How to Use Paint Stripper

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How to Use Paint Stripper

Whether doing simple home improvement projects or major refinishing work on antiques, the use of paint stripper to help bring new life to old surfaces is necessary. Paint stripper does exactly as its name suggests and removes layers of paint and varnish from surfaces, allowing users to sand down the surface and refinish it with new paint or stain.

Knowing how to use paint stripper is therefore important since safe and appropriate application of this sometimes hard-to-remove substance is necessary for success. Users therefore need to review not only the process for using paint stripper itself, but also the types of paint stripper they may choose.

Comparing Types of Paint Stripper

Before beginning a pain stripping project it is important for users to understand the types of paint strippers they can use and what those paint strippers accomplish. There are three main types of paint stripper that people use: caustic paint strippers, solvent-based strippers, and safe strippers, sometimes called 'green' strippers, because they are more environmentally friendly. The differences between these three types of paint strippers, outlined in the table below, relate to a few factors including their chemical composition, which types of paints they work best with, as well as the time it takes for them to do their job.

Caustic Paint Stripper

Solvent-Based Stripper

Safe Stripper

Chemicals Used to Remove Paint

Sodium hydroxide also known as lye or caustic soda

Methylene chloride (MC)

N-Methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP), soy esters, or dibasic esters

Time Needed

10 minutes to 24 hours

15 to 30 minutes

4 to 24 hours

Used for...

Lead-based paints

Oil-based paints and stains

Oil-based paints and stains

Understanding what each type of paint stripper accomplishes and how it accomplishes it helps users understand which to use for a particular project. Those stripping lead paint, for example, need to use caustic paint stripper, whereas those with oil-based paints to remove and with time to wait, use the less-toxic safe stripper.

Using Paint Stripper

Once users know what type of paint stripper to use, it is time to actually use it. Ultimately, the process of using paint stripper breaks down into three phases: preparing the area and gathering supplies, applying the paint stripper, and removing the paint stripper.

Gathering Supplies

Before beginning any paint stripping, gather all necessary work and safety-based supplies. Getting everything in one space helps streamline the process, making it more efficient and safe. Necessary tools include:

* Newspaper or drop cloth

* Safety gloves

* Safety goggles

* Face mask

* Old paint brush

* Plastic wrap

* Paint scraper

* Steel wool

* Turpentine

Once all the supplies are together, the next step is setting them up for optimal working conditions. This includes lining the area with newspapers or a drop cloth and wearing all safety equipment including goggles, gloves, and face mask. It is also essential to ensure good ventilation in the area before moving on to the application process.

Applying Paint Stripper

Once the area is prepared, the application of the actual paint stripper begins. Though paint stripper comes in several forms including thick pastes and thinner liquids, the easiest method of application is an old paint brush bound for the rubbish bin. It is important to apply a liberal amount of stripper to the surface in order to allow it to penetrate the paint and begin breaking it down.

Also pay attention to applying the stripper to each crack and crevice of the item. Once complete, wait the designated period of time that the particular type of paint stripper requires. For brands that take more than a few hours to work, wrapping the surface in plastic prevents the stripper from evaporating before it takes full effect.

Removing Paint

Once enough time has elapsed, it is time to remove the actual paint. The paint scraper helps remove paint from large, flat surfaces. Smaller areas and tight crevices, however, need steel wool. The newspaper or drop cloth below the item collects the paint strips for easy clean-up afterward. Once all the paint is gone, the final step is washing the surface of the item with turpentine and allowing it to dry.

How to Buy Paint Stripper on eBay

Using eBay to buy paint stripper and other supplies needed to strip paint saves buyers time and money. The site offers daily deals on supplies such as paint stripper, paint brushes, and safety equipment for DIY projects. In addition, bundles of items such as paint stripper and new varnish, for example, save post cost.

Using paint stripper as a first step in refinishing a piece of furniture in the home is a great way to breathe new life into an item without a huge cost. However, using paint stripper properly, including knowing which to use for a particular job, is also important. By breaking down the process into three steps, preparation, application, and stripping, users simply and quickly get the job done while keeping safety a priority.

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