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When to Use Paint Stripper

When it comes to using paint, you’ll find that there are a lot of different ways to remove it. However, today I want to focus on when to use paint stripper.

When to Use Paint Stripper

  1. I use paint stripper on a piece when I want it to go all the way down to the wood, especially if I have a piece with a veneer on top. Veneers can be very thin. Unfortunately, if you accidentally sand through the veneer there is no fixing it without replacing the top.
  2. Paint stripper is ideal to use if the piece has many coats of paint.
  3. If you are dealing with lead based paint you must use a chemical stripper instead of sanding it. Sanding lead based paint causes the lead to be released into the air allowing you to breathe it in and creating a very dangerous environment. If you don’t know if your paint is lead based, testing kits are available to check.
When to Use Paint Stripper
This is my go-to stripper because it works so fast. I have tried a few other products and I always come back to Klean-Strip. However, caution is absolutely necessary because this stripper is very TOXIC. It will eat anything it touches so make sure you follow the warning labeling on the product. I strongly advise wearing a mask and protecting your skin when using paint stripper. I bought this stripper from Home Depot and it ran me about $25.
When to Use Paint Stripper
I painted the top of this desk several years ago when I was starting out with furniture remodeling and I used bleach on it… BAD idea!!  Learn from my mistake, NEVER use bleach on painted furniture as it bubbled the paint and ruined the finish.
To strip this desk I applied the paint stripper generously. You want it to be on there pretty thick. After the stripper has been applied, allow it to sit for about 15 minutes. Your paint will start to bubble and look like this. Some areas will bubble more than others – that is normal.
When to Use Paint Stripper
After about 15 minutes, take your putty knife and begin scraping your paint off. Make sure to scrape in the direction of your wood grain as to minimize any scratching to the wood. I like to scrape my paint on to a paper plate so I can dispose of it all.


When to Use Paint Stripper


After you have scraped all the loose paint and stripper off, you may need to apply another coat of stripper. Follow the same steps until all your paint is off. Once your paint is off you will still need to sand it as stripper doesn’t always strip everything evenly! Once I sanded the top smooth I painted it again, and now the top of our desk is as good as new.
Living room turned office
living room turned office
Happy painting!


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