Removing or scraping paint off any surface is rarely a simple process. Besides,  every kind of paint responds uniquely to the materials. Adding in eco-friendly settings and scraping paint requires analysis and, typically, some elbow grease to complete.

Some experienced painters and do-it-yourselfers often relied on commercial paint removers for years. Although their job may be decent, they are still extremely harmful to people and the setting. Wrongful use of chemical paint strippers can cause problems with the breathing system, brain, nervous system, or even skin injury.

Methylene chloride is one of the worst actors in paint strippers and potentially lethal explosives. Large home improvement retailers have removed items from their shelves that contain the contaminants, but they are still readily accessible.

Please read the descriptions of industrial paint strippers before starting a paint removal job. Apart from methylene chloride, toluene, ethanol, acetone, and methanol are common additives potentially harmful to your well-being.

Few toxic removers of paint remain on the market. If you want to use a chemical stripper, use a less toxic and volatile paste solution to produce fewer chemicals than a liquid mixture. Thoroughly read the details, and wear security clothing, including safety glasses, a mask, and gloves.

3 Easy Ways to Strip Paint Off Metal or Wood

One of the most popular DIY tasks in painting is to take a piece of furniture painted and restore everything to its original natural form. So, one of the important concerns we get is, “what’s the right way to strip paint from surfaces?”.

There’s a whole variety of procedures, and each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Method 1: Stripping paint with a chemical paint stripper

Chemical paint removers can be the easiest and fastest way to strip paint from furniture. Still, they are often highly poisonous and caustic. It is safer to use industrial paint strippers because the item you scrape from the surface seems smooth and does not contain deep grooves or delicate parts.

You’re good to go after you’ve set yourself up well in a ventilated environment with protective cloths.

Just brush the chemical remover onto the wooden ground. Then wait for a while. Various strippers take varying time and energy to work. So, when the paint has melted and started cracking, you will know it succeeded. This should be very convenient to eat away after the color softens.

You may need to polish it until the wood is dried to remove any extra paint or dye.

Here’s a detailed guide on applying a stripper and scraping the stain. Read on.


Applying a Chemical Paint Stripper

  • Choose a stripper with the chemical.

Many polish strippers are available on the market, and they are all suitable for various textures and places. The chemical remover you use depends on the item you chip (such as a door or wall), how many color layers you work with, and how old the coat is.

Certain paint removers use methylene chloride. This is an old chemical paint remover that is powerful and quick to act. However, for most surfaces and works, this chemical agent is fine. But it is very caustic and produces a significant number of toxic organic components.

Citrus strippers such as CitriStrip are more friendly to the environment than conventional counterparts. Generally, these strippers are suitable for up to four coats of paint at a time. Plus, they are perfect for smooth surfaces or even some furniture.

Pastes such as Peel Away 1 and SmartStrip are suitable for hard work, and can also be applied on rough surfaces such as concrete. These strippers’ types can scrape up to 30 paint layers in one go and involve less brushing than other chemical strippers. For furniture, this sort of stripper is not perfect because it may stain.

  • Clean, spray or roll onto the chemical stripper.

Industrial paint removers come in the form of oils, glues, and liquid. Seek guidance from the vendor on the precise quantities and techniques of the program. You should add Gel strippers, including CitriStrip, with a roller or brush. Pastes such as Peel Away 1 and SmartStrip need to be spread with a trowel. You may brush or roll liquids on.

For two-part schemes, such as Peel Away 1, add the paper given after the stripping agent has coated the surface.

When you scrape paint from a large surface, work in small areas with fast-acting strippers or methylene chloride. Otherwise, the scraping chemical will dry out. Apply the stripper to a specific spot, let it stay, brush off the coat, and go on to the next place.

  • Let the remover remain.

Dwelling time is the period that a chemical stripper may last on a surface to fully melt and remove the paint. The dwelling time for most chemical strippers that involve methylene chloride will only be 25 to 35 minutes.

