The quickest way to strip paintwork is to burn it off with a blowlamp or blowtorch, but there is a right and a wrong way of tackling the job. The right way is to always strip minor areas, such as mouldings and rebates, before tackling the major areas around them. The aim is to remove the paint without damaging the surface beneath it. But if the main areas are stripped first, the exposed wood can be badly scorched when trying to deal with the smaller ones.

When stripping mouldings, always work from the top downwards. As the paint melts, remove it with a scraper or – in awkward places – with a shave hook. Collect the melted paint in a container on the ground, taking care not to let any fall on the hand.

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