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paint stripping

Paint Stripping Safety 

June 12, 2023

Have you bought a home that is deemed a “fixer-upper” or an older home that has layers and layers of paint on places like the window and door trim, the fireplace mantle, or wood details throughout the home? If so, you may be looking for a fast and easy way to remove the paint to either restore the wood or put on a fresh coat of paint for your new home. 

Paint stripping is a popular method to remove unwanted paint but it can also be unhealthy if the chemicals in the stripper are breathed in or if the ventilation in the space is not adequate. 

Let’s take a closer look at paint strippers and what you will need to know prior to using them safely. 

men paint stripping a window

What Are Paint Strippers? 

According to Family Handyman online, “Paint strippers (or paint removers) are chemical compounds designed to quickly lift and peel away paint, varnish, lacquer and other coatings from surfaces, like wood, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), metal and masonry. The main categories of strippers/removers found in stores today include caustic, biochemical, solvent-based, and heat.”

Safety Gear Needed 

In order to strip paint from an area, it is a good idea to use several layers of safety gear. 

Start with a pair of safety glasses that will protect your eyes from any chemicals that may splash or make your eyes feel irritated. Additionally, wear clothing that you don’t mind getting ruined. 

It is also a smart idea to don a pair of rubber gloves that will protect your hands should any chemicals get on them. We also suggest keeping a bucket of clean water and a cloth to wipe your skin that may get splashed to avoid any irritation. 

Determine The Type of Stripper Needed

Whether you are working on a delicate item or something more sturdy, you will need to determine which type of stripper will be best for your job. Take into consideration the strength and types of chemicals you will be using as well as the type of paint, latex or oil-based, that you will need to remove. 

Talk to your local hardware store which should be able to steer you in the right direction. There are multiple brands and types of strippers including those for heavy-duty jobs and those who want to be less caustic on the environment. 

Paint Scraping Tips 

Once you have determined the type of paint stripper you will need and have put on your safety gear, you will need to have a plan on how you will remove all the stuck-on layers of paint. 

Here are a few suggestions from professionals…

  • Keep your scraper sharp. 
  • Read the directions on the paint stripper to know how much to use and how long to let it sit before starting to scrape. 
  • Scrape with the grain and away from your eyes. 
  • Utilize different-size scrapers to get into smaller corners and fine details.
  • Wash your hands and all surfaces after using paint strippers. 
  • Clean the area immediately after use and pay close attention to the directions from the manufacturer on storage. 

Need help removing old paint and transforming a space with new paint? Talk to the pros at Jerry Enos Painting about a free estimate and get started today. 


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