How to remove paint from a wall

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How to remove paint from a wall
How to remove paint from a wall

Cleaning walls from paint, choosing a method, preparing for work, technologies of mechanical, thermal and chemical methods for removing paint and varnish coatings. Removing paint from a wall is a rather complicated procedure, not only for beginners, but even for experienced builders. The reason for this is its adhesion to the base, which in this case depends on the type of paint and varnish material and the surface on which it was applied. If further finishing is planned, preliminary cleaning is mandatory. Otherwise, any roll or tile covering will not adhere to the painted base. In today's post, we will look at how to remove old paint from walls in all sorts of ways, and mention some that are best not to use.

Features of removing old paint from walls

Grinder wheel for paint removal

The main types of paint are represented by acrylic, oil and water-based compositions. Each of them can be applied to concrete, plastered, wooden walls and surfaces lined with plasterboard sheets. In order to choose the correct method for removing the paint coating in a particular case, several important factors must be taken into account:

  • The material of the surface of the painted walls and the proposed actions for their finishing;
  • The type of paint applied, the number of layers and the adhesion strength of the old coating;
  • The presence of a tool for choosing a particular method of cleaning walls;
  • The budget that is available for the purchase of removers, protective equipment, additional equipment and more.

Almost all of the above points are easy to decide. It is much more difficult for an inexperienced person to learn about the type of paint that was applied many years ago. You can try to find out if you try the least laborious method of cleaning it on a small section of the wall.

Before you get rid of old paint on the walls, it is recommended to count on the most problematic cleaning option. Oil paint is the most difficult to remove from unplastered concrete base.

Preparatory work before cleaning walls from paint

Liquid glass

An important detail in solving the problem of cleaning walls is the availability of the necessary tools. Its set depends on the method of paint removal and may include various accessories. A typical kit consists of a spatula, a wide chisel or scraper, an ax, a grinder, a hammer drill or electric drill with attachments, a hair dryer and chemical solvents. The work of removing old paintwork is always accompanied by dust and a large amount of debris, consisting of destroyed layers of paint and small pieces of plaster, brick or concrete, often mixed with aqueous solutions of washes. Before removing old paint, furniture and objects in the room should be covered with a film so that after repairs you do not create additional cleaning problems for yourself. The same should be done with the flooring. In this case, the protective film must be fixed with tape on the baseboards around the perimeter of the room.

To protect against dust and debris from the respiratory system, eyes and skin, you should acquire special means. These include heavy clothing, gloves, a respirator, and dust goggles.

Unfortunately, there are no completely harmless, effortless and instantaneous ways to remove old wall coverings. There are not so many known methods, there are only three of them - mechanical, chemical and thermal cleaning options. Each has its own positive and negative properties. Let's consider them in detail.

Mechanical method of cleaning walls from paint

A mechanical method of cleaning the walls can solve the problem of how to remove water-based paint, oil or acrylic. Usually, all attempts to remove paintwork begin with it. The mechanical method - although not toxic, is very dusty and dirty. Its use involves working with a hand or power tool. It can be an ordinary ax, hammer and chisel, grinder, electric drill or hammer drill with various attachments and attachments.

Using hand tools to remove paint

Removing paint from walls with a spatula

Removing paint with an ax is considered an old grandfather's method. However, it is not particularly heavy, and the dust from its use is much less than from mechanized cleaning of walls with a power tool. To implement this method, you need to take the ax in your hands and make a lot of short notches on the wall with the blows of its blade, the more there are, the better. Such processing will give the painted wall the necessary roughness.

After that, the coating should be moistened with water, and when it is absorbed, take the ax again. This time you will need it to remove the rest of the old paint on the walls. In order for it to be better cleaned, it is necessary to select the optimal angle of the plane of the tool blade in relation to the surface.

This method is quite justified: it is cheap, besides brute force, it does not require any costs. It is often used if further wall decoration is planned to be performed with tiled cladding. The adhesion of the tile to a rough wall surface will be ideal in this case.

The available option for removing paint is a manual scraper. However, without preliminary preparation of the surface, it is almost impossible to remove long-term paint from it with such a tool.

Another thing is a hammer and a chisel. It is enough to attach the chisel blade to the painted wall, knock on the handle of the tool with a hammer, and the result will be sure. True, this process is quite long and tedious, moreover, it requires several chisels to change, since there is absolutely no sense in a blunt tool.

Application of electrical paint removal equipment

Cleaning a concrete wall from paint with a power tool

It greatly speeds up work and increases its productivity. Cleaning the walls from paint can be done with a grinder equipped with various attachments. You need to know how to use any of them.

There are special brushes consisting of cutting hard steel wires. When the sander gains 10,000 revolutions, such a brush begins to spark with particles of hot metal. If you buy a product of too large a diameter, you can break the grinder. A small one will be safe in work, and the tool will not break out of hands during work.

Another nozzle for cleaning paint is a grinding wheel with several skins on it. When used on a typewriter, it removes paint perfectly, but sometimes heats up to a fire. With such a nozzle, you can remove paint from both a concrete wall and a brick one. When buying a circle, you should pay attention to its abrasive part. Its grain size should not be less than 40. Otherwise, the circle will clean the wall slowly and wear off quickly.

