On second thought, maybe not. One of the problems with renovating a house old enough to be our grandparent, not to mention one that in its previous life was a rental, is what seems like an overall 3 inch layer of paint over everything. This isn’t so bad on the walls, hey, it sometimes smooths out the slight imperfections in the plaster. When it becomes unbearable is the trim. Although I’m not a historical perfectionist and need/want the natural wood trim, I would like my trim not to have bubbles/peels/scratches or an overall paint layer that is so thick it makes the trim details indistinguishable.
So what does any sane home renovator do, you ask? Definitely not strip it. But, no one ever said Mike and I were sane! After some help from friends, we tried every option out there. Highly caustic, smelly chemical stripper? Check. Low-odor organic stripper? Check. Heat gun? Check. The best option? A $10 sharp blade scrapper from Ace Hardware. At least for the trim that had paint (no primer) over high gloss, which was pretty much everywhere. I think this was the one time the previous homeowners less than inadequate painting worked in our favor. After it’s all said and done, I’m glad we did it. The new paint will look great on our freshly stripped trim.