Favorite paint stripper?

gfoakJuly 18, 2006

I've tried 3M Safest Stripper and Bix Nature's Own Stripper. Both resulted in about the same level of strippage - lots of goo, not a clean strip. Three coats required (to strip to a repaint level, not a stain level).

3M wins out for me because it took less time to break the bond.

What's your favorite stripper and why? Do any strippers *really* result in a near-clean first strip?

My recent project had at least 7 layers on built-ins on a 1936 home.


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Methylene Chloride. The more the better. Use it outdoors, and do not use it at all if you have any type of heart or reparatory problems.

MEK is also effective for clear finishes and not nearly as dangerous.
Sawdust is the best abrasive to remove the curdled paint (less damage than scrapers).

    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 10:31PM
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It is non-flammable and did a decent job stipping the 100 years of paint and stain the last house had.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 10:33PM
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Peel away I've used both #1 and #7 and I now keep it on hand.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 11:03PM
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My current fave is Soy-Gel, which I got from the Real Milk Paint Co., though it can be ordered from the manufacturer and other suppliers.

I added it to a recent order more out of curiosity, and without much hope. But holy smokes, it works like gang busters if left alone to do its thing. I haven't done a big project with it yet, but I plan on stripping a pine floor. My test patches have been great!

I have tried just about every chemical and mechanical method, and So far Soy-Gel is the best I've found.

Depending on what you're doing I have read recerntly of rsuccess with steam as a paint remover. You can og to John Leeke's website and see info about his experiemnts with it.

That's: www.historichomeworks.com. There is a semi-active forum on old-house issues there, too.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 1:10AM
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A quick note about methylene chloride...in many places its use is prohibited or restricted, so make sure that, if you choose to use it (too caustic for my taste), check with the state EPA and or your local environmental authorities.

My personal favorite is the Silent Paint Remover. Steam also works fabulously, from what I've seen.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 9:17AM
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Thanks for the responses thus far... I was basically trying to decide if the methyl chloride was worth it/made that much of a difference.

I am *very* tempted by the silent paint remover, and have a dumb reason not to buy it: I'm afraid if I make it too easy to strip paint, I'll never stop!

I will do a test patch on crown molding this weekend - I want to see if there is wood under there ;) I have a living room with dark wood trim and WHITE crown molding (what were they thinking!). I have no idea at what stage/age that molding was added. Preferably, I'd take it down and dip it (pay to) - but I am afraid to tear up the plaster and lath getting it down. So I think I'll do a test patch first.

Meanwhile, I'll finish off my 3M job... and consider the harsher stuff (nonflammable preferred) for the next iteration!

Thanks guys

    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 12:55PM
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Another vote for Soygel here. I bought some on a lark when ordering some other things, and it has been great on my test patches on my pine floor, too. This floor has been covered by carpet and old carpet adhesive for over 30 years, as far as I can tell. I put the Soygel down, left it for a couple of hours (no fumes to worry about), and a quick scrape took all the adhesive right off the floor.

Here is a link that might be useful: Franmar, makers of Soygel

    Bookmark   July 29, 2006 at 5:06PM
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I really loved the two gallons of cheap generic stripper I bought when the Jamesway chain went OOB. It was useless as a stripper for architectural woodwork because it was too weak. One day I discovered that it removed three layers of metallic gold paint without disturbing the (sealed with varnish) hand-painted 1896 decoration underneath it.
Sometimes less is more.
I invariably use a heat gun for the paint then clean up with Kutzit. This is on originally-shellacked interior mouldings, BTW.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2006 at 10:08PM
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What's great about Soygel is that it's nontoxic. Better for you and much better for the environment.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 1:26AM
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A vote here for Peelaway #7. Non-caustic, and cleans up with water. Goes on nice and thick, so it's great for vertical surfaces.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2006 at 7:32PM
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I have a 1929 Tudor and i was removing 77 years worth of paint on the trim. Nothing worked until I got the heat gun. I have a steamer, too, but I liked the heat gun. Careful, though. With that project, I found out that not all wood is meant to be stained! The wood used was definatly not stain grade (at that point, I didn't care!).

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 2:46PM
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For thick multi layer paint--heat gun all the way. OUTDOORS of course--don't want to inhale all the lead vapor. Indoors--wear an appropriately rated mask, or you may affect your cognitive capacities! I have always used a heat gun--practice first-some woods scorch easily,-like cherry--and then cleaned it up with Circa 1850 furniture stripper--which is a meth chloride, and fine steel wool. If stripping only varnish--use just the stripper. It will cut it very quickly.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 7:00PM
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Has anyone used the SoyGel Paint and Urethane Remover Stripper. It worked amazingly well for me.

Here is a link that might be useful: SoyGel Paint Remover

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 9:19AM
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