June 9, 2021

Choosing a Paint Stripper for Wood |Tools & Chemicals To Consider

Paint Stripper for Wood

There is a lot of advice on removing paint from your woodwork. However, there is no simple answer to the question of which paint stripper is best, as this depends on various factors, such as what you want to remove and how much time you have available. The best paint stripper for your situation is the best for you.

Top Pick | Best paint stripper for wood

The top pick for the best paint stripper for wood is the Dumond Chemicals Smart Strip Advanced Paint Remover. This elite chemical provides a practical and reasonably priced way to remove paint from different surfaces, including metallic but wooden surfaces. Aside from being an excellent paint remover, the Dumond smart strip advanced paint remover is environmentally friendly. This paint remover is the top pick because it possesses the broadest range of applications and leads to the most effortless process of removing paint. It is also the most gentle on wooden surfaces.

Chemicals

Soy-Gel 

Stripper Paint Soy Based Quart

The Soy-based quart is an effective odorless paint stripper. It is a product of soybeans and natural elements. It is economical and safe to use. Wear heavy gloves when using the chemical to keep your hands safe. 

It is easy to use when you want to get rid of old paint. The soy gel paint remover is 100% biodegradable. That makes it safe to use. There is no need to put on the respirator. The gel captures lead and hazardous particles from escaping into the air. 

The powerful formula used to make the gel makes it efficient even on surfaces. The surface becomes easy to clean when you apply the gel. It is ideal for both homeowners and professionals.  

Pros

  • Odorless
  • Effective
  • Effortless
  • Harmless
  • Ease of use

Cons

  • Paints harden when not removed.

Paint Stripper

The paint stripper removes multiple layers of paint at the same time. It is safe for wood, metal, and concrete surfaces. The formula clings to vertical surfaces as it does not run. Be careful when opening the container since the contents are under pressure. 

Protective clothing is required. Place a rug on top of the lid since the container is tight. Pour a coat over the surface and spread in a single stroke in one direction. 

The paint stripper is strong and contains methylene chloride. It brings a natural finish to the surface. Use a scraper to get rid of the paint after 15 minutes. 

Pros

  • Fast
  • Versatile
  • Removes multiple layers
  • Water cleanable
  • Safe for the surface

Cons

Flammable.

Evapo-Rust Safe Paint Stripper

The Evapo-rust paint stripper is safe. The solvents get rid of paint by dissolving multiple layers of paint. It works both indoors and outdoors. It neither fumes nor vapors. 

The power of the paint stripper comes from late enamel epoxy and powder coatings. It is easy to apply as it clings to the surface. It lasts since it stays active for up to 48 hours. You are safe from Methylene chloride, which is hazardous to your health.

However, you still have to put on protective clothing. That is nitrile gloves and goggles. The three steps make the process easy. 

Pros

  • Non-flammable
  • Remove multiple layers
  • Ease of use
  • Eco-friendly
  • Ease of use

Cons

  • It needs several layers to remove the paint.

Max strip paint

The Max strip paint remover is a 2-in-1 gel that removes paint and varnished surfaces. A strip removes multiple layers of paint at once. It cleans up with water and does not contain methylene chloride. 

The patented gel formula makes the strip clings to the surface, making the chemical easy to apply. It breaks the bond between the coating and the surface without damaging it. Apply the strip using a brush and a second coat after ten minutes. 

Cover the area using plastic to avoid drying. Test a small area until the paint is easy to remove. Set times depend on the type of paint and the surface. 

Pros

  • Nontoxic
  • Convenient
  • No odor
  • Tough
  • Easy to clean up

Cons

  • Not for automotive and factory-finished paints.

Dumond Chemicals Smart Strip Advanced Paint Remover

The Dumond smart strip advanced paint remover is an all-inclusive paint remover well suited for various practical applications. Dumond Chemicals are an industry leader with years of experience backed by extensive research and development to produce effective products that are safe for the environment and users. Unlike other paint removers, this product does not include caustic or toxic chemicals. So if you are removing paint from a wooden fence in your backyard garden, you do not need to worry about the residual amounts that will enter your soil or water system. The chemicals used to formulate this product are not only water-soluble but are also scientifically proven to be biodegradable.

