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josh the painter
green stuff

Hi, my name is josh and I paint professionaly in the CT, New Haven area. For the past 5 years I have worked to renovate and restore a number of old homes all built around 1900 to 1920.
while working inside I find a layer of green paint on every thing( plaster/trim/radiators) . I think it's some kind of primer coat because it's close to the substrate and tough as nails, hard to sand, hard to scrape. I thought it was some kind of lead but it dosn't react to heat like lead. Some of my peers think it was a top coat because of it's color ( dark mint green)finally its in 9 of 10 houses from this periode.
So what is it? Any guesses ??

josh the painter
Re: green stuff


just found more on my cuurrent project :)

Re: green stuff


I am not sure what you have there, but I can remember seeing similar stuff in older buidings in Chicago when I was young. I actually think these green colors were popular back then. Also, some of the old alkyd oils that were in use 70-80 years ago were incredibly tough.

Re: green stuff
josh the painter wrote:


just found more on my current project :)

So, did you figure out what the green layer is? I have a house built in 1900 that I am restoring. I came across a similar green layer on all my trim moldings and doors. With a chemical stripper, the green stuff softens. When I switched to using a heat gun on the doors, you're right that it does not react as much as the top layers of paint but it still softens. I ended up making another pass with the heat gun to sc**** it off. Then, I used more chemical stripper before sanding.

I agree with you that it's probably the primer back in the day as it's the bottom layer in all my painted woodwork. Are you sure it's not lead?

Thanks for any more info you can share!

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