How to... remove paint

Painting over old paint can lead to bubbling, peeling or chipping. So whether you're re-painting furniture, fences or entire rooms - always strip the old paint.

There are a number of ways you can remove paint, all of which we have listed below.

Chemical paint remover

Chemical paint remover is sold as a paste, liquid or a spray. It’s very effective for small nooks and groves, most useful for multiple layers of paint. The chemicals soften the surface and then you manually brush it off, it works best when it’s thickly applied. This kind of paint remover is expensive, and can also be dangerous. So whenever you are using chemical paint stripper make sure you use it in an area that is well ventilated and always wear protective gear.

Wire scrappers

Small pieces of copper scouring pad are great for removing paint for those small hard to get areas. By putting pressure on the pad/brush as you move it along the surface you will chip the paint away. You can also make use of a wire brush, a paint scraper or a putty knife. This is ideal for stripping paint from delicate furniture such as chair legs etc.

Sander

Sanding works very well for removing paint from flat areas with few layers of paint or varnish. When using a hand sander, apply pressure and move the sand paper in circular motions, but be careful not to go too far into the surface below. Power sanders are also available, and drum and belt sanders are better for bigger jobs.

Heat 

Heat guns or heat plates are a wonderful method of softening and raising heavy levels of paint from flat surfaces. You simply hold the hot plate 3 or 4 inches away from the surface and move it slowly in a circular motion. The paint heats up and then you can pull or scrap the paint away from the surface. Don’t hold it too close as the wood could burn.

Power hose 

This is an evasive method that is good to use outdoors. It is useful for paint that is blistering from some of your outdoor areas that you want to get rid off.

No paint remover is perfect. You will more than likely have to test your chosen paint remover, and apply it a number of times to get most of the paint off. But have patience, and always have a look at the label before you begin. And don’t forget that the process isn’t complete until you wipe down the surface with a damp cloth and clean all of the old paint away.


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