How to Remove Paint Stripper

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After you have used a paint stripper and the stripping job is finished, a few traces of the chemical will remain on the object. Left as is, this residue can harm a surface. Also, if you plan on repainting, remnants of paint stripper can harm the new paint job. Fortunately, most paint strippers can be easily removed with water; however, make sure you always read the paint stripper’s label for special instructions.

Things You'll Need

  • Sponges
  • Bucket
  • Water or paint stripper wash
  • Protective gloves and eyewear

Put on protective rubber gloves and eyewear. Make sure your work area remains adequately ventilated until you’ve removed all the paint stripper.

Remove any remnants of paint or other loose, solid material that has been in contact with the paint stripper—you’ll need to dispose of this material carefully, following your local hazardous materials laws.

Pour clean cool water in a bucket. Wet a sponge thoroughly and wipe it over the area of stripped paint. If this area is large, such as a deck or porch, rinse it well with a garden hose—just remember to use a drop cloth to protect nearby plants from the paint stripper. On an indoor floor, use a mop to spread the water or stripper wash.

Keep the area well ventilated and allow the surfaces to dry thoroughly. If there is any hint (odor or discoloration) that some of the paint stripper remains, wash the area again with generous amounts of water or stripper wash.

Tips & Warnings

  • Although water works fine for most, you can buy a special wash for paint stripper at home improvement stores and some hardware stores. If the paint stripper is on vinyl or similar surfaces that may be harmed by the chemical, remove the stripper as quickly as possible after removing the paint.
  • Many kinds of paint strippers are very flammable. Until the stripper has been neutralized and there are no more fumes, keep the area ventilated and do not allow anyone to smoke nearby. Some paint strippers are dangerous if they get on skin. Wear long sleeves and pants when removing these chemicals.

References

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