There will be a lot of dust when working with the grinder. After one minute of procedures 20 min. have to wait for it to settle. To avoid its appearance in the air, you can use an industrial vacuum cleaner, which removes dust during operation into a built-in container with water. Such equipment is quite expensive, usually professional construction teams have it.

To clean the walls with a drill, special nozzles are also used. One of them consists of three chains, each chain has 13 links. The advantage of such a nozzle is that the plaster layer remains intact, and the paint flies off it in small pieces and does not turn into dust.Chains are also destroyed in the process. After three links remain on each side of such a nozzle, it can be discarded or replaced.

Another drill attachment is a brush. It is a small metal hemisphere equipped with steel wire bristles. Such a nozzle creates a lot of dust during operation, but its use is quite effective.

The next nozzle is a brick bit. With its help, you can remove both oil paint and any other. This is especially true for concrete surfaces. In this case, the crown is an excellent substitute for a building hair dryer, which is useless for such walls, because it is difficult to heat concrete to the temperature required to peel off the paint. When working, the nozzle gives little dust and a good cleaning result. True, the labor costs and time of processing the walls in this way are quite significant.

You can use a punch with a nozzle to remove paint from walls. It looks like a spatula and is able to successfully beat off old paint along with plaster or putty. 1 m can be cleaned in one hour2 walls.

The work of the punch is accompanied by a lot of noise, so it should be performed at the time of day established by the norms, in order to avoid the hostility of neighbors in the apartment or house in the future. After cleaning with a perforator, the wall has a very unpleasant appearance, but it can be plastered, and in the case of tiling, leave it as it is.

Chemicals for cleaning walls from paint

Removing paint with a paint remover and a spatula

This method involves the use of alkaline and organic rinsing agents. If the walls were painted more than two or three years ago, chemical solutions may not be able to clean them. Therefore, deciding how to quickly remove paint from the walls can only be experienced.

The essence of the method is as follows: it is necessary to prepare a solution for removing paint according to the instructions attached to the drug, apply it with a roller or brush on the painted surface, wait for the paint to swell, and then remove it together with a wash with a scraper, spatula or metal brush. If the softening of the coating did not occur immediately, the procedure for applying the remover must be repeated several times.

Chemical removal of paint has many disadvantages. First, it is insecure. Almost all reagents are toxic and have a persistent specific odor. Many of them can cause skin burns if they come into contact with the skin. Secondly, chemical cleaning wastes need special disposal, they cannot be dumped into the sewage system. And thirdly, this method is by no means cheap. If the decision to use a remover to remove paint from the walls is still made, you should take care of the safety of the work. To begin with, it is necessary to close access to the room for children, pregnant women and pets during the procedure. The room should be well ventilated, work with chemicals should be carried out using goggles, a respirator and rubber gloves.

There are “gentle” paint removers. An example is a mixture of lime with potassium carbonate. To prepare it, it is necessary to dissolve quicklime in water, taken in an amount of 1.2 kg, and 0.4 kg of soda ash or potassium carbonate. The mixture should be thick. It should be applied to the surface and left for 12 hours. With this composition, you can remove paint both from the wall and from the painted floor. After the lapse of time, the surface can be easily cleaned with a spatula. Another option is to use liquid glass. With this composition, you need to lubricate the painted wall and give it time to dry well. The applied film will begin to flake off along with the old paint coat. The procedure should be repeated several times.

Thermal method for removing paint from walls

Thermal method of cleaning walls from paint

This method involves softening a layer of old paint under the influence of high temperature, followed by its mechanical removal.

Thermal cleaning should not be used in areas with hidden electrical cables or decorative coverings that can suffer from strong heat, such as plastic panels. However, this method of paint removal is indispensable in places where shock or vibration loads on the wall are unacceptable. These can be window frames, glazed doors, etc. Removing paint and varnish by heating has its negative aspects. If overheated paint is not immediately removed from the wall, it will bake, and it will be very difficult to remove such a layer. Another disadvantage of heat treatment of a painted wall is the acrid smell of heated material, which is accompanied by the release of toxins. Therefore, the room in the process of work should be constantly ventilated and use a respirator.

Using the thermal method, you can remove the paint with a hair dryer or a hot iron through foil. In this case, a household hair dryer for drying hair is not applicable, you need to use its industrial model. After switching on, it gives a stream of highly heated air, which should be directed to the painted surface. When the paint starts to bubble, the swollen coating must be quickly removed with a spatula. It should be borne in mind that some paints and varnishes when heated are even better connected to the base. Therefore, it is better to test the process of removing material with a building hairdryer at first on a small section of the wall. If there is no such device at home, you can warm up the paint with an iron, using a sheet of foil as a gasket. The likelihood of paint fires when using the thermal method is quite high, fire safety standards should be adhered to. How to remove paint from walls - watch the video:

To summarize the above, such generalizations can be made. Mechanical paint removal methods using hand and power tools are the most versatile. They are safe but require a lot of physical effort and time. In addition, the use of mechanical methods generates a lot of dust and dirt. Thermal and chemical methods are faster, but they pose a certain danger to the health of the performer and those who are present near him.

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