How to Use a Paint Stripper

Don’t have any idea how to use a paint stripper? Then you’re in the right place.

In today’s post, we’re going to talk about the paint strippers and how to use them correctly. But before diving into the steps allow us to tell you some important information about paint strippers.

Why use A Paint Stripper?

Many of us get confused between a paint stripper and paint remover. In the actual fact, these two products are the same.

A paint stripper is a product that is specially designed to remove paints, paint coatings, as well as other kinds of finishes and furnishes. Usually, it is utilized for cleaning the first or underlying surface as well.

Either way, always keep in mind that removing paints from any surface may possibly cause lead poisoning. Having that said, make sure that the product you will be using is of high quality.

pencil eraser

To avoid lead poisoning, it is essential and highly recommended to read the suggestions and precautions provided on the paint stripper's pack.

On the other hand, paint strippers usually come in two different forms: semi-paste and liquid.

Generally, the liquid paint strippers work faster whereas the semi-paste form is best-suited for all-around work since it does not drip or run when applied to a vertical surface.

Now that you already have an idea what a paint stripper is let’s find out how to use a paint stripper in easy steps.

How to Use A Paint Stripper

Step 1: Prepare All the Things That You Will Need

If you are going to do some severe paint stripping make sure to lay down plastic on the floor below your working area and then cover it with rosin paper or kraft paper.

Keep in mind that this job is quite messy. Further, if you only use plastic the residue of the old paint might get slippery and eat all over the plastic depending on the kind of chemical you are using.

workshop with different set of paints

Another important thing that you need to prepare is a pair of gloves that is chemical resistant.

As a matter of fact, the majority of paint stripper today will eat over nitrile or regular latex gloves, thus avoid using such gloves.

You can also make use of thick and big gloves that are usually accessible in local stores.

On the other hand, if you are going to do this inside make sure to open your windows most especially if you want to keep yourself in good condition for the rest of the day. In simple words, make sure that your working area has proper ventilation.

Step 2: Clean the surface

The next thing that you need to is to ensure that the surface is free from debris and dust by merely cleaning it thoroughly and accurately.

Step 3: Apply the Paint Stripper using a disposable chip brush or an old paint brush.

Before applying the stripper make sure to shake it well and pour it in shallow container or pot. Also, don’t forget to wear your gloves.

When applying a paint stripper, it is best to start with small areas instead of opting for a bigger surface. As a matter of fact, stripping small spaces than bigger ones is more convenient and comfortable.

Moreover, remember that the majority of paint strippers today work best with thick application, thus apply a full amount of paint stripper.

After the application process, leave the paint stripper and let it dry for at least 20 to 25 minutes or until the paint begins to bubble up.

Step 4: Remove the Old Paint 

Once the paint has softened or bubbled thoroughly, you can now scrape it off using a plastic scraper or putty knife. Take note you do not have to use any sharp scraper for this.

Furthermore, you can make use of a toothpick or other creative tools to remove paints from hard to reach areas.

Even so, if the paint does not scrap the first time, you need to apply a paint stripper again with thick coats. Allow it to dry for 15 to 20 minutes.

popcorn ceiling getting fixed

After which remove it using steel wool that is plunged in mineral spirits. Aside from that, you can also use a lacquer thinner to scrape off the remaining paint.  

Step 5: Clean Up and Neutralize the Paint Striper

Sure, you have to clean up the residue of the old paint, but always keep in your mind that neutralizing the paint stripper is very important. 

Actually, if you do not offset the minute, you repaint the paint will definitely fail too early due to the oil paint residue left on the surface.

On the other hand, every stripper has various requirements when it comes to neutralizing the surface you stripped.

Some of them need mineral spirits and water while others need something different.

Better yet, follow the instructions or guidelines provided by the product's manufacturer or else you'll have problems shortly.

Once you have neutralized as well as cleaned up, allow your project to dry for a day or two to make sure that no remaining moisture needs to escape.

There you have it the five easy steps on how to use a paint stripper.

Other Tips for Using Paint Striper 

When working outdoors make sure to protect your surroundings

Keep in mind that paint strippers that are safe for people may be dangerous for shrubs and flowers. Thus, when working outdoors, you need to ensure that the surrounding is well protected.

Choose a paint stripper that is free of harmful chemicals and substances

Avoid buying strippers that contain toluene, xylene, carbonic acid, formic acid, as well as methylene chloride as they are considered harmful chemicals.

Carefully read the paint stripper’s label

Paint strippers aren’t created the same. Some of them are specially designed for metal, wood, concrete, and fiberglass, while others are for plastic.

Thus make sure that the stripper which you’re considering is appropriate for your planned use.

Wrap Up

By merely following the details mentioned above, rest assured you will be able to use your paint strippers correctly and safely.

Check out this video below to see how you apply the above steps:


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