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Exterior House Painting: Removing Loose Paint by Scraping and Sanding

I wish there were a way around this step but in the world of good paint preparation, removing loose paint and preparing the surface will always involve hand scraping and sanding. As mentioned earlier, even with power washing you will still have to scrape and sand to properly prepare the surface since not all loose paint is removed with a power washer.
  • Only work on removing paint and sanding when the paint is dry. There are several tools you can use including a paint scraper, putty knife, heat gun paint remover, sandpaper and sanding block.
  • To start scraping you find the weak link. Using a 6"-8" wide putty knife, find the loosest part of the peeling paint and get under it and lift and scrape.
  • Use the corner of the putty knife to dig and chip at corners of the bad paint to remove as much poorly adhered paint as possible. You can try wire brushes too, but I've found they work only on the looser paint and you need the hard edge of a scraper or putty knife to really remove loose paint.
  • A detail scraper is another scraping tool you may use to scrape away at loose paint in small detailed areas like around molding.
  • On wood siding make sure you don't gouge the wood with scraping.
  • A heat gun paint remover can be used to loosen thicker paint. Just make sure to keep the heat gun moving to avoid excessive heat build up. As the paint softens, scrape it loose with a putty knife.

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