Citri-Strip Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel
When you want to change the paint on your house, furniture, or wood, you should be using the best paint stripper to properly remove the old paint in order to spread on the new paint. If you have ever tried removing paint, you already know that it is definitely not a simple straightforward job. You may have first started by trying to preserve