Types Of Chemical Paint Strippers

Types Of Chemical Paint Strippers - Painters

If you’re not a chemist, and we bet most of you aren’t, you might be a little wary about choosing which types of chemical paint strippers you’ll need.

They all smell funny and one wrong move might ruin your furniture, brushes, or cause some kind of crazy science mishap. It’s well worth your time to learn a bit about the various types of chemical paint strippers.

This might also be a good time to remind you to wear a mask and to use paint strippers only in a well-ventilated area, like an open garage, gazebo, or a covered (but not enclosed) porch.

Paint strippers come in several forms, each having their pros and cons.

Spray-on paint strippers are simple and fast to apply. They work well on very thin coats of paint, such as spray paint. Spray-on products are less effective than others because they don’t penetrate as deeply, nor do they stay in place as well. Spray-on paint strippers are not a good option for projects that will remain vertical, like dressers.

Liquid paint strippers are thicker than spray-on, meaning that they will penetrate deeper and faster. They can be applied with a bristle brush or a sponge brush. Don’t bother using an expensive horsehair brush to apply stripping liquid. The coat doesn’t need to be smooth or even. It’s best to use cheap sponge brushes and then throw them out when the job is done.

Gel paint strippers are the easiest, safest, and most effective of the various types of chemical paint strippers. They are also the most expensive, but you’re usually only talking about a couple of dollars more. Gel paint strippers can be applied thickly and will stay put for long enough to do the job. They get into crevasses and detail work, and can be left for hours (wrapped in plastic) to give it enough time to remove thick layers of varnish or paints.

All types of chemical paint strippers work by penetrating the paint or varnish, then spreading out between the paint layer and the surface beneath. This causes the paint to lift from the object so it can be scraped off easily.

Check labels to be sure that the paint stripper you choose is right for the materials and for what you’re trying to remove. With a little knowledge and planning, refinishing is easy and fun enough that it’ll hardly seem like work at all.

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