Procedures for Controlling the Paint Removal and Wood Preparation Process

As guests in our clients' home or business, our first priority is to protect their property and cause minimal disruption to their home or business operations. Paint stripping and wood preparation are inherently messy operations, but over the years we have developed a series of redundant procedures for isolating their impact from the living space. We can state with confidence that your property will be respected and that the following measures will be implemented:

Isolation of the work area. We establish a protected central location for all our materials. All furniture and other items are moved away from the areas being stripped. As the work progresses, we strip and clean one section at a time, and then move ahead. We are not "all over the place". Floor paper is laid on the floor and pathways are created to and from the worksite. All areas adjacent to the surfaces to be stripped (floors, walls, ceiling, etc.) are masked and protected using 4 and 6 mil poly sheeting, rosin paper, carpet protector, and 1/8' hardboard to protect flooring,and 1mil poly sheeting to protect walls. We secure these materials using "no lift" blue tape, metal tape, duct tape and masking tape. We contain the area we are working on by constructing poly sheeting walls to isolate active work areas. We use "Zip Wall" or 1x2 temporary wall framing and create entry points via zipped or "S"-flap openings. We ventilate the work area via a filtered exhaust system, creating a negative pressure in the work area to contain any fumes or dust generated.

Diligent and meticulous housekeeping. A thorough site clean-up takes place at the end of every day. Any waste we create is removed from the site, and disposed of legally. As it becomes necessary, new paper or masking replaces the old to maintain a relatively clean work area. We maintain site isolation to minimize dust infiltration and we sweep and HEPA vacuum to keep the work area and adjacent areas clean. We will generally perform all the stripping on a job before proceeding to other finishing phases. By remaining focused on one operation at a time, work proceeds in an orderly and controlled manner. Once the stripping is completed, a full clean-up is done to provide a new "palette" for the finishing work.

Safe and professional handling of materials. The paint removers that we use are most generally non-flammable, non-caustic and water rinseable. They are applied by properly protected workers rigorously trained in our materials handling protocols. Our workers wear Tyvek suits with boots and hoods, latex and rubber gloves, and half mask or full face respirators with Hepa and organic vapor filter cartridges. Chemical paint removers are transferred from their original containers into 1 quart poly cups and brushes are used to apply the chemical to the surface being stripped. We allow the chemical remover to soften the existing finish, and then remove it using push and pull scrapers, steel wool, and metal bristle toothbrushes. When the finish is removed from the wood surface, we then use chemical solvents, or water, and scrub the wood with the metal bristle toothbrushes to be sure all finish is removed from the pores, as well as the surface. We then follow with a rag wipedown of all surfaces, again using solvents or water to insure a clean surface. All waste is discarded according to regulations. We use Safety Kleen as our hazardous waste hauler.

Wood Preparation and Sanding. The preparation phase of the finishing process includes rough sanding, by hand or machine, usually using 80 to 100 grit paper. We may bleach, if necessary, and all repairs are effected at this time. These would include carpentry patches (dutchmen), filling holes using standard or epoxy putties, joint splining and the addition of new wood. New wood is matched for species, grain, and texture. Putty fills are faux finished to approximate surrounding surfaces. All wood is then fine sanded by hand or machine with 120 or 150 grit paper.

Finish samples and approvals. All coloring, staining and finish work will not proceed until we've consulted with the decision maker about what they want the wood to look like. This will be based, in part, on the type and condition of the wood, the natural colorations of the wood, the lighting and accessories to be placed in the room and other factors. Once we've decided on a direction, we will produce a sample on the existing wood for approval. Only when we get the okay, will we go ahead and complete the finishing work. To find out more about our wood preparation and wood refinishing procedures, link to our wood refinishing page. For a more technical treatment of the information on both these pages, visit our terms and conditions page.

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