How to Remove Primer Paint

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This is an example of what chemical paint stripper does to paint.
This is an example of what chemical paint stripper does to paint. (Image: Cracked paint image by DBarby from Fotolia.com)

Primer paint can be removed from any surface simply by using the right paint stripping agent. A few specialized tools can aid in the removal process once the stripper has done its job. These tools aren't expensive and can be purchased at your local paint supply store. If you would rather have a clear or stain finish on a wood surface, and that surface has primer paint on it, the unwanted primer can be removed.

Things You'll Need

  • Drop cloth
  • Portable fan
  • Safety glasses
  • Rubber gloves
  • Respirator
  • Chemical paint stripper
  • Paint brush
  • Putty knife
  • Molding scraper
  • Hazardous waste container
  • Steel wool

Lay a drop cloth under the area where you will remove the primer paint. Turn on the portable fan and, if inside, open all doors and windows. Put on a pair of safety glasses, rubber gloves and a respirator.

Apply chemical stripping agent generously over the desired area of removal with a paint brush. Watch as the stripper causes the primer paint to bubble. Read the instruction label on the chemical stripper container to know how long you should wait before you start scraping.

Use a putty knife and molding scraper to scrape away and remove old primer paint. Place waste material in a hazardous material safe container and away from anything flammable. Apply a second coat of chemical stripper if the first stripping and scraping doesn't remove all primer paint. Repeat this process until all primer paint is removed.

Use steel wool to work primer paint out of hard-to-reach areas such as corners and grooves. Dispose of hazardous waste in accordance with your local laws.

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