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Paint Stripping Techniques

Stripping paint is occupation that no one likes to perform. Typically, it involves using caustic substances that are harmful to breathe and can burn skin. While it isn’t a job for the faint-hearted, it’s one that can be accomplished using a minimal amount of bother using the right techniques and tools. Using the right equipment is especially important when stripping paint suspected to be lead-based.

The Correct Stripper

Strippers vary in strength, consistency and the way that they work. The most common ones contain methyl-chloride, acetone, toluene or a similarly poisonous chemical while the strongest ones are lye-based. Gelled strippers are perfect for large vertical surfaces while pourable ones are more suitable for furniture. Whichever stripper you use, you should be certain that it entirely covers the painted surface and has a lot of time to work until you scratch it off. Always wear rubber gloves, a respirator and safety glasses when working with strippers. All however, the weakest ones can lead to severe irritation and possible injury.

Implementing Stripper

A classic paintbrush is the best tool for applying stripper ordinarily. When bulk stripping furniture, nevertheless, it is usually faster and more effective to immerse the job in a dip tray and pour stripper in the tray onto the exposed wood with a small bucket. The paint should start to bubble separate after a minute or two of contact with the stripper, but you should give the product at least 10 minutes to work before scratching it off. If the paint does not bubble, then the stripper may not be strong enough for the job.

Scraping the Stripper

After the stripper has had time to work, but until it dries, then scrape it off using a paint scraper or putty knife, then going with the grain of this wood. If patches of paint stay after the bulk was removed, apply a second coat, allow it to work, then scrape . Remember, however, that is better to sand small, hard-to-remove patches than to over-scrape them and scratch the wood. Thoroughly wash the job with water or the recommended solvent to neutralize the stripper before trimming. Small flecks remaining in corners and cracks generally come off when worked using a rotary tool fitted using a sanding accessory.


Stripping paint in the siding of your house is a job that can be accomplished with chemical strippers, but if you suspect that the paint to be lead-based, an alternate technique is safer. Heating the paint using an infrared heater softens it and makes it simple to scratch without using substances that can drip onto the floor and contaminate it. It is never safe to use a blowtorch to soften paint with heat. Even in case you don’t scorch the wood or cause a fire on the surface, you can overheat the home’s framing and start a fire from beneath the wall.

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