The Dumond paint remover is fast-acting. It does so without being aggressive with your wooden items. This paint remover does not inflict any damage on your wooden surfaces. The product also remains effective for 24 hours. So for things that are a bit more difficult to deal with, you can give the remover a day to work its magic and rest assured of its effectiveness. The paint remover is easily safe for indoor use as it does not consist of any flammable chemicals and does not produce any toxic fumes. An added advantage of this product is that it is completely odorless, unlike other paint removers. The remover is incredibly effective and can clear up to 15 layers of coating, although this, of course, requires more time. This product is an excellent example of value for money and is perfect for indoor and outdoor use.

Pros

  • Fully biodegradable and pH neutral
  • Fast-acting and multi-layer penetrating
  • Water-soluble and odorless
  • Great for indoor use, nontoxic and non-caustic

Cons

  • Only fast-acting when dealing with a few layers of coating.

Citri-Strip Paint And Varnish Stripping Gel

The citri-strip paint and varnish stripping gel is a close second and great alternative to the top pick Dumond chemical. This paint stripper is more affordable per liter than the top pick while achieving similar results. This paint stripper is incredibly effective. It has an astonishing ability to peel away a few layers of paint swiftly while also managing to peel away several layers of paint. For more complex tasks, the gel has a 24-hour effective period that enables it to overcome the most stubborn coatings.

This product works well on wooden surfaces but also on metallic surfaces. Its effectiveness does not raise any concerns about potential damage to furniture. The product is pH neutral and non-abrasive. Another excellent quality of this product is how it is formulated using nontoxic and nonacoustic chemicals. The formulation is entirely eco-friendly and 100% biodegradable. The formula has no toxic fumes. It has a sweet fruity smell that makes it safe for indoor use and pleasant. The formulation is entirely non-flammable, so there is no added risk of your wooden object catching fire. The gel has a nice consistency that makes it easy to apply to your furniture using a brush. The paint peels off quite easily after allowing the gel to sit and go to work. This material is ideal for DIY projects and can also be used outdoors.

Pros

  • Fully biodegradable and eco friendly
  • Fragrant smell perfect for indoor use
  • Relatively affordable
  • Easy to apply and later on peel off
  • Up to 24-hour effectiveness

Cons

  • It does not work as well on older paints and coatings

Max Strip Paint and Varnish Stripper

The Max Strip paint and varnish stripper is a powerful and effective product. This product arrives at the mid-point of the pricing scale. It is not as well established as the other paint removers discussed, but it is worth your attention. This product does an excellent job of removing thick layers of coating. We found that this product is a bit stronger than other paint removers. Because of its strong formulation at times, it becomes difficult to peel off the layers of paint as it can become a type of crust.  Simply scrubbing the crust with a brush can be effective.

The gel is relatively fast-acting. And works well on different kinds of paints and wooden surfaces. One of the outstanding features of this product is that it is eco-friendly and biodegradable. The formulation does not feature toxic or flammable chemicals such as methylene chloride or NM. This means that the formulation poses no immediate health threat regarding skin contact, so there’s no need to wear protective gloves. The product has a pleasant fragrance on top of its safe formulation, making it a very safe product to use indoors for DIY projects.

Pros

  • Works on various types of paint and surfaces
  • Eco friend and fully biodegradable 
  • Powerful quick-acting formulation
  • Relatively affordable
  • Soft fragrance perfect for indoor use

Cons

  • Difficult to peel off paint

Sunnyside Multi-Strip Advanced Paint and Varnish Remover

The Sunnyside Multi-Strip remover is an excellent product that is frequently compared to the top-pick paint remover in this article. This multi-strip product is ideal for professional use than DIY projects. The most outstanding feature that places it in the professional ballpark is how incredibly fast-acting it is. Most products discussed in this article require around 3-24 hours to take effect, but this product cuts this time down to 30 mins for thin coatings ( 1 to 4 coats) and 1.5 hours for thick layers ( 8 and above).

