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Think of Wagner’s “PaintEater” as a rotary sander designed specially to handle large abrasive discs for removing paint.  Wagner claims that it’s “hard on paint / easy on siding,” but one thing’s certain: it looks a whole lot faster than rubbing and scraping.

It’s a corded tool with a 3.2A motor that spins the abrasive disc at 2,600 (no load) RPM.  The replacement discs are manufactured by Wagner and the tool’s manual clearly states that they’re not to be used with other products — which makes me wonder if a disc like this for a drill wouldn’t make some sense.  There’s a strap and a folding handle to help you control the PaintEater, and disc changes are tool-less.

I’m a little skeptical about this, but I’m also tempted to give it a try.  Stripping house paint is a nasty, dirty business, and I’m a fan of anything that’ll speed it up.

Street pricing starts around $75, and replacement discs run about $14 each.  (They’ll give you the razor, but you’ll have to buy the blades…)

The PaintEater [Wagner]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s this?]


13 Responses to A Power Tool For Removing House Paint

  1. nrChris says:

    I added it to my amazon wishlist for future consideration–although our house badly needs paint, I am trying to divert my wife’s home improvement budget to less painful tasks. The pads thread onto an arbor, at least that is what the product manual seems to say, so it shouldn’t be too bad to chuck it into a drill although I’d rather use the pad on a sander simply due to ergonomics.

  2. Fred says:

    The fastest way to remove house paint permanently is steel siding.

  3. RTF says:

    I use an angle grinder with sanding discs and then run a random orbital sander behind for a nice smooth surface.

    But, neither the Wagner or angle grinder will cut into corners.

  4. james b brauer 66 says:

    I put a disk that looks of similar composition in my angle grinder and wore it to a nub in about 10 minutes. It cleaned up weld splatter and rust quite well, but just didn’t last long enough to justify the price. Wonder how many disks it would take to grind off a house.

  5. kdp says:

    I used a similar looking wheel in a drill motor and it removed paint, but kicked up a lot of dust. This was on siding that was installed in the early 80s.

    The rest of the house was sided in the early 50s and I’d rather not dust up a cloud of lead based paint, so I built an infrared paint remover for about $100. (http://www.oceanmanorhouse.com/paintremover.html) It and a few good sharp triangular pull scrapers are making short work of the rest of the job. Once the paint bubbes and starts to detach from the siding, the scraper brings it off in 2” wide ribbons. Amazing.

    I’ve also bought a profiled scraper blade that helps on the milled portion of the siding (pattern #105).

    Since the pieces are so large, it’s easy to collect the ones that didn’t land on the drop cloth.

    Here’s a factory built unit that costs about four times what I paid for mine. The site has a lot of info on the ir process. (http://www.silentpaintremover.com/) (google cache

  6. Brau says:

    I’m with RTF as the hard work is always getting into corners and crevices. This tool might work well on loose paint but I’ve found these kind of discs plug up under hard grinding. I stand by my heatgun as most efficient for full stripping purposes (on wood).

  7. Leslie says:

    I’m inclined to think that this would gunk up or mess up the underlying wood, though I’d be very interested to hear from someone who has tried it. If you’re serious about stripping a large amount of paint or prepping a frame house for painting, best tools to consider are an infrared paint stripper (“Silent Paint Remover”) or if you’re stripping old paint off of clapboard, a “Paint Shaver” or one of its equivalents. I know many folks with the Silent Paint Remover who totall swear by it, and don’t know a single one who have regretted the investment.

  8. Ken of Long Beach Ca. says:

    I purchased one of these about six months ago, I bought a extra wheel also. It works like a charm… When the wheel gets loaded up with paint you just tap it on concrete( I used a small piece of broken cinder block) I did about 100 sq.ft. of siding and ten 4’X4′ wood sash windows. The original wheel looks like new still, albeit slightly smaller in diameter. I have a old house with redwood lumber used here and there(window frames, casing) you have to watch out how much pressure you exert, it’s easy to take off too much and have to smooth out gouges caused by not paying attention. It’s also good to wear a dust mask and goggles, I don’t know if I needed them but I felt better wearing them with the old paint I was removing. Is this tool worth the money? Yes… Would I buy it again if the one I own breaks? YES… Would I recommend it to a friend? YES…

  9. Piett says:

    I have use wheels like this on a angle grinder to clean up rust and paint from steel. I though it was much faster than either a grinding wheel or a flap disc since it is a bit more conformal.

    They do not work well on edges and rough metal from cuts since that tears up the disc too easily.

  10. Paul says:

    This tool works great. I bought one to scratch up my walls for knockdown and it has performed way beyond my expectations. For that and it works great stripping pain off of doors and frames. With some care you can get to the bare wood without damaging the wood. Also I am seeing if you allow the machine to do the work instead of putting downward force on the tool the disk last a very long time. I am still ueing the one that came with the machine. The first tool in awile that really works better than I expected.

  11. cole taylor says:

    I’ve been using the Wagner paint eater. It doesn’t clog due to the construction of the pad. Have done 1/2 of the house of a seriously rough painted over mess. In some places taken the paint down to bare wood. It’s as smooth as a babys behind. I love it. I use it with a lot of pressure and a little pressure. It’s great. No overheating, no issues. Best labor saver I ever bought. It might miss a 1/2 inch at the edge of another board but so what. I’m talking about a big job. It does what you want it to do. Buy it and you will never regret it. It feathers the paint where you need it too. It’s a jewel.

  12. Ed O'Neill says:

    Paint Eater looks better than it works. Power switch (a chinese piece of s–t) went bad after only a few hours of hard use. Wagner sent replacement unit which also died after a few hours. Sure, unit is comfortable and looked like it would do the job. I need something that works and doesn’t just look good. Paint Eater is far below the standard that Wagner was known for a few years ago!

  13. GRS says:

    The Wagner tool I had broke when I unscrewed the old sanding disc. This product is not robust and I would not recommend for paint removal. The other problem with the PaintEater is your ability to control it and keep your finish smooth.

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