veneer over particle board? Formica? Plastic? Metal? Etc. All this matters.

You might look at what it takes to remove the old paint. Perhaps try an inconspicuous spot like the bottom side of a cabinet or shelf.

One of two ways will usually work. Paint stripper. Or heat the paint with a blow torch or better an electric heating gun until it softens, and lift it off with a paint scraper. (The heat method works best on solid wood, but may be OK on some of the others if you are careful.)

By trying a spot, you will be able to see what you have underneath, if it is salvagable, and how much damage you do trying to get to it. Under favorable circumstances the paint might come off easily. But it depends.

And do heed the warnings. The heat gun method can cause fires. So be careful and try for adequate ventillation to avoid breathing any more fumes than necessary. Chemical paint strippers are effective, but the fumes can be noxious. So good ventillation is a good idea. If this proves to be the way, removing the cabinets to a well ventilated space might be best if its practical.

On your aluminum windows, is the brown painted on or is it annodized? It should be on much better than the paint applied at room temperature. Scraping the white paint off with a razor blade can work, or a good strong paint thinner should work. Not minerals spirits or turpentine, but I would look for toluene, MEK (methyl ethyl ketone), ethyl acetate, acetone or methylene chloride on the label. I just found a solvent like this at Walmart. (Fingernail polish remover might work, but that may be costly.) Test a small spot to be sure the brown is not attacked.
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