Dip N’ Strip

As we push on completing small projects within the house, we turned our attention to the built in shutters.  After refinishing only one half of a set of double doors, it became apparent that we can’t refinish all the doors and shutters ourselves so we began looking around for companies that do it for you.

So a few weeks ago we headed to New Jersey to visit Dip N’ Strip.  No, it is not a “gentleman’s club,” it is a company that strips paint.

We decided that we would strip a set of parlor floor shutters to see what condition they were in under all that technicolor paint (you recall the red and blue fireplace mantle) and to help us decide whether the others are worth doing as well.

Parlor Floor Shutters – Before

Dip N’ Strip is a family owned company located in Hackensack, New Jersey–less than an hour’s drive from New York City.  They can strip wood, cast iron and metal items including: doors, furniture, fireplace mantels, radiators, garden furniture, and architectural elements like molding, medallions and cornices.  The owner, Jim, told us that he gets a lot of business from folks renovating old brownstones in NYC who want to restore old elements rather than replace them.

In our heads we had envisioned that dipping would mean that the shutter is dipped in a solution and pulled out and ta da!, a paint free shutter.

In reality, it is much more work.  The shutter is immersed in a giant tub of paint stripper solution for several hours after which they use scrapers and special scrub brushes to scrape the paint free from the surface.

Once the paint is removed, the item gets moved to a giant vat of hot water where it soaks to remove all of the solution’s residue and is taken out and left to dry.

Here are the after results:

We were very pleased with the outcome.  The shutters will look great once we put a nice new coat of paint on them (the wood is not really in good enough shape to just stain it).  The service at Dip N’ Strip was great and the staff was knowledgeable and courteous.  The shutters were available for pick up after only a week.  We would definitely use them again.

In fact the area around Dip N’ Strip had a bunch of remodeling supply companies that would be worth checking out.  Curious to see if granite countertops are cheaper in Jersey than NYC.

Later we will be doing some cost comparisons between stripping and restoring trim and molding work versus replacing it.  We would like to keep as much original detail in the house as possible but later as we move walls, some of it will likely be damaged beyond reasonable repair and some of it is already damaged with nail holes, dents, and of course endless coats of paint.

Dip N’ Strip generously stripped a panel for free and we paid for the other.


3 thoughts on “Dip N’ Strip

  1. The shutter looks beautiful. We have a houseful that need to be done, but are quaking at the possible cost. Do you mind if I ask how much they charged for the shutter?

  2. It can get really expensive but to do it yourself would take forever. It depends on the size of the shutter. I think the prices were about $40 a panel (each piece) and up. I think ours which were fairly long were about $60 per panel and we had two rows of three panels across so about $300-400 per window. I also priced at another stripping place (they did not dip) and they quoted me $500 per window. Still cheaper than what a contractor would charge you. Hope that helps.

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