Paint is a long-lasting and effective coating that seals and protects your redwood siding from exposure to the elements. You may decide, though, that you prefer the natural look of redwood siding. Removing paint from redwood siding is a big job, and one that presents challenges. But by using the right products, following a few steps and investing some time and elbow grease, you can remove paint from your redwood siding and bring it back to its beautiful, natural appearance.
Things You'll Need
- Wood stripper
- Wood brightener
- Nylon bristle brush
- Pressure washer
- Masking tape
- Sheet plastic
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Mask off everything except the siding from which you intend to remove paint. Wood stripper is strong and can cause damage to your glass windows and metal fixtures. Use masking tape and sheet plastic to thoroughly mask off anything you don't want damaged by the wood stripper.
Wet the siding down. Wood stripper remains effective as long as it's kept wet. Wetting the siding down before you apply the stripper will help keep it active.
Apply the stripper. You can use a brush or a roller. Wood stripper is a viscous, gel-like material formulated to cling well to vertical surfaces. Apply a generous layer of wood stripper so it can stay wet and effective.
Monitor the progress. The time it takes the stripper to lift the coating can vary depending on how much paint is there and how well the paint is holding up. You can leave the stripper on as long as need be; mist it lightly if it starts to dry out. Wood stripper can be effective quickly on some coatings, within 45 minutes. On other jobs, the product may need to remain on the wood for the better part of a day to erode the coatings.
Be careful not to leave the stripper on longer than needed. Once the coating has been eroded, the stripper can damage the wood.
Once the stripper has loosened the coatings, use a pressure washer to remove the loose material. Be careful not to damage the wood. Don't set the pressure washer higher than 1,000 psi, and use a 15- or 25-degree tip that sprays in a fan pattern. If you use too much pressure you run the risk of raising the wood's grain and giving it a furred look.
If you don't have a pressure washer, use a nylon bristle brush to remove the loose material. A garden hose with a pressure nozzle can be used to rinse off the siding.
Brighten the wood. Sometimes the process of stripping a coating from redwood will bring tannins to the wood's surface and darken the siding's appearance. If this happens, use wood brightener to neutralize the tannins and return the luster to your wood. Wood brightener is generally sold in concentrated form. Follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding dilution. Apply the brightener to wet wood and let it sit for 45 minutes. Rinse it off with a garden hose or give it a light pressure washing.