How to Use a Floor Stripper


You might think that using a chemical floor stripper to remove the finish from your floor prevents the need to use mechanical equipment. This is not the case. Floor stripper, used in conjunction with a floor-stripping machine will make quick work of removing a floor's finish. The use of the chemical speeds up the process by weakening the surface of the finish. It also prevents the need to purchase costly sandpaper.

Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Bucket
  • Mop
  • Floor-stripping chemicals
  • Floor-stripping machine
  • Pads
  • Wet/dry vacuum
  • Vacuum the floor with a vacuum cleaner and then scrub the floor with a bucket of clean water and a mop. Remove all debris from the floor before starting. Allow the floor time to dry.

  • Fill a bucket approximately half full with floor stripper. In some cases, you must dilute the stripper with water. Follow the directions on the stripper's label.

  • Apply the stripper to the floor with a mop and allow it to sit on the floor for five to seven minutes. In some cases, the manufacturer might recommend a longer or shorter duration. Follow their instructions. Start with a 6-foot by 6-foot section of the floor in the corner furthest away from the door.

  • Secure a hi-pro or black floor pad to your floor-stripping machine. You can rent strippers from most DIY home improvement centers. The process for securing the pad will differ depending on the model of floor-stripping machine you use. Follow the guide supplied with the floor-stripping machine or ask the sales representative that rented you the machine.

  • Sand over the stripper with the floor-stripping machine until the floor looks very dull. Stop if you see sawdust. This means you are sanding into the wood.

  • Suck up the remaining stripper and dust with a wet/dry vacuum.

  • Repeat the process in sections until you strip the entire room.

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