Using a steam chamber to remove decades of paint and rock-hard glazing from old windows is a valuable tool in window restoration. The steam chamber eliminates the need for chemical strippers that often require many applications to remove all the layers of paint. There is no danger of charring the wood as is common with the use of heat guns. Toxic dust in the air while stripping is almost eliminated by the use of steam stripping. Steam softens the glazing compound and allows for the removal and reinstallation of the original wavy glass.
Steam Stripping in Action
|1. Before Steaming, 2009||1a. Layers of old paint|
|2. The TMC Windows, Inc. "green" steam machine.||3. Steaming the 100 year-old window makes removing the original glass a simple task.|
|4. Layers and layers of paint easily scrapoff after being steamed.||5. Ready for painting|
Infrared Paint Removal
For certain applications, on site work or materials too large for the steam chamber for example, infrared paint removal is the way to go. This method uses an electric tool that creates infrared heat to penetrate through the paint into the wood, so multiple layers can be scraped off with little damage to the wood. Unlike a heat gun or torch, the rays evenly heat the paint to no more than 600 degree, well below the temperature at which wood ignites or lead fumes are released. It also works well on putty and varnish. Like with the steam the existing wood and glass are not damaged during the process.