Exterior paint preparation is the most important element in determining the durability of paint film. Assuming that the substrate is sound, it must be free of excessive built up paint layers. The Color Alchemist Company often encounters historic buildings with an excess of twenty, even thirty layers of paint. The final paint film is only as good as every one of those layers.
In such a situation, we must remove all paint layers in order to insure the reliability of the paint film. We use a citrus-based, biodegradable and nonflammable paint stripper that is free of caustic ingredients or methylene chloride. This will not mar normal wood patina nor raise grain and can be easily cleaned up with water.
In addition, we use hand and power tools to remove any paint remaining and sand all surfaces smooth using 100 grit sandpaper. Where any gouges or checks in the woodwork have occurred, we fill the holes with epoxy filler, and sand smooth, thus insuring a sound permanent repair. Only then is the woodwork ready for paint.