cleaning off paint to filler!

Blue Viking

Wooden Canoe Maniac
Just purchased a 16' Chestnut in like new condtion all over (includes orginal decal) but the paint is lifting and flaking off...Canvas and filler is bright, solid, and no signs of aligatoring or checking anywhere.
Is it possible to remove this paint without damaging the filler and canvas and what would be used to accomplish this...It seems a shame to re-canvas what appears to be good and solid.
If I can get it back to the filler without damaging the canvas, I was thinking of just putting another SKIM coat of filler over it. Then do the usual rubbing in and then painting it again with a more stable and binding paint.

Guess I still have that "If it aint broke, dont fix it!" attitude;)

One way to remove paint is to burn it off with a torch. The Old Town Canoe Company used to do this as a standard repair technique many years ago. It frequently resulted in burning canoe that had to be recanvased anyway. They decided to stop using this approach after a few spectacular failures. Your mileage may vary...

A heat gun might be a better choice than a torch these days... :eek:

I've always cautioned against chemical strippers. I've not ever tried it, because I worry about how the stripper might attack the filler. It is a form of paint, after all...

That leaves sanding. Tedious and probably full of lead. But probably least harmful to your canvas and filler.

Does it leak now? If it has a keel, you may need to remove it and re-bed it.

And be prepared after all that to find that after some use, the old filler starts to crack and leak... (for the record, I did just this with a 1961 Peterborough and it hasn't started leaking yet, after re-bedding the keel and fresh paint, but the paint was still pretty good when I got it).

BTW, I sanded out the Peterborough with drywall screen, which worked pretty well because it has less tendancy to clog than regular sandpaper.

Thanks for the advice!....Picking it up at noon tomorrow and will do a more through inspection...Will get all the dimesions and description in more detail then, and will take a closer look at what appeared to be just a single coat of flaking paint...It might already have been recanvassed for all I know...BTW did Chestnut serial # their canoes like OT did ?...ALSO, I noticed that this is the narrow more rounded ribs in configuration.