One of our viewers caught our cameras in a home improvement centre and asked how best to finish off his long slow job of stripping a staircase of paint.
If you sand too soon, you will waste a lot of sandpaper because it will simply clog up with melted paint.
If you do the whole job with paint stripper chemicals, it will cost a lot of money and you have a lot of polluted stuff to get rid of.
So I like to take on major paint stripping jobs in three steps.
First I use a heat gun to remove the mass of paint. I don't waste my time trying to get every little bit off or trying to do a perfectly even job. I just want to remove as much mass as possible.
Then I move to chemical strippers. If you have done a decent job with the heat gun, you will only have to do one layer of chemical strippers. I don't work with the chemicals down to a "ready to paint" surface, I just remove the "mass" that I missed with the heat gun.This will remove everything that will want to melt onto your sandpaper and clog it up.
Now you can move to the sandpaper and quickly and economically finish the job.