Smart Strip dwell time varies between 3 hours and one day. CitriStrip dwell time varies between thirty min and 1 day. Peel Away 1 decay time goes between half to a day.

You may start checking a small spot for the required period to see how the paint can chip off. If the stain is not finished, let some time for the paste and then try once more.

Removing the paint

  • Scrape paint clear.

When the chemical coat remover has been given time to soften and remove the polish, the paint may be scraped off the surface. Start with a bubbling paint area, then use a plastic paint remover to get under the melting coat. Keep the remover from the wall at a slight angle, then force it to scrub the paint off under the surface.

You don’t need to scratch or clean on two-part schemes like Peel Away 1. On the contrary, just chop the sheet layer off so most of the coating will come along.

  • Scrub the region, and rinse it.

If the paint and stripper have been scraped out, you will need to scrub the surface and clear it up. The method of scrubbing and rinsing relies on which type of ink remover you have used:

To clean stains from Peel Away 1, clean the area with a wet nylon cloth. Allow the ground to be dry, then brush it with Citri-Lize, the neutralizing agent. Brush the surface with a brush or nylon, use water to rinse and leave it to dry out.

Turn the coating with water or a nylon scrub material for the SmartStrip. Later, rinse with a wet towel over the region and allow it to dry. Clean the part with the natural spirits or a scratch-free acerbic pad for CitriStrip.

  • Make the place sandy.

Sanding removes dirt, dust, and any stain or chemical remover left behind. Just use sandpaper, which is fine-grit. Sand the region by hand, or use a sanding system for small surfaces. Using an orbital sander makes the job more effective on wider surfaces.

Sand in the same way as wood grain for wood textures, to prevent swirl traces.

  • Clean after dusting.

Include a lint-free cloth or wet rag to clean off the whole surface you have been sanding. Rinse your fabric regularly if you have a broad area to work. Keep the body dry after brushing. Vacuum the field, eliminating any remaining dust.

You should paint or redecorate the surface you’ve just cleaned after you’ve done.

Method 2: Stripping paint with sandpaper

This approach has the advantage; it’s the least toxic. Besides, it has no devices or additives involved. Nevertheless, it is perhaps the most labor-intensive and better suited for woodwork with just one paint coat, or decorated with a rough finish.

Method 3: Stripping paint with a heat gun

The heat gun approach has the bonus of being simpler than the sandpaper method, which does not require toxic substances.

The heat gun approach is ideal for removing furniture paint, which has moldings or elaborate patterns. They even work just fine, where many coats of color need to be peeled.

The toughest challenge to use a heat gun to chip paint is to stop burning the strip’s material. It might take some time, so you may want to refine your technique on a wood test piece first.

When you’re ready to go, raise your heat gun until a temperature of 500 degrees, keep just around 10 cm from the paint surface and slowly pass it over the coat until the layer begins bubbling. Stop applying heat when this paint is bubbling, then use your remover to clear anything from the surface.

You will have to rub sandpaper over the furniture to eliminate the residual paint and dust until much of the color has been cleaned to your satisfaction.

Final thoughts

Doing an amazing paint job on something is a perfect way to offer it a new life. And besides, applying fresh paint on old paint will cause several issues, including bubbling, peeling, and chipping. Often to remove this, you need to scrape the old paint before adding a fresh coat. There are various ways to remove the color, but the easiest and most effective approach is to use a chemical paint stripper to break the ties, then scrape and sand the coat clean.

John Dutton

John Dutton

Hi! I'm John Dutton and I've been in the repair field for 20+ years. I decided to start this blog to help other people with some of the tips and tricks I have learned over my career. I hope you find this information helpful and please check back often for updated content.

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John Dutton

John Dutton

Hi! I'm John Dutton and I've been in the repair field for 20+ years. I decided to start this blog to help other people with some of the tips and tricks I have learned over my career. I hope you find this information helpful and please check back often for updated content.

About Ask A Repairman

I started this website because people were always asking me questions about home repairs and quick fixes.  So, Ask A Repairman was born to help all.

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