The Devil Queen

How my wife and I sold our souls to the Queen Anne Victorian we tried to save.

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Location: Crow Mountain, Arkansas, United States

Synopsis: This is a cautionary tale. A seriously disturbed couple find the charming, old ruin of a Queen Anne Victorian in Russellville, Arkansas, and buy it for $1.00. They tore the roof off, cut it in half, and had it moved to some land they owned sixteen miles away because they didn't know any better. Since then, they have hired and fired contractors, had all of their tools stolen, re-wired, re-plumbed, insulated, and essentially rebuilt the entire house. Their only problem is that after four years it still isn't finished. Now they are tired, broke, and wonder what in the hell it is they've done to themselves. And, it's haunted.
(Last updated on April 3, 2008)

Press: Russellville Courier Article - December 2003, HGTV website article, AP story - October 2006, and Victorian Homes Magazine - February 2008 (link coming soon).
Art: From time to time, I receive requests for my art. If you would like to look at more of my art, go to The Failed Artist. If you would like to buy my art, email me. I am more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Thanks!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Money Sucker

In a couple of months, my wife and I are planning to start stripping the Devil Queen’s exterior paint. Having tried a variety of stripping methods, we’re thinking about trying RemovALL. We’re hoping this stuff doesn’t suck as much as everything else we’ve tried.

For those of you not familiar with RemovALL, here is a glurp I pulled off the internet:

“RemovAll 310 is a water based paint remover that is biodegradable, non-toxic, user friendly and environmentally safe. It is extremely effective in removing tough coatings like urethanes and alkyds from brick, wood and other architectural surfaces.RemovAll 310 has proven it will effectively lift urethanes, lacquers, latexes, alkyd paints, elastomerics and varnish as well as most graffiti from all types of substrates, including wood, masonry, brick, concrete and other porous and non-porous surfaces found in architectural structures.”

Sounds great, doesn’t? There is one snag (in addition to the $70.oo per gallon price tag):

“The RemovAll products on this page were designed for spray application only. Airless sprayers and/or HVLP spray equipment are the only methods recommended to apply these products. If you do not have access to this type of equipment contact a local NationsRent or other equipment rental company servicing your area. Typical rental charges range from $65 to $80 per day.”

I had no idea what an HVLP is. Once I looked it up online, I discovered that HVLP stands for “high volume, low pressure.” They are supposed to waste less paint than conventional sprayers and have better control. Sounds great, but I haven’t found anyone that rents these yet.

I looked at prices online, they range from organ harvesting expensive to scary cheap.

Here is the mid-range one ($700-$800):

And here is one of the low-end ones ($120). I can’t help but think these are being built by illegal immigrants in a sweat-shop hidden in someone’s garage.
I really want to try the RemovALL, but how much is a test run worth? I’m looking at $70 for 1 gallon of RemovALL (plus shipping) and at least $65 to rent a HVLP sprayer if I can find one or $120 to buy a cheap one. That’s all ready in the $200+ price range.

So, do any of you know anything about these HVLP sprayers? Have one you don’t need and are willing to sell for cheap? Has anyone used RemovALL? Would you recommend it?

9 Comments:

Anonymous davidLBC said...

HVLP spray guns are new technology designed to meet tougher air pollution regulations for particulates by reducing overspray and also waste material. That's it. I don't believe this has any bearing on the process of paint removal, nor will it affect the outcome. The key here is that the manufacturer wants RemovALL to be sprayed on. And decades-old airless technology will do this cheaply. You can buy a Wagner airless sprayer for less than $50 at the box store. Or you can rent (or buy used) a larger Graco unit with a stationary pump so you don't have to keep refilling the small gun pot.

I'm hoping to limit the use of chemical strippers on the exterior of my house. I've found it easier to remove the majority of paint layers with sharp scrapers, exploiting incompatibility of oil and water based paints, then remove the final layer with chemical. You don't even need to remove it if it is in good condition.

1:35 PM  
Blogger John said...

David,

Thanks for all the info. It's helped a lot.

Our paint is in very sad shape. The last coat of new paint was put on sometime in the 1940's or early 1950's. When it started to fail in the 1970's they covered the whole house in vinyl siding. The vinyl is long gone, but the paint will have to go too.

Half of what is left just flakes off if you run your hand over it. The other half is nearly impossible to get off.

10:33 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I actually vote for the sharp scraper, too. Even though I just wrote a post about my newfound love for Safest Stripper, in the case of a whole house, I vote for saving a step! Plus, it seems to fall right off a house when it's ready to be repainted. Our neighbors S&B scraped their whole gigantic three-story house without chemicals. It took them forever just because of the sheer size of the house, but the actual scraping was pretty simple.

2:50 PM  
Anonymous Brenda fromFlatbush said...

This sounds like quite an investment. Alas, we've tried several "green" or "safe" strippers (brushed, not sprayed, on) at Spouse's environmentally-conscious insistence, but the carapace of the CrazyStable just laughed at them. Back to heat gun or ZipStrip and its ilk...the green strippers were a case of "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." I'll be very interested to know how this option works if you try it, 'cause we are working our way around the front door trim and doubtless sucking up lead as we go, causing us to feel stoopider than yooshooal.

4:05 PM  
Blogger Al said...

I'm sure that Removall 310 might be a good product but if you decide that is the way you want to go. You better have deep pockets. I am a Painting Contractor in Il and bought this product. The can says you need to apply it with and airless from 70 sq. ft. per gallon to 40 sq. ft. per gallon. I spent around $1400.00 and applied it 23 sq. ft. per gallon and it didn't thke it off. When you call the rep. they will tell it's your falt you didn't do it right. I have restoreing homes for years and I would not use this product again even if they gave it to me. Even the contractor that told me about the product stoped using it and went to my method of stripping homes. At $1400.00 and 23 sq. ft. per gallon the only one that make money is the Removall company. From my point of view there many other less expenive way to stripp your house. Save YOUR MONEY!!!

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