How to use paint stripper on kitchen cabinets

FiftiesRedoApril 21, 2011

I recently learned how to use paint stripper to remove paint off my kitchen cabs. Now I can't believe I ever used sand paper! It's so quick and easy.

I figured I'd pass on the info on how to do it, in case you want to reface your own kitchen cabinets.

Here is a link that might be useful: HOW TO USE PAINT STRIPPER

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Sounds like another SPAM to me. If you're for real, why don't you tell us something about what you did?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 2:35PM
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I'm so sorry to have given you a mistaken impression. I'm new at this.

Here is what I posted on my blog, so you don't have to click on the link above if you don't feel comfortable doing so. The reason I linked to the blog is because I posted pictures of my paint removal job, as it progressed, on it.

Here is the text alone:


It's easy! Since the paint stripper does all the hard work, you don't have to apply a lot of pressure to remove the paint once the chemicals have done their magic. But, most importantly, using paint stripper is safer than sanding because you can avoid the often hazardous dust getting into your lungs and every crevice of your home. In the pictures below, I demonstrate how to use paint stripper, as I did to remove old paint from my kitchen cabinets.

STEP 1. Get ready for the job by purchasing all the necessary tools.

Paint stripper like the KS-3 Premium Stripper (if you choose a different brand, be sure to opt for industrial strength; sadly, there is no effective "green" option, no matter what the manufacturer promises)
Chemical-resistant rubber gloves
Chemical splash goggles
Small paint brush (for this job, get the cheapest kind, since precision is not your main objective)
Metal container
Odorless mineral spirits
Metal stripping tool (do not use plastic, since it's not as effective)
150 to 180-grit sandpaper (for light final finishing)
Heavy-duty drop cloth

STEP 2. Make sure the surrounding area is lined with a heavy plastic drop cloth.

STEP 3. Wearing your gloves and goggles, pour a small amount of the stripper (about 1/2 cup) into the metal pail.

STEP 4. Using the paint brush, apply a thin layer to a small area (up to 9 sq. ft.) in the direction of the wood grain. I usually work on 3-4 sq. ft. (or less) at a time, because I don't want the product to dry before I have a chance to scrape off the paint.

STEP 5. After 15 min., remove the loosened paint by gently scraping along the direction of the wood grain with the metal scraper. Be gentle so as not to bruise the wood, especially if you are working with a soft wood like pine or soft maple.

STEP 6. Most likely, you will have to repeat the process over the entire area once again, and then on areas that are still covered with paint.

STEP 7. Clean the exposed wood with mineral spirits, wait to dry, and finish with fine sandpaper (lighly, by hand) before applying paint or stain.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 5:22PM
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I prefer to use Jasco because it works the first time (I like to refinish furniture). You are right that "green" strippers don't work well - any product that requires multiple applications are a waste of time.

The cheap plastic scrapers are good because you cannot gouge the wood while learning how much pressure to apply.

You might want to try an orbital sander for faster finishing. A mouse sander is great for corners and some of the fine detailing.

Be careful - chemical paint strippers are no joke when you get it on your skin. Long sleeves, chemical resistance gloves (the latex ones burn through), and goggles.

Definitely post pictures of your project!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 6:02PM
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I read through your blog the other day when you posted about 'refacing your kitchen cabinets' and thought it sounded like a commercial for the cabinet door company. lol

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 6:19PM
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@ae2ga - Wow, thanks! I will change the suggestions on my blog to reflect yours. And I will try Jasco to see how it works! Perhaps my plastic scraper didn't work so well because the paint stripper wasn't strong enough.

@ghostlyvision - So sorry! My friends were asking where I found the cabinet doors and wanted referrals, so I decided to start a blog and share my remodel story. I actually don't get any money for referrals to the cabinet door company. Perhaps I should!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 6:39PM
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Jasco is an excellent product and will strip off years and multiple coats of accumulated paint and finishes of all types without the need to continually reapply and rescrape, but it is STRONG. Be careful, wear protective gear, and have good ventilation so that you don't breathe in fumes and get sick. Jasco works but it's not for the faint at heart.

I've never used KS-3, so I can't say how it works, but with Jasco, apply with the cheap paint brush, and as you're waiting, you'll see the paint crackle and lift.

Oh! One other thing, working with wood and paint stripper, don't let the wood get to wet from the stripper. You'll scrape off wood as well as finish, though this may matter more if the piece you're refinishing has a veneer.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 8:32PM
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@ ae2ga: I just purchased Jasco, and my experience was about the same as with KS-3, despite the difference in price. Maybe I didn't get the right Jasco? The one I bought says "Premium Paint and Epoxy Remover" (with a 15-min. recommended wait). If this is the same one you have, then my experience might be different from yours because I'm using the product on already-mounted cabinets and thus cannot apply a thick coat (it would drip). You can probably lay it on more thickly, since you are using it on horizontally laid out furniture.

Any ideas? Thanks!!

(BTW, I incorporated your tips on my blog. Thanks!!)

Here is a link that might be useful: How to use paint stripper, edited

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 7:41PM
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