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Q&A: Paint Stripping

In order to get the best possible finish for your new paint job, sometimes it’s a good idea to strip the previous coats of paint.

Having a clean surface to paint on means your paint is more likely to key to it and it could very well contribute to the durability of your new paint job.

So how do you strip paint? Which products should you be using? And what techniques are best for paint removal? We’ve put together a helpful guide to answer all those questions and more so you know the ins and outs of paint strippers. Read on to learn more.

How can you strip paint from metal?

When it comes to stripping paint from metal, there’s a couple of things you can do.

  1. Use a product like Peelaway which has been specially formulated to react with the paint and turn it into a compound that can, like the name suggests, be peeled away. Once you’ve completed the stripping, you’ll need to use a neutraliser if you plan to repaint the metal.
  2. Use a needle scaler attachment for an SDS drill. In my experience the needle scaler attachment works very well and is a lot less fuss than Peelaway.

What’s Peel Tec like as a paint stripper? Could I use it on ceiling beams?

I started using it on an old fire place awhile back and resorted back to the old fashioned heat and a shave hook. It’s alright for things like old water based paint and paint on hinges etc but don’t expect a miracle with it on your beams. Like I said, it was a long time ago when I used it so it might be a bit better now!

I have a wall to paint that has a terrible paint job that has bubbled extensively. Can I sand it down or should I strip all the paint away?

If the paint is that bad I would personally opt to strip it. If you leave it on you might have issues getting the new paint to key properly and may end up in a similar mess. If you have a high quality sander like the Mirka then you might have a chance at sanding it down otherwise stripping it is the best course of action.

Is it better to heat or use a chemical when it comes to stripping paint?

It depends on how many layers and how much time you have. If it’s only a couple of layers of paint I would say using a heat gun is your best bet as it’s a bit cleaner and quicker.

If you have more layers to remove then using a chemical paint stripper would probably be a better idea.

It’s worth mentioning that you may need to check your home insurance if you’re using a heat gun to remove paint!

What’s the best way to remove interior paint that’s easily stripping away?

If your paint has completely separated from the surface you’re probably finding that you could easily scrape it off with your finer nails. But the issue with scraping away this paint is the mess it’ll make, along with the build up of dust in the air it’ll create.

To avoid the paint stripping from becoming messy, the best thing you can do is use a steamer before scraping it away.

Does vinegar work as a paint stripper?

If you’re thinking of using it in a conventional way to strip large amounts of paint then no, vinegar won’t work. If you’re going to use it to scrub away dried paint from surfaces such as uPVC or windows then you will get some success, depending on how long the paint has been allowed to dry for.