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Home Improvement

Best Paint Scraper

The most important part of any paint job, whether you are painting your house, a Ferrari, or the Golden Gate Bridge is surface preparation. Everyone wants to concentrate on that finish coat, but if you don’t have a good surface underneath it, your great paint job is going to look like garbage. Even worse, if you are repainting an older structure, and haven’t removed all the old, loose paint, your nice new paint job is going to fall right off.

Scraping off old paint is hard, tedious work; maybe that’s why people don’t really like doing it. Nevertheless, it’s important. A good paint scraper will make a lot of difference, as you will be able to get the job done faster and easier. Trying to scrape paint with a putty knife just makes the job harder, so the investment in a scraper is well worth it.

Although water-based paints are dry to the touch in less than an hour, they continue to “outgas” for up to six months. So they aren't fully dry until that process has finished. That’s why wallpaper companies recommend waiting six months before putting wallpaper over new paint. Once the paint is dry, the process really doesn't end. Dry usually means as dry as a product is supposed to get, but then there’s dried out. Paint that has been too long on a structure gets dried out. When this happens, it begins to crack and peel.

This damaged paint must be removed before applying new paint. Otherwise, the new paint is just sticking to something that’s going to fall off the wood underneath. That’s where paint scrapers come in. Before applying paint to old structures, especially old wood structures, it is essential to scrape off this old paint.

A good paint scraper is made to take lots of abuse. It’s amazing how many people think that a paint scraper is a hammer, when they see a loose nail. Not only that, but the constant pressure of scraping is hard on the tool. While it may not look like it, paint is abrasive, and will dull a scraper blade. For this reason, the best paint scrapers usually come with carbide blades. That’s even better than having good quality steel or easily replaceable blades, although those are both good options.

I especially like tools like this when they have ergonomic handles. When you've got a tool in your hands for hours, you want something that is going to be comfortable and not cause any blisters. A nicely contoured handle makes a lot of difference. Even better is a nicely contoured, padded handle.

Warner 10020 Tool 2 3/8-Inch Carbide 100X Soft Grip Scraper with Knob

This scraper features a carbide blade for that will be usable for a long time without going dull. The same scraper can be used for both scraping substrates and cleaning paint off windows. It has a soft handle, which I really appreciate, for operator comfort. At the same time, they've put a knob over the business end of the tool for two-handed scraping in tough situations. Warner is a paint-tool specialist, and it really shows in the design and craftsmanship of their tools.

Allway Tool Inc. CBS25 Mp 2-1/2' Carb Scraper

This scraper is almost a twin of the Warner 10020 scraper. So what's the difference? Warner is a better known company with a solid reputation among professional painters. However, this is an excellent tool with all the same features for the Warner unit. I would have no qualms buying Allway's scraper if I didn't have a Warner available.

Hyde Tools 10450 Contour Scraper Kit with Six Changeable Blades

Hyde Tools is another paint-related tool specialist. I've picked their multi-bladed scraper as my number three choice, even though most people don’t have much use for a contour scraper. However, if you ever work on turned wood railings, furniture, moldings, or Victorian homes, you’ll definitely need one. These are a little hard to find, but definitely worth looking for. I think Hyde produces the best contour scraper around with a good collection of high quality stainless steel blades.

Allway Tools Extendable Push/Pull Scraper

Although this tool doesn’t have a carbide or even a stainless steel blade, it’s still an excellent tool. The blade actually has four edges, so that when one goes dull, it can be traded out for another. There are a lot of scrapers on the market with this same basic idea, but Allway has added a few nice features to this one. First of all, remember what I was saying about people using their scraper for a hammer? Well, Allway knows about that too and put a metal hammer pad at the bottom end of the handle. That way, you can hammer to your heart’s content without dinging up your handle. Unscrew the hammer pad, and you've got a threaded socket for attaching your scraper to an extension handle, which is a great option when you've got to scrape something that’s just a little bit out of your reach.

Warner 805 Tool 5-Inch Pivot Head Paint Scraper

This scraper is not for the weak at heart or the weak of arm. The 5-inch wide blade will take off loose, peeling paint faster than anything else on the market. But I’ve got to warn you, it will take away your strength just about as fast. The only thing I could say against this unit is the blade isn't carbide or reversible, so when a blade goes dull, you've got to replace it. On the other hand, you’ll be working so fast that you’ll probably have the whole neighborhood scraped clean by the time it goes dull.

Rich the Tool Man

Before embarking on the current stage of my life, I spent 15 years as a Manufacturing Engineer in both the medical equipment field (medical electronics) and automotive engineering (city transit buses). After that, I owned a small construction company, mostly doing residential remodeling and commercial tenant finishes. I am no longer in either of these fields, but still get my hands plenty dirty as a consummate do-it-yourselfer; working on everything from remodeling my own home to rebuilding my car’s engines. My hobby (when I can find the time) is woodworking; making everything from toilet paper holders, to shelves, to music stands for my own home. My wife long ago gave up the idea that a two car garage is for parking two cars; it is my workshop.

While I cannot claim to having worked professionally with all types of tools, I have worked professionally with some. This comes from my previous careers, where I had to specify, buy and at times live with those decisions. Additionally, I would have to say that my engineering background has given me a thorough understanding of the construction of such tools. So, while I may not have used a particular type of tool personally, I have the knowledge to cut through all the advertising hype and statistics; in order to get at the truth of how well a tool will operate and last.

In my current career as a writer, I've written over 90 books. This includes my own titles and those I've written on contract. I've also written a complete website on how to build your own home.

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