As your house ages so does the paint. Cracking and peeling paint make a house look old and unkept. Unfortunately, stripping paint is one of the most annoying chores of maintaining a home. Using steam to strip paint is an effective way to remove paint from a home simply and with a small amount of effort.
Buy or rent a steam generation unit from a good home improvement store. If you do not have the money to buy one, or don't anticipate that you will use it often, renting the equipment is a better option. The steam generation unit will include a hose that connects the unit to a steam head. The hose feeds the steam to the head, which you apply to the paint for removal. Once the paint is softened by the steamer, you will need a paint scraper to remove the paint.
Observe good safety practices when you use a steam removal unit. Wear thick, heavy gloves to prevent burns from the steam and the heated paint. Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from the hot steam. Wear a surgical mask to keep any fumes from getting into your lungs, or better yet, a respirator.
Plug the steam generator into an outlet near the area you are removing paint for easy access. Turn on the steam generation unit and allow it time to warm up. Different units take varying amounts of time to warm up, so check the operation manual to make sure you are letting it warm up properly. Once the unit has warmed up, place the steam head on the area where you wish to remove the paint and hold it there for 30 seconds to one minute; this will soften the paint. Lift the head off the section and check that the paint is soft. If it is, the paint should come off in one long piece with the scraper. Move the head to another section and repeat the process if you are working on an entire wall or large section of painted material.
Use this method to remove paint if you are living in the home that has lead based paint. Lead based paint scrapped dry in the traditional method will flake into the air, becoming a breathing hazard. The steam causes the paint to solidify, keeping paint dust to a minimum.