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Old 12-04-2007, 11:42 AM   #1
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Default Can a pressure washer eliminate scraping ?

Hi ... I am college student who paints during the summers. I have always used hand scrapers / sanders to prep exterior surfaces. I am thinking about buying a pressure washer. My question for for professionals .... Can pressure washers actually eliminate the need to hand scrape ??? Is it a giant time saver ???

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Old 12-04-2007, 12:42 PM   #2
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Definitely not - it just opens up more of a can of worms. This is assuming you are using high pressure nozzles and getting within 6"-8". It will remove paint that scrapers never would have - it will increase your scraping time - it will be a better job though - the only system I have ever seen was guys that use that makita grinder - pressure wash, then go over areas real quick with the grinder.

I have scraped some homes - then came back a week later with a pressure washer - and removed tons more loose paint - then rescraped and then finally sanded. There is just no end to prep - the only question is, how much is the customer willing to pay for? What I would do is scrape, sand, then a do a low pressure version of pressure washing just to clean up all the dust and get rid of mildew.

I initially got into pressure washing because of the claims of not having to scrape - LOL.
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Old 12-04-2007, 01:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morbit View Post
Can pressure washers actually eliminate the need to hand scrape ???
No. Both are needed, despite the desire to want to save a step.

...and welcome to the forum Morbit
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Old 12-04-2007, 06:23 PM   #4
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I agree with Rich and Plainpainter, the bottom line is
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There is just no end to prep - the only question is, how much is the customer willing to pay for?
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Old 12-13-2007, 10:50 PM   #5
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Default Pressure Washer Not Enough

There is always scraping after washing.
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Old 12-21-2007, 10:36 AM   #6
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For older barns... where prep isn't in the price, I will just powerwash to remove as much as possible, then paint.

For historic restoration.... I powerwash as much off as possible... then go to my Makita sander.. then to a palm sander.. then lightly wash again to remove dust.

But the answer to your question is YES. Even though you will always have to scrape or sand... it saves me allot of time, and I can charge extra for it.

I think plainpainter is right... it's what the customer will pay for.


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Old 12-21-2007, 12:05 PM   #7
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Not to mention with the state coming down on lead abatement - even pressure washers will kick lead chips everywhere. My thoughts are almost for homes like the one pictured above - that the integrity of the old paint is so bad, so much comes off - the remaining paint will peel so badly in as little as 6 months - that you might as well sell paint on a total paint removal using chemicals.
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Old 12-21-2007, 04:03 PM   #8
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With that pressure washer don't forget your reclaiming equipment.
http://www.epa.gov/watertrain/cwa/
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Old 01-06-2008, 08:37 PM   #9
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I painted an old Victorian house this last summer. To make a long story short that already hasn't been said. The house should have been sand blasted. But it is what the customer will pay for.
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Old 01-10-2008, 11:34 PM   #10
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On historic homes, like the one kelly has pictured, a powerwasher is absolutely necessary. And the spinner tip is also necessary. Why bother with anything else? Scraping and sanding is also necessary after the wash.
The older homes still have some of the linseed oil products that are a real bitch to scrape and a bitch to powerwash off, come to thing of it. It's so tough that you still need to sand the wood fibers raised by the power washer. Most modern houses benefit from the wash and spot scraping, but nothing like the old linseed oil houses.

I usually just wrap masking tape around the knuckes before I start. Becuase I'm going to wind up doing it anyway. Bandaids don't hold up.

Bring a file with you to sharpen your scrapers as you go.
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Old 01-10-2008, 11:59 PM   #11
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I have done some pressure washing paint prep for house painters. Its too messy and you guys don't pay enough
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Old 01-11-2008, 02:26 AM   #12
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I pressure wash most exteriors that I do. This is mainly because it can remove a lot of loose paint as well as clean areas such as vinyl or wood siding to ensure a great seal for the areas that have remaining paint on it. It is definitely true that it can open a huge can of worms but I mean in essence if paint is old and its gonna come off it will come off eventually anyway. Whether you scrape it off, blast it off with a pressure washer, or it peels off underneath your brand new paint job - its gonna come off. But in no event whatsoever will it ever eliminate the pains of scraping. Although I wish it did.
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Old 01-18-2008, 12:47 AM   #13
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sometimes powerwashing has blown to much paint off and then there is more priming to do(one bad situation for me one time) also it can dampen the wood if it is exposed and sometimes in bad cases it my need a day to dry if the wood is to wet
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Old 01-18-2008, 09:43 AM   #14
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I've had homes where two layers of latex over a very powdery oil finish - and it would bubble as soon as you layed on the latex. So I scraped the whole house down - waited a week - came back and pressure washed it with 2800psi and a turbo nozzle, got even more paint off, and then scraped again and orbital sanded - and then lastly a low pressure wash to get rid of dust and clean up the wood. It was a nightmare - but the results were spectacular!
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Old 03-01-2008, 08:23 AM   #15
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Default How much did that cost?

I'd love to have that level of prep on my home but as it has been said previously in this thread the cost of prep is determined by what the customer is willing to pay. All too often we have to "chintz" on the prep but this is of course penn wize and pound foolish.

Can you give a ball park on the total cost of this terrific prep job and the cost of applying the paint?

Thanks,

Thomas Zayatz
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Old 03-01-2008, 09:57 AM   #16
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I did two sides of a cape, the back side had a raised roof and was 2 stories - total cost back then was $5500 - whole house would have been about 9 grand. I have tons of pictures of that job
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Old 03-01-2008, 08:58 PM   #17
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How many times have you heard that your price was your price. I'm a believer in if ya' don't know you better walk away from it.

Maybe too old school, but oh well.
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Old 03-07-2008, 01:52 AM   #18
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I'm putting on my flame suit.

Never, ever use a pressure washer on wood siding to clean/remove/prep.
Clean = bristle brush and bucket.
Remove = Scrapers, mechanical or hand. Heat [on low, and slow]. Chemicals [Messy, nuetralizing issues]
Preparation = See above.

Pressure washer are useful/appropriate for rinsing wood siding.
The right way is never easy, but it sure is satisfying.
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Old 03-12-2008, 08:25 AM   #19
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Never made much sense to me to inject water into wood at high pressure

What is wood and paints worst enemy...............water, moisture

Ive seen painters(so called) PW a house on monday and start painting the next day.........

We have painted many Victorians since 1970's without blasting paint off with water.....

I agree with ---what is the customer willing to pay for just not a big fan of blasting paint off with water.....
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Old 03-12-2008, 11:29 AM   #20
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his customers to pay for a full 100% mechanical grind of all the paint. Which is great - but level of prep is even much more expensive than mine - which many won't pay for already - yet they ask in the same breath about warranties, huh? Didn't I just tell the homeowner the paint jobs is only as good as the amount of prep they are willing to pay for? Anyways - I have also noticed - that scrapers can glide right over certain areas and not lift the paint off - yet the pressure washer injects so much pressure, it reveals these weak spots, that would come off anyways. And true the moisture gets wet - but that's why you let it dry. I have scraped and sanded - and it took 2 weeks after I pressure washed before I could beging to think about priming - all moisture issues were long gone by then.
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