I have some rough sawn timbers in my house that were painted over by the previous owner of the house1. I believe the timbers are a softer wood like fir as they are more decorative than structural.
The three 4" x 8" x 18' timbers appear to have been painted over with a roller and there's some bits of ceiling spackle on them too. They at least tried to do a quality job and made sure to paint the little nooks or notches in the wood.
The single 6" x 8" x 5' timber has a gawd-awful faux stone spray paint applied to it.
Both sets of timbers were stained fairly dark when they were originally put in place. My goal at this point is to get rid of the paint. I would be fine with the original dark stain that was in place, but it would be bonus points if I ended up with a lighter look.
I'm 99% certain that the paint is lead-free, but I haven't tested yet to verify. I will do so prior to commencing work.
I have tried using some citrus based paint remover. It's worked okay, but has left an orange tint on the test areas. I'm hesitant to use a chemical based paint remover because of the fumes and the timbers are located inside.
I have also considered grinding via wire brush; sanding with a belt or orbital sander; and planing it with a hand plane. All of these seem like time intensive operations and I'm a little worried about the mess from grinding or sanding.
What's the most effective way to remove the paint from these timbers?
Or is it a lost cause and I should cover over them instead?
1Yes, I'm consoled by the fact that there's likely a special place in Hades for people like that. < /jk>