Because of how powerful these products are, it is not recommended to use them for DIY projects. It is best to use this while wearing some protective gloves because repeated exposure to the gel can lead to dry skin. The paint remover is also not as simple to peel off as the other paint removers discussed in this article. It requires the use of a paint stripping tool. It does not have a soft fragrance, nor is it odorless, so it’s not ideal for indoor use. However, because the formula acts fast, the chemical smell dissipates quickly. This formula works well on all types of wood; however, it does require attention when applied to softwood surfaces. This product is ideal for outdoor use and more large-scale objects.

Pros

  • Works exceptionally well indoor and outdoor
  • Speedy acting
  • Professional grade product
  • Strong enough to work through multiple layers of paint

Cons

  • Not biodegradable or eco friendly 

Sunnyside 2 Minute Remover

This may be one of the most exciting products featured in this article. It is super effective and reasonably priced, making it useful for different applications. This product makes the impressive fast-acting of the previous product seem like nothing. As the name suggests, this product can take effect in as little as 2 minutes. This product is, therefore, perfect for people who are generally in a rush or can’t afford to wait long periods for the paint removers to take effect. The most common use of this paint is removing more detailed areas of the color. It is not the best option when tackling a huge cabinet, but it could be perfect for a small customized letterbox.

Most impressive is that there are no hidden toxic chemicals at work to achieve these blistering speeds. The formulation does not contain methylene chloride, a commonly used but toxic compound. The product is so effective that it can strip away paint on one application. It is safe to use on horizontal and vertical surfaces. Although it is potent, it will not damage your wooden items. It is best to operate this product with protective gloves.  Fortunately, this product does not produce a foul, lingering smell. It is relatively odorless, and any small traces of scent tend to diffuse rapidly. For more thick coatings of paint, this product requires a bit more time, which is only 5 minutes which is close to no time compared to the other products discussed in this article.

Pros

  • Blistering fast speeds
  • Works on various surfaces
  • It does not contain toxic chemicals
  • Paint comes off easily after application 
  • Works well for detail work

Cons

  • It does not work well with large objects

Tools

Metabo Paint Stripper

Metabo paint stripper is a dual tool that removes paint and varnished surfaces. It also processes untreated wood surfaces. It lasts longer since it has to die-cast aluminum housing. It is fast and environmentally friendly. 

The winding protection grid eliminates airborne debris that is harmful to the motor. The S-automatic torque protects the tool from damage if kickbacks take place. 

The adjustable milling depth feature makes the tool convenient to use. You are allowed to connect it to a vacuum. That limits dust exposure to the machine and the user. 

Pros

  • Faster
  • Environment-friendly
  • Adjustable
  • Universal motor
  • No vibration

Cons

  • Contain some harmful contents.

Paint eater

PaintEater is an innovative paint remover that gives you satisfactory results in a short period. The remover makes use of a three-meter abrasive that gets rid of chipped and flaking paint. It comes in a fiber disc that has sharp edges for surfaces. 

It operates flat, and the edges give you a delicate surface. It operates at high rotary speed. That is 2,000 rotations per minute. That maximizes the performance of the disc. 

The Open-web disc design minimizes the loading-up of paint and dust. When siding and trimming, it is not aggressive. Operate the disc on its edge when you want aggression. The powerful motor has a high power of 3.2Amp. 

Pros

  • Effortless
  • Saves time
  • Multiple hand positions
  • Safe
  • High performance

Cons

  • Surface gouging.

Bahco Carbide scraper

The scraper is easy to use and meant for tough surfaces. It is a heavy-duty scraper for wide materials. The plastic knob gives you a grip. You are allowed to add strength when needed. 

The scrapper is versatile since it works on a wide range of surfaces. It allows you to operate the tool using two hands. That is comfortable for the user. The blades are made from cemented carbide, which is a hard material. 

The blade is sharper than steel blades. The thumb grip is convenient to use for detailed and complex tasks. Large areas are ideal for the scrapper. The holster works as a pocket or belt storage.

Pros

  • Maximum comfort
  • Excellent grip
  • Ease of use
  • Heavy-duty use
  • Includes a blade

Cons

  • It comes with one blade.

SEEKONE Heat gun

The SEEKONE heat gun is a strong hat gun that comes with 1800W. It heats up quickly up to 650 degrees Celsius. The power comes in two modes. The temperature varies from 120F to 1200F. That allows you to control your temperature. 

The black dial has the rheostat-type heating feature. The high/low switch that is on the handle gives airflow control. The gun has an overload protector so that your heat gun and the circuit do not get damaged. 

The ergonomic handle takes away the strain that comes with operating the gun. 

Pros

  • Temperature variance
  • Strong
  • Ergonomic design
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Multi-use

Cons

  • Plastic housing.

Ironton Hot Knife

Ironton Heavy-Duty Hot Knife 110V, Adjustable Blade

The Ironton heat gun quickly heats up to 975F. That results in fast and clean cuts in foam and plastic materials. 

The 130Watt knife cuts a wide range of materials. It has depth adjustment for repetitive cuts at a precise depth. The handle comes with a comfortable grip. 

It is essential to know the melting point of your knife. You easily match that with the type of paint you want to get rid of. 

Pros

  • Quick
  • Clean cuts
  • Adjustable temperature
  • Comfortable
  • Precise

Cons

  • It could have been hotter.

Heat gun D2695

DEWALT Heat Gun - 1,550 Watts, 13 Amp, 120 Volt, Model D26950

The innovative kickstand from the heat gun makes it stable. The heat gun is for professional use due to temperature control. You are allowed to adjust heat settings. A beginner might struggle to operate the heat gun. 

The built-in hang ring makes it convenient to store. It is lightweight and durable. The built-in overload protection switches off the heating element to avoid burning up.  The cord has a protector that prevents it from tearing away from the housing. 

Maintaining the gun is easy due to the separate internal components. It weighs up to 2.1 lbs. 

Pros

  • Temperature variance
  • Overload protection
  • Stable
  • Ergonomic comfort grip
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Not easy for beginners

Buyer’s Guide

The paint removal process can be time-consuming, depending on the job’s scale. It’s also a process that requires care, research, and patience to protect the painted object from damage. It is also important to realize that there is no one-size-fits-all.  

There are different kinds of paint removers:

  • Solvent paint stripper work by dissolving the paint is usually the easiest to remove.
  • Caustic paint strippers- these are the most chemically volatile strippers that require utmost care and know-how. This kind of stripper is typically used for industrial-scale projects. Probably not best for DIY projects.
  • Biochemical paint stripper – safe and biodegradable. Likely the best option for DIY projects.

Avoid the temptation to paint over existing layers of paint. Make sure to eliminate all paint before adding a new coat. Even if the layers of lacquer are peeling or flaking, it can directly impact any fresh coat you apply, so you’ll end up with an unsatisfactory finish. This is why it is recommended that you avoid this from occurring and remove paint from any surfaces before applying new coats.

Before buying your paint stripper, read the label and ensure you know how and where to use it. Some paint strippers will require you to purchase additional tools, such as a scraping tool. Other strippers need you to buy protective gear such as gloves, aprons, and gas masks. Ensure that you always give the paint removers enough time to work after removing them; it’s essential to wash and neutralize the surface ( if a caustic stripper was used) before applying a new coat of paint.

Final Thoughts

The main takeaway from reading this article is that, generally, there is no best paint stripper for all cases. The ideal paint stripper depends on several factors, including the substrate, desired exposure time, environmental safety, and whether it will be used indoors or outdoors. There are very fast-acting paint strippers such as Sunnyside 2-Minute Remover. However, these are ideal for large objects, unlike the Dumond paint stripper, which takes a long time but is environmentally friendly and works well on large surfaces. It’s essential to be aware of all the details before you begin.

David D. Hughes
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