Best Paint Stripper

Searching for the Best Paint Stripper

It’s that time of year when your mind turns to spring projects.

You might be thinking of repainting something around your home like a room, the outside of your house, or even the deck.

Regardless of what you have in mind, one thing that will make the job easier is to remove all the old paint from the surface. Especially if it is peeling or flaking off!

You could do that boring job by hand, but why not use a paint stripper?

Paint strippers are chemically designed to help paint become soft or to create bubbles. That way you can remove it more easily.

Not all paint strippers were made for all types of surfaces. Be sure that you read the directions before applying any paint strippers to avoid surprises.

I’ve certainly used a lot of different kinds of paint strippers in my time. I want to share with you what I’ve found during my experiences so you can make the perfect selection.

Want to know more about paint strippers and which are the best ones for the job you’ve got going on? Keep reading to avoid some of the mistakes I’ve made!

Table Of Contents

Best Overall

If you’re like me, you really want to avoid using any more caustic chemicals than necessary. Most paint strippers are pretty harsh stuff, but not Dumond SmartStrip.

This paint stripper is safe for the environment since it uses no carcinogenic substances, no caustic chemicals, and is completely non-toxic.

OK, you might be saying, great, but does it actually work? You bet it does!

This is a water-based paint stripper that can remove up to 15 coats of paint. Whether it’s an oil-based paint, varnish, acrylic paint, or even urethane, this product will remove it all!

Besides being environmentally friendly, SmartStrip works on nearly every surface. That includes brick, wood, metal, plastic, fiberglass, and plaster.

Not many paint strippers can claim that!

You can apply this any way you like, including using a sprayer, a roller, or a brush. This product remains wet, so it keeps working.

Depending on how many coats of paint you are trying to remove, you may need to wait 24 hours to let SmartStrip do the job. Most people find that if there are only two or three coats, you can start working in about 3 three hours.

What I Like

  • It’s environmentally friendly and water-soluble
  • There are no fumes, or horrible odor
  • It doesn’t irritate skin (but you should wear gloves to be safe)
  • It works like a beast!

What I Don’t Like

  • It could be time-consuming if you have multiple layers of paint to remove
  • Some users stated that it took several coats to remove surfaces that had 10 or more layers of paint

I know you are probably skeptical reading this and thinking that there is no way that a water-soluble stripper is going to be very effective.

I understand, I was once a skeptic myself. Try this on one small project and see what you think.

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Runner Up

This is a very popular brand of paint stripping gel, perhaps due to the nice citrus scent it has.

Citistrip works on most surfaces including wood and metal. It’s a gel, so you can brush it on or use a roller.

Citistrip states that it can remove 5 layers of paint in 1 hour. Most users, including myself, find that it takes a bit more time than that.

Depending on how many layers of paint and what surface, most people end up waiting about 3 hours or even overnight.

The main problem with Citistrip is that it tends to dry quick and that only makes the problem worse. If you are working outside, if it is very warm, or if you plan on leaving the product overnight, I suggest putting some plastic over it to keep it from drying. Try to use it in the shade if possible.

What I Like

  • It has a pleasant citrus smell
  • It works on varnish or paint
  • It removes paint in a few hours or overnight

What I don’t like

  • Some users complain of having to apply more than one application
  • The product dries quickly in warm weather
  • A few users say that they still needed to use a paint scraper to remove all traces of the paint

Perhaps you don’t mind waiting for a product to work. Maybe you are willing to put plastic over your work to prevent it from drying out. If you also love a nice smell while working, Citistrip is the paint stripper for you.

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Best paint stripper for wood

If you’ve got some wood furniture, a deck, patio furniture, stairs, or a fence, you know that stripping paint from wood requires extra care.

You don’t want to damage the wood itself.

SunnySide Multi-Strip is the perfect paint stripper for wood. Whether you want to remove old varnish or layers of old paint, SunnySide is best for this job.

This paint stripper can be applied to vertical surfaces since it is non-drip and is ready to go in as little as 30 minutes!

Yes, you can use SunnySide on other surfaces, including masonry, concrete, marble, metal, or even wood veneers. This is NOT for plaster, plastic, rubber, or sheetrock.

The manufacturer says the product starts working in 30 minute, but that it will take up to 24 hours if you have 8-15 layers of paint to go through.

This is good for furniture because it is a low odor stripper. You won’t have to leave your furniture outside. SunnySide has been around for 125 years, so they have lots of experience making quality products.

What I Like

  • It does a terrific job on wood surfaces without harming the wood
  • It cleans up with soap and water
  • It has a low odor

What I Don’t Like

  • Most people still need to use a putty knife or paint scraper to remove all traces of paint
  • It can dry in very warm weather and must be covered to prevent drying out
  • It’s not as economical as some products since you must apply a very generous amount

If you plan on doing paint stripping on any wood surface, I recommend that you try SunnySide for the best results.

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What is the best paint stripping product?

Everyone has a favorite brand or product when it comes to paint strippers. My personal choice is the Dumond Smart Strip for general paint stripping.

There are paint strippers designed for all types of surfaces. What works on one type of surface will not work on another.

What is the best way to remove paint from walls?

This will depend on what type of material your wall is made of.

For drywall, an electric sander or sandpaper wrapped over a block of wood will allow you to sand away all the unwanted paint. You can also paint over the old paint if it is not peeling or flaking off.

If you have plaster walls, you can use a chemical paint stripper, such as the ones above.

Paint strippers require much less work than sanding. Use a wide paintbrush and apply the stripper to the areas where you want paint removed.

Be sure to cover furniture and floors to avoid damage to these items. Leave the product on for whatever amount of time the package indicates (usually 30-60 minutes). Once you see bubbles forming, take your paint scraper or putty knife and peel off the paint.

You can also remove paint from wood walls or wood surfaces by covering the area with vinegar. Wait until the paint has softened before removing it, or you can use a heat gun to soften the paint.

Does vinegar remove paint from wood?

Yes, vinegar will remove paint from wood. But perhaps not the way you thought it would.

Vinegar is a terrific answer to soften old paint on wood surfaces. It won’t “melt” the paint off. It won’t make the paint peel off by itself, but it makes it much softer so that you can put in less elbow grease removing it.

Vinegar is a cheap and environmentally friendly way to soften paint. You won’t have to work so hard to remove it.

But it isn’t a magic solution. You will still need to get out that putty knife and scrape that old paint off.

Can you paint over peeling paint?

This reminds me of an old saying that goes “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”

For example.

You can put a raw egg in a microwave. They fit just fine, right? However, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Unless you don’t mind an exploded egg mess inside your microwave!

Yes, you CAN paint over peeling paint, but that won’t stop the paint from peeling. The paint will go on chipping, flaking, and peeling off, taking your new paint with it. That’s a whole lot of wasted time, energy, and money.

The prep work is always the hardest and most time-consuming part of any job. Everyone wishes they could simply paint over old peeling paint.

The truth is that you can, but you shouldn’t.

My Winner

I know that there are hundreds of brands of paint strippers out there including the old-fashioned methods of vinegar, paint thinner, and heat guns. But why put yourself through all that when you can use Dumond Smart Strip.

This product works very well. Seriously, I had my doubts at one time, just like you. I decided to try this on one old piece of wood that had I don’t know how many layers of paint. I brushed it on and just forgot about it.

I’m sure my jaw was on the floor the next morning when I remembered the box and was surprised to see the paint literally falling off.

I took some rags and just wiped it away!

No smell, but there was some mess since this is a gel-like consistency, but it was no effort at all!

Try some Dumond Smart Strip and see for yourself how well it works.

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