Washington, DC

“Dear PoP,

For some reason, older folks in Petworth loved paint. My house has like 14 layers of paint on everything. I’ve set about to find a way to strip wood trim and doors myself and am testing a product called Smart Strip, which uses benzyl alcohol (used by hospitals and labs to sterilize). Pretty happy with the results so far. Cuts through multiple layers quite well after 48 to 36 hours, and it all stays wet for days reducing the lead dust problem. I know there is a paint dipper downtown that probably uses lye, and charges $100 per door. Citristrip, lye-based peel away, methylene chloride all seem to have their problems. Wonder what your readers like to use, and if they use Smart Strip, what solvent works well to clean up the mess.”


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