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Hi - I'm working on building my second dollhouse; the parts are MDF - including the exterior.  I fear I made a mess of the exterier clapboard by using paint that is too thick, and putting on too many coats.  Sanding even the one coat was difficult and so I put additonal paint layers (about 3-4) hoping I could create a smooth finish that way!  Needless to say, I made things worse.  I'm wondering if there's a method for stripping paint off of an MDF surface - I'm aware it's very porous so chemical stirippers may not work ( ? ?).   Any suggestions?

Edited by Loves Minis
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Unfortunately there are no easy methods for stripping paint from anything:cry:  With the number of paint layers you are talking about you might not have to worry as much about it being porous as the first coat of paint usually gets sucked right in and fills it up. I might take a piece and try a chemical stripper with a heat gun and a plastic scraper. Then, invest in a Dremel tool if you don't have one already; sure beats sanding by hand. Curious as to what kind of paint you used?

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The plastic scraper may be less likely to gouge the MDF. 

Paint layers = PIA.  Chemical strippers are ok to get off the top layer(s) as much as possible, then the heat gun/scraper, then the sander.  That is my process when rehabbing a old dollhouse.

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Hello All,

I don't see where I can respond to each of you individually, so I'm doing it this way.    Thanks so very much for all of your helpful suggestions!   Sounds like a 'combo' approach is best - stripper, scraping and/or Dremel.  I happen to have a Dremel!

I'll circle back and let you know how it goes...  :rolleyes:

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4 hours ago, chapchap73 said:

Unfortunately there are no easy methods for stripping paint from anything:cry:  With the number of paint layers you are talking about you might not have to worry as much about it being porous as the first coat of paint usually gets sucked right in and fills it up. I might take a piece and try a chemical stripper with a heat gun and a plastic scraper. Then, invest in a Dremel tool if you don't have one already; sure beats sanding by hand. Curious as to what kind of paint you used?

Thanks very much!  Good point regarding the layers/stripper.  I do have a Dremel - yipee!  :rolleyes:

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3 hours ago, jbnmini said:

The plastic scraper may be less likely to gouge the MDF. 

Paint layers = PIA.  Chemical strippers are ok to get off the top layer(s) as much as possible, then the heat gun/scraper, then the sander.  That is my process when rehabbing a old dollhouse.

Thanks for sharing your experience - sounds like a plan!  :blush:

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MDF isn't strong enough to stand up to a metal scraper hence the plastic one would be your friend. Go easy as MDF likes to tear away in bunches. Also keep in mind that MDF does do fairly well with wood filler if you should make a big hole...also caulk hides a multitude of issues

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1 hour ago, Loves Minis said:

I don't see where I can respond to each of you individually, so I'm doing it this way.

If you click on the + sign to the left of the Quote link, you can combine several messages into one post. You can further edit the collected posts to respond to the pertinent information. 

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On 2/26/2021 at 2:06 PM, KathieB said:

If you click on the + sign to the left of the Quote link, you can combine several messages into one post. You can further edit the collected posts to respond to the pertinent information. 

Thanks Kathie!

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On 2/26/2021 at 1:10 PM, chapchap73 said:

MDF isn't strong enough to stand up to a metal scraper hence the plastic one would be your friend. Go easy as MDF likes to tear away in bunches. Also keep in mind that MDF does do fairly well with wood filler if you should make a big hole...also caulk hides a multitude of issues

Thanks Sarah!

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