This is what I started with:
I took it down and sanded one side with a power sander:
I decided to try a different technique on the other side to see which was most effective. Paint stripper. Generally I HATE paint stripper, and this trial has proved to be no different. I opted to use Citri-Strip, it is a citrus based non-caustic stripping agent.
We put it on and left it for about 1-2 hours, some areas came off great and some not so much. It seemed to be very much related to the amount of stripper put on and how long it stayed moist. I started out using a rubber scraper as suggested by the stripper but it wasn't cutting the mustard so I went with the ancient metal tool we found in the woods and it worked much better. :)
Eeeww....so much nasty old paint.
I got to this point and then quit for the day as it was getting dark. I then learned the lesson that the effects of paint stripper actually wane and it kinda resticks. So annoying. Needless to say when I started working on it again last night it did not go as smoothely.
So I'm going to generously reapply the stripper this afternoon and try to get the rest done today!