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 toxic 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. Steam softens the glazing compound and allows for the removal and preservation of the original glass, including old wavy glass.
Here’s the process:
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 of paint 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 degrees, well below the temperature at which wood ignites or lead fumes are released. It also works well on putty and varnish. As with steaming, the existing wood and glass are not damaged during the process.