5 things to know about paint strippers

5 things to know about paint strippers

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1. Solvent or sodium strippers?

There are several types of paint strippers so here are the most common:

  • Solvent strippers: by their solvents, they soften the old paint to remove it more easily. It is mainly found in gel form but also in liquid. They are effective but require the application of several coats for an optimal result.
  • Sodium strippers: composed of caustic soda, they are more powerful than solvent strippers. This is why this type of stripper is not suitable for all materials. They must be left to act longer and they must be rinsed with water.

2. What about heat guns?

Less known than chemical strippers, the thermal stripper is a kind of heat gun. The device propels hot air (the temperature is around 500 to 600 ° C) and thus takes off the paint from different supports. If the purchase cost can be high, it is a more economical investment to treat large areas. The good news ? You can also use a heat gun to defrost a lock or pipes or to deform the plastic or accelerate the setting of glues on certain materials.

3. For each material, its type of stripper

To choose the stripper suited to your needs, you must select a model according to the material to be treated and the type of paint to be stripped. Strippers based on sodium, for example, are not recommended on wood and aluminum because they tend to blacken or stain these substrates. Some models are reserved for metal or only for stone and masonry. You understood, it is imperative to ask advice from a specialist to buy a stripper adapted to your needs!

4. Risks and advice for use

Paint strippers are aggressive and can be hazardous to health. Containing methylene chloride, the use of chemical strippers can cause burns if in contact with the skin. Inhalation of the vapors can also cause headache, throat irritation, nausea and dizziness. This is why they are to be handled with care.

When using a paint stripper, read the package leaflet carefully and apply it outdoors. If you do not have a garden or balcony, make sure the space is well ventilated and ventilated. Open the windows, turn off the heating fan, and tape the supply and return air duct. Wear protective gear: goggles or mask, latex gloves and worn clothing. Finally, be careful not to eat, drink or leave food lying around in your workspace.

5. Natural alternatives

If you are afraid of using chemical strippers or if you do not want to use harsh chemicals, there are always more natural and ecological alternatives that are less corrosive and abrasive. Baking soda, white vinegar, soda lye, soda crystals ... There are many recipes for paint stripper! You can, for example, take inspiration from the homemade preparation of the blog L'atelier de la ressourciere.