When old paint starts to peel, alligator (wrinkle) or blister, there's only one cure: remove it, wash, prime and repaint. Scraping, wire-brushing and sanding are laborious tasks.

Here are four faster removal options to check out from Better Homes and Gardens magazine:Chemical stripers are best for heavy paint deposits on small areas. Some strippers are toxic, however, so follow directions carefully.

An electric paint softener, drawn across the surface, softens paint enough to push off the old coat with a wide-blade putty knife.

A propane torch with a spreader tip does the same job as an electric softener. But be careful of fire, and have an extinguisher handy.

Sandblasting removes paint from masonry and stucco, but it's not a do-it-yourself project.