It's axiomatic that you can't get a good finish with paint or stain unless the surface has been prepared properly.
Surface preparation is usually no problem with new wood, but it has long been a hassle with old paint or stain.
Anyone who has worked with paint and stain removers remembers what smelly, potentially hazardous substances they are.
Restec Industries Inc., a Eugene, Ore.-based company founded by former painting contractor Marv Langenberg, has introduced two new products that claim to make exterior paint and stain removal simpler and less hazardous.
Restore-x Exterior Paint Remover uses a proprietary sodium hydroxide formula that Langenberg claims does a thorough, effective job of removing old finishes in areas where sanding and scraping were once the only alternatives. It works on wood, stucco, masonry and metal, he says.
Its companion product, Restore-x Weathered Wood Renewer, uses a similar chemical process to safely remove stains, rust spots, mildew, deteriored wood particles and pollutants, as well as semi-transparant stains, log oils and wood preservatives, from exterior decks, siding and similar surfaces.
Restec Industries president Robert Bowman says that both products also smooth off peeling edges and perform the "roughing up" function of a good sanding--something most do-it-yourselfers often neglect.
I used the samples that were sent to me and they work as claimed. The liquid is brushed, mopped or rolled on and is allowed to work for the specified time. It is then washed away with a garden hose. A conditioner is applied to the surface to prepare it for refinishing.
Although the products eliminate tedious sanding and the use of dangerous blow torches to remove old finishes, it should be noted that they contain corrosives. Sodium hydroxide is an active ingredient in drain cleaners. Read the instructions carefully before using and take precautions to protect your skin and eyes!
The suggested list price for both Restore-x products is $18.95 a gallon. Commercial users and those with large jobs will find them available in five-gallon containers at a suggested list price of $92.75.
Southland retail outlets include Ace Hardware stores, Coast to Coast, Boise Cascade Home Centers, Frazee Paint & Wallpaper, Handyman Home Centers, San Diego Glass & Paint, True Value Hardware stores and Standard Brands paint and decorating centers.
I goofed on the address of the California Redwood Assn. in the May 19 column: It's at 591 Redwood Highway, Suite 3100, Mill Valley, Calif. 94941, not 519 .