Not only is stripping paint from banister rails and newel posts tedious, messy and a general pain, there are also some dangers that need to be considered.Not only is stripping paint from banister rails and newel posts tedious, messy and a general pain, there are also some dangers that need to be considered.
There are of course the usual precautions that should be taken when undertaking any work on your home, like keeping any children and pets away from the working area, following the manufacturers’ instructions for any tools or removal materials being used, using the ladder safely and protecting your carpet from all of the mess.
When you get down to the job, besides using paint stripper, the only other way of removing the paint is to use a hot air gun to soften the paint prior to removing it with a shave hook or sanding down the spindles individually.
However, the best option is probably to use paint stripper, especially if there is the chance of there being lead in the paint.
There are a number of different paint strippers available that essentially do the same job, or are supposed to at least. But, we would recommend a slow acting option that penetrates deeply into the paint like ‘Nitromors Superstrip’.
The product should be brushed on and left for 24 hours to react with the paint, then after the 24 hour wait, you should test a small area to see if the paint is suitably soft for easy removal.
If you have children or pets and are worried about the paint stripper being exposed, the safest option to go for is a product called ‘Peel Away’, or something similar.
This type of product comes with a wrapping paper which is to be wrapped around the surfaces, once the stripper has been applied, to keep them safely covered from a curious dog or child.
If you do not buy a product that comes with the wrapping paper it is still imperative that you secure the treated surfaces against accidental contact, perhaps you could consider wrapping it in cloth or newspaper.
If you think that there may be lead in the paint
• You will need to use a chemical paint stripper to remove it.
• All of the debris from the stripping must be sealed in a bag and put in the dustbin.
• All of the dust, and any excess debris, must be sucked into an industrial vacuum cleaner with a heavy duty filter.
• You could avoid the problem all together by just painting over it.
• Ensure that you wash your hands after any contact with the material.
• You might want to seek specialist help, if the house is quite new (15 years or so old) it may be possible to remove each baluster and take them to a specialist stripper. However, you will not be able to remove the newel post so you will have to do this yourself anyway.