With all the scraping Lyle has done on the 2nd floor dormers over the past 5 weeks, which exceeded my expectations, I decided I wanted the paint from the front porch removed also. When Lyle first walked the property I said that didn’t need to be scraped as I assumed the bead board would be difficult and time consuming to clear properly. After all that is why I rebuilt the rear portico. Lyle said Peel A-Way would be the product to use, but it was expensive (approximately $40/ 1.25 gallon from the Oakley Paint Store; $55 at Sherwin Williams). I told him I’d buy it if he applied it, so I did and he did. I watched the product video several times before he applied it and thought if it works that well maybe I can leave the wood natural.

The product stayed on approximately 24 hours before Lyle removed it.

Honestly I wasn’t impressed at that stage. My thoughts of leaving the natural wood were dashed, but at least I felt the new paint would look cleaner. At that point I was contemplating painting it white or Lullaby Blue in keeping with southern porches. I had bought 3 pails and Lyle had used 1.5 of them, so he suggested applying another coat which he did. It was early evening, around 5pm when he applied. By the next morning when I let out my dogs I discovered that the paper had already fallen. I sent Lyle a text and he said he couldn’t come for another hour. I remember him warning it was important to not let the product dry out, so I removed the final piece that had not fallen and all the product that was still adhered to the boards.

I could still see paint and product in the grooves, so I used the edge of my carbide scrapper to remove it. Where it was still moist it came off easy. Lyle did arrive and I asked to use his paint eater tool I saw him use on the windows. He said he’d do it, I let him, and when he finished I knew I wanted to keep the wood natural. Peel A-Way removed so much that it was worth the extra sweat equity I’d need to perform to get it clean enough to leave unpainted. At that point I told Lyle I would take over this portion of the project. I will take the time and effort to remove all the traces of paint, but so worth it. I need for him to focus on the house he started on June 9.

I didn’t want to buy anymore Peel A-Way as I thought it would be overkill for what paint was left, so I went up to the Clifton Ace Hardware store to see what product they’d recommend. I showed the pics above and the owner was so impressed that she went to Dumond’s website and is going to look into carrying it at her store. Another worker recommended that I use Citristrip. I knew that wasn’t a good option as I used that product when I stripped the doors (sure wish I knew about Peel A-Way then). It would work, but be messy. What I really liked about the Peel A-Way was the ease of clean up. The sheets went in the trash and any paint that did fall to the ground swept up easily. He then recommended Goof Off, which I bought. When I got home I decided to contact Dumond Chemicals, manufacturer of Peel A-Way, made in the USA, directly to see if they had a spray on product that would work. Their website list the names, phone, and emails to people in their corporate office so I emailed my pictures to Customer Support; Dave Martin, Dumond Senior Chemist; Matt Bartolotta, Product Technical Manager; and cc’d the President, Richard Grear.

Customer Suport replied stating to apply more Peel A-Way, but Matt responded back stating that Alan Bensen, National Account Manager, wanted to speak with me directly and he asked for my number. In my initial email I did mention my blog, so Alan actually had reached out to me through that and asked that I call him between 3 and 5 Friday, which I did. What a great conversation. He’s another old house restorer himself and had done a similar project on his own home. He confirmed what Customer Support had responded, but stressed that I only needed to apply it to the areas in question. From the pictures he didn’t think I’d need that much, so he offered to send me their free samples. He shared I’d only need to let it set a couple of hours and I didn’t even need to use the paper sheets that came with the product. I let him know I had bought extra, so had plenty I could use. He then said to use a nylon brush and water to remove the product. He also recommended that I get the Scotch Brite pads for scrubbing. This is what I call great customer service. It ranks right up there with the owner of Thermasol, Mitch Altman, calling personally to assist with my shower.

I’m excited to share the final results, so stay tuned.

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