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Thread: Removing old paint - Orbital sander?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    568

    Default Removing old paint - Orbital sander?

    Just reclaimed an Elegant Punt I built 12 years ago that was sitting at the family place unappreciated. If it ain't a plastic kayak sigh. Trying to strip the old paint to pretty her up, started with a 5'' random orbital sander and it just doesn't do much. 60 grit pad. Just bought the sander assumed it would remove material rapidly but it is rather tame. Don't know if it is the sander or am I using the wrong tool for the job?
    Thanks for any thoughts.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
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    "Driftless" Wisconsin
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    651

    Default Re: Removing old paint - Orbital sander?

    What brand of sanding discs you using? They have holes or not? That sander’s got a vacuum attachment you can suck the paint dust away with? And what kinda paint’s on that boat?

    Some brands of sanding discs work better than others. Norton, 3M, Diablo - all with holes to fit a dust-collection-enabled sander - will work better than off-brand discs or just about any lacking holes.

    Don’t go for fast speeds either if your sander’s a variable-speed model. Many paints will melt first before you get much sanded off otherwise, and don’t bear down either for the same reason. Keep the sander moving over a defined area, leaving what you just sanded to cool before coming back for another pass.

    Lastly, change discs often. They wear out or clog faster than you think they might unless whatever paint you’re working to remove is really, really old & weathered.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Hyannis, MA, USA
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    50,649

    Default Re: Removing old paint - Orbital sander?

    Old paint is very hard and sandpaper, unless an aggressive grit on a disc, won't get far. And all that toxic dust.

    I go at a job like that with well sharpened scrapers. This is not fine wood work with a steel turned curl, a rolled edge. Run over the stone with the sharp edge trailing till sharp, no rolled edge. This does eat away at the scraper blade so have plenty and use sharp, not naked force. You need not take every layer at once.

    Some like chemical strippers. I don't generally find them cost-effective.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Seattle
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    8,169

    Default Re: Removing old paint - Orbital sander?

    heat gun and scrapers
    Elect a clown expect a circus

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
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    Hyannis, MA, USA
    Posts
    50,649

    Default Re: Removing old paint - Orbital sander?

    Heat guns are great once you've mastered keeping the gun moving while scraping. Having seen a couple of fires, I'm wary of inexperienced people with a heat gun. At least have water and an extinguisher at hand.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    41,298

    Default Re: Removing old paint - Orbital sander?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobcat View Post
    heat gun and scrapers
    This. Wear air filtration of some sort (as you would when sanding) & don't let it get too hot. You want it just as it begins to bubble - but not burn.

    However, if you have to sand, I will second the "brand matters" thoughts above. I have an RO sander & the difference between big box discs & real ones astounded me. Not just how much longer good ones last, but how they sand faster instantly. I have some Shopsmith 80 grit discs (from Ace) that sand substantially faster than Gator 60 grit (HD I think?) right from the get-go. After a couple of minutes the difference is even more apparent.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    PNW, an island west of Seattle
    Posts
    2,938

    Default Re: Removing old paint - Orbital sander?

    If the paint is that tough and well adhered, leave it. Paint over the top.

    Jeff

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    568

    Default Re: Removing old paint - Orbital sander?

    Thanks guys. Good stuff. Sanding discs are Diablos. Two layers of paint first layer is Rust-oleum oil based exterior stuff and over that is some generic porch paint probably water based. Second coat is peeling more but both stick darn well in other spots. I will switch to heat and scraping get the bad bits off and paint over the rest.
    Advice is much appreciated.

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