Removing new paint to reveal old paintwork

Advice and guidance on repair and restoration techniques.
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gameswat
Posts: 2049
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 5:17 am
Location: perth, australia

Removing new paint to reveal old paintwork

Post by gameswat »

Copied from 2 Roll-a-Penny boards. Any advice? - Site Admin.

Tammy every single time I try to strip paint layers it's an experiment. Even the same machines sometimes need different chemicals to clean up due to different life and conditions they've led. Great thing is original paint is usually so old it's cooked and set in place compared to the more modern later add-on layers. Simple tricks are to always start with the weakest solution and go stronger if they don't have any effect. So just water on a coarse cloth will sometimes remove old water based paints. Then water based cleaners, then I go to the particular art cleaner shown below that I discovered, which has been by far the greatest restoration aid I've ever used! Metholated spirits/ denatured alcohol is very useful and quite mild - though will quickly remove original shellac finishes very quickly so always test in a hidden position. Lacquer thinners has been very useful to remove most paints and will not harm old shellac.

I purchased this product from a major art supply chain in Australia, so you just need to find the same ingredients as supplied by some local company in your country. Probably 90% of the time this product has had no effect at all on original older under layers.

And shown is my late 1920s Iron Claw that has been party stripped using only this Art Clean chemical. The buildings are silk screened tin while the background poster is litho paper on cardboard and both have been over painted with enamel paint.
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art clean 1.jpg
art clean 2.jpg
iron claw cleaning.jpg
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gameswat
Posts: 2049
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 5:17 am
Location: perth, australia

Re: Removing new paint to reveal old paintwork

Post by gameswat »

Another method I didn't mention that has been very handy for me is using tape to strip top paint off. I noticed how well this worked accidentally years ago on cabinets that had no keys and were shut with packing tape. Sometimes weaker tapes work or you need something stronger like duct tape. Good thing here is the tape only attaches to the surface layer, so if you get lucky and the previous painters were lazy they won't have sanded anything first, meaning a weak grip on the newer layers.
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