Welcome! Forums General Woodworking Discussions Finishing Paint Remover – a friendly warning

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    Hugo Notti

    I am not sure, if this is the right place to post this, but occasionally, stripping paint off wood is a step before finishing, so it might be okay.

    Today, I used paint remover at home, on an area about 20 x 60 cm large. I had barely covered the surface, when I decided that I had to bring it outside and wrap it in plastic. What we are using in the company (break cleaner, silicone remover and the like), is no match for this! I am glad, I had the window and door wide open. The smell is gone and I have no symptoms of intoxication, but I won’t ever try this stuff indoors again. Actually, the seller asked me, if I wanted a mask too, and I declined. Perhaps I shouldn’t have.

    I have to admit, this stuff is powerful, and it didn’t harm the wood. But it should really be handled with absolute care, and only, when there are no other options.


    Peter George

    The one I mostly use has dichloromethane and methanol has the primary ingredients. You definitely want to avoid skin contact and to only use it in a well ventilated place. These are powerful chemicals.

    Peter in
    Biggar SK
    "New York is big, but this is Biggar"


    There are several eco friendly strippers. One I have used with success is called CitrusStrip. No harsh chemicals and smells citrusy.

    These may not be as powerful as the old style, probably cancer causing strippers, but they work fine.

    Not sure where you reside, but got mine at Home Depot.

    Located in Honeoye Falls NY USA. The Finger Lakes region of Western NY.

    "If you give me 6 hours to fell a tree, I will take the first 4 to sharpen my axe" Abe Lincoln

    Thomas Angle

    I agree with Brett on CitrusStrip.

    Arbovale, WV

    Proverbs 18:13
    13 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.

    Hugo Notti

    Well, for the moment, I am back to a scraper, heat-gun and sharp blades. My current project looks like this (see attachment). The sides of the hull had two treatments with paint stripper which partially attacked the red paint, almost none of the white paint and none of the other undefined stuff, that I found underneath – epoxy, filler etc. For a while, I actually feared, that the hull was made of plastic, but it is made of real individual planks.

    Well, my point here: It is always good to know alternatives.


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