Removing Epoxy or Urethane Paint

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Removing Epoxy or Urethane Paint
Removing Epoxy or Urethane Paint (Image: Credit: Dictionnaire encyclopédique de l'épicerie et des industries annexes" par Albert Seigneurie, édité par "L'Épicier" en 1904, page 122 - Copyright: Public Domain)

Wet Paint

Epoxy and urethane paints are tough paints to remove. The key to successful removal is removing the paint without damaging the underlying surface. It is easier to remove epoxy and urethane paints when they are still wet. If you make an error when painting, quickly wipe it up with a rag soaked in rubbing alcohol. If the rubbing alcohol does not remove the paint, see the removal method below for dry paint.

Dry Paint

Removing dry epoxy or urethane paint is best done with an epoxy and urethane paint remover. Not all paint removers will remove epoxy and urethane paint. Use a paint remover that specifically states that it works on epoxy and urethane. These paint removers are very harsh. Gloves, goggles and a breathing mask should be used while working with the paint remover. Some paint removers are toxic, so be sure to read any manufacturer warnings on the label before use. Before using the paint remover, test it on a small inconspicuous spot to determine if the remover will harm the underlying surface. If the remover does harm the underlying surface, a manual paint removal method will have to be used.

Manual Removal

Manual removal of epoxy or urethane paint can sometimes be accomplished by using sandpaper, steel wool or a metal scraper to forcibly chip off the paint. A lot of force is required to manually remove the paint. The underlying surface will get scratched and possibly chipped during the process.

Repainting

When epoxy or urethane paint removal fails, repainting is an option. Before repainting, sand the surface with sand paper. Sanding the surface will scratch the paint, making it easier for the new paint to stick. To repaint over the surface use an epoxy primer and an epoxy or urethane top coat. The primer, will make the new top coat color stick better. It is easier to cover up the old paint job with a darker color.

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