How To Use Paint Stripper (Quick & Easy Process)

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There are a variety of scenarios in which you can find yourself in need of stripping paint from a wooden surface.

Possibly you are going to repaint the exterior of your home or you are in the process of refurbishing painted furniture. It’s possible that during painting the walls you accidentally got some paint on the hardwood floors.

When it is time for paint removal, it is necessary to examine which equipment and supplies are appropriate for the job and to weigh the possibilities in order to choose which would make the procedure safe for the wood and easy for you to complete.

While cleaning wooden surfaces, it is important to be aware of the potential consequences at all times because you do not want to cause needless harm if it can be avoided.

Types Of Paint Strippers

Solvent Contained Paint Stripper

Paint removers that are based on solvents function by severing the bond that holds the surface and the paint together.

The components perform their function by increasing the thickness of the paint and reducing the paint’s ability to adhere to the surface.


Because water serves as the “solvent” in these goods, the category that includes paint strippers that are based on solvents also includes water-based technologies.

The majority of them will also have trace levels of solvent present in their chemical composition, albeit nothing close to the goods that are based entirely on solvents.

Methylene chloride was a component that was traditionally found in paint strippers that were based on solvents.

Paint strippers sold to consumers in the European Union were not allowed to contain this chemical compound after the European Union decided in 2010 that the chemical posed too many potential health concerns.

As of recently, the use of goods containing methylene chloride has been limited to only workshops; hence, documentation of this restriction will be required prior to the purchase of any paint strippers containing methylene chloride.

When you find an old can of paint remover, you should be cautious about what you do with it. The extremely flammable nature of methylene chloride necessitated the substitution of alternative active components in several solvent-based paint strippers currently on the market.

These new compounds pose an additional risk. Despite this, one should exercise extreme caution while working with paint strippers of any kind, including those that are water-based.

Caustic Paint Stripper

Paint removers that contain caustic compounds have a slightly distinct mode of operation since these components work toward decomposing the chemicals that are contained in the paint.

They have a pH that is extremely high, and the active element that they typically contain is sodium hydroxide.

The sodium hydroxide is the one that reacts with the oily components of the paint and begins the process of breaking down the paint.

When handling caustic paint remover, extreme caution is required because, for instance, the substance can cause burns to the skin.

Because caustic-based paint strippers are known to draw moisture, dampness can also be a problem, as was mentioned above.

To give one more example, caustic alkalis are destructive to the cellulose fibers found in wood, which results in irreparable damage.

Paint strippers that contain caustic should never be used on hardwoods because this will cause the wood to become permanently discolored.

In the workplace, the Health and Safety Executive allows for very low levels of sodium hydroxide exposure.

Using Paint Stripper

Paint remover liquids and gels are, in general, an efficient method for removing thick coats of paint from wood surfaces.

Products in this category cover the gamut from “natural and safe” to alternative, with varying levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

We used it to remove decades’ worth of paint layers from wooden siding, as well as to assist in the removal of paint layers that were already bubbling and flaking.

To begin, sand the surface very lightly to agitate any topcoat that may be there. The paint remover will simply have an easier time activating and saturating the surface as a result of this.

After the area has been sanded and cleaned, start the removal procedure by applying a heavy layer of the stripper with a paintbrush. This will ensure that no residue is left behind.

You will be able to see the paint layers beginning to bubble, and although you will be immediately tempted to scrape at it, you should give it a little time first.

After the stripper has had enough time to penetrate the surface, you can remove the layers of paint with a scraper made of metal or plastic.

In the event that the paint stripper was only successful in removing a portion of the paint layers, clean the surface and then apply the stripper once again.

Use a scraper to get the wood almost completely smooth. There is a good chance that some paint will still be embedded in the wood grain.

After the surface has had enough time to dry, you can remove the remaining paint from the wood’s surface with sandpaper or a palm sander.

Where To Use Paint Stripper

When you use a paint stripper in an outdoor or heated location, the general rule is that the paint remover will evaporate more quickly. This is because of the warmer atmosphere.

Putting a thick layer is the way to get over this challenge. The second piece of advice is to use a cling film polythene sheet to cover the remover.

Wrap the edge of the paint remover container with tape to prevent air from making the paint remover dry. Because more recent paint strippers do not react as quickly as the older Nitromors, we recommend that you let it work overnight.

This will prevent the stripper from losing any of its effectiveness due to evaporation and will give it the required time to penetrate and break down the paint or coating.

Paint Removal From Wood

Sanding or sandblasting the wood is typically more difficult than using chemical paint stripping to remove a coat of paint or varnish off the surface of the wood.

It is gentler on the wood, and if you are working with ornaments that have been elaborately carved, you won’t run the danger of sanding away some of the features that were etched into them.

Whether you are removing paint from skirting boards, flooring, or wooden furniture, for example, all of these factors should be considered when selecting the best paint stripper for wood.

Do you want the wood to maintain its original appearance, or do you want to paint it a different color?

If you want to maintain the natural look and feel of the wood, there is no detailed carving, and the surface has not been coated in a thick coating of paint in the past, then using a paint remover that is solvent-based can be an approach to go as caustic paint stripper can cause stains.

If you are working with a surface that has been intricately carved, if there are multiple layers of paint on it, or if the potential for scorching or staining is not a concern, using a caustic remover may be the preferable choice.

Patch testing is highly suggested at all times, as is carefully following the directions provided by the manufacturer for each product.

Paint Removal From Brick

There are further methods available, as was alluded to earlier, for getting rid of paint from brickwork. It’s possible that using a power washer or sandblasting will be a quick way to get the job done.

The issue is it has a high probability of causing damage to the brickwork that is located underneath the paint. This kind of treatment can lead to the brickwork brittleness or porousness, and in the end, it can cause damage to your brickwork that is irreparable.

Be aware that the amount of time it takes to remove paint off brickwork might vary greatly based on the size of the project you are working on.

In order to determine whether or not the paint remover is successful, it is essential to carry out a test patch. It is essential to use a paint remover that has been formulated specifically for use on bricks in order to achieve optimal results.

How To Use Paint Stripper – Complete Process

If you are going to use a paint stripper successfully without damaging the surface that you are treating, the following are the procedures that you need to take to make sure that you are using this product correctly:

  • The paint remover should be applied with a brush of an appropriate size, which will vary based on the surface. Before using it, any extra material must be removed, and then a layer of the stripper must be applied in a manner that is both thick and consistent.
  • After letting the paint stripper perform on the surface for ten to twenty minutes, it will have formed a layer on the surface that is soft and may be easily scraped, scraped, or removed with a brush using a spatula.
  • After that, the simplest way to get rid of any remaining residues of the paint removers is to make the surface clean with the assistance of a brush and some water. In order to thoroughly remove all of the stripping material from some types of wood or metal, it might be essential to include turpentine in the rinsing process.
  • Before continuing with the treatment of the surface, we need to wait between 24 and 48 hours for it to dry out completely. This will allow any moisture to evaporate and will make it simpler to remove any residue that was remaining from the paint stripper’s application.
  • At this point, the surface is prepared to be treated, which may involve the application of fresh paint, enamel, varnish, or some other form of protective treatment.

Safety Gears While Using Paint Stripper

  1. Put on a pair of safety glasses that have a clear wraparound design to protect your eyes from dust, splashes, and debris.
  2. When working indoors with paint strippers, you should use a respirator that has a chemical cartridge.
  3. In order to keep your skin safe, you should dress in disposable coveralls, old jeans, and a long-sleeved shirt.
  4. When working with chemical strippers, it is advised that you use gloves made of black butyl or green nitrile rubber, as stated on the MSDS provided by the manufacturer. When scraping and heat stripping, choose gloves made for the construction industry.
  5. Put on some disposable booties, and as you leave the working area, take the booties off to prevent tracking in any dust or dirt.
  6. Sanding and dry scraping both need the use of a respirator equipped with a P100 filter.

Final Verdict

If you want to use a paint stripper, you should follow the guideline we have mentioned here. Don’t neglect the safety partly because you will not need to invite more problems while dealing with this chemical.

Hopefully, you can remove the paint using a stripper without any problems or calling a professional.

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