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How To Remove Paint Like a Professional

There is nothing like a newly painted room, building or piece of furniture. A can of paint is an inexpensive but wonderful way to bring new life to something old and dreary. A simple change in colour or resurfacing with a fresh, new layer of the same colour will completely change the look of the area being painted. Paint has an almost magical ability to create the old into a thing of beauty.

While the actual task of painting an item is relatively easy, the preparation of that item to be painted can require work. If that house, wall or furnishing has been painted before, the old paint might have to be removed first before the surface can be painted again.

Depending on the method used, removing paint can be time consuming. There are generally 3 different ways of removing paint.

1 Sanding

Sanding is the most common way to remove the old paint from a surface. Sanding can be done manually by using a piece of sandpaper or it can be done with a sanding machine. When sanding a surface, care is needed to ensure areas are not over sanded which will thin the wood. All the paint should be removed from the surface evenly before repainting the surface.

2 Hot Air Stripping

Using a hot air gun is a relatively quick and inexpensive means of stripping paint away from a surface. The hot air melts the paint while a scraper is used to immediately scrape the heated paint of the surface. It is a very quick and efficient way to remove paint.

When using hot air guns, care has to be taken to ensure that areas of the wood are not scorched or burned. The operating instructions should always be read completely to ensure that the hot air gun is used properly to avoid injury.

3 Chemical Paint Strippers

Chemical paint strippers are extremely fast and effective for removing paint. Chemical strippers are great for removing paint from very intricate pieces of furniture, hard to reach areas or surfaces that have multiple layers of old paint on them. There are different types of chemicals for stripping paint.

Chemical paint strippers come are solvent or caustic based. The solvent based chemical stripper is gentler on wood and will not discolour or damage the wood. They are highly flammable and have strong fumes which can be harmful to the person using them.

Caustic chemical peels are more alkaline. They do not have heavy fumes or a strong odour. Because they have an alkaline base, caustic strippers can interact with certain chemicals found in some paints and varnish, resulting in a discolouring or staining of the wood surface.

Chemical strippers come in powder form, liquid form and aerosol spray. There are also environmentally friendly chemical strippers on the market. Their natural ingredients do not harm the air.

Chemical strippers can be harmful, not only to the surface that they are being applied to, but to the user as well. Chemical strippers should be used in well ventilated areas. It is paramount that all of the instructions and warnings be read first and strictly followed.