|Old Alligator skin Paint.|
|New blue painted over the old layers.|
|Paint Shaving setup.|
The Paint Shaver isn't cheap (around $600 and hard to find used) but it is worth every penny. Here's what it can do to multiple layers of paint:
It will leave behind a little bit paint and will leave some circular cut marks in the wood depending on the cutting depth (which can be adjusted) and how thick the paint is in a given area. The shaver has a couple other drawbacks as well. First it may not remove everything on boards that are cupped or not flat; this is not a huge problem though. The other is that you will still have a lot of cutting-in to do with your hand scraper. Due to the design of the tool, you can not get tight into the corners or around windows. The pictures below show the side and the front of the house shaved, but not scraped or sanded; you can see the areas that still need to be cut in.
We found that using a heat gun useful for getting the ends of the boards and around widows and doors. All that being said though, removing the bulk of the old paint is quick work with the shaver. The front of the house probably only took me 4-5 hours to shave including having to move a ladder. Shaving and scraping was followed by sanding. All boards were sanded with an orbital sander & 40 grit sandpaper to remove any leftover paint, remove the circular cut marks seen above, and to prep the wood for primer. Here is the front ready for primer:
Primer is followed by caulking. Then we would apply two coats of paint on the trim and finish off with the main color. Everything is painted by hand, and the main color is cut into the trim. Here is a picture of the final painted wood. Notice that unlike the picture above that didn't get scraped, it actually looks like wood under the paint and you can even see the grain.
The front of the house is still only primed, so I have no final picture yet, sorry. Here's a final one showing the finished west side and the partially shaved front.