Last summer I bought an infrared paint stripper "The Speedheater." It could be the best tool I own. It was expensive, but so worth it. For a change of pace, I decided to clean up one of the corner boards. (a break from the east side) I was able to strip it down to the bare wood in no time at all. Since the paint curls up and comes off in big strips, there is almost no lead paint dust or fumes. (not that high of heat) A little exterior spackle, primer, and paint...you'd swear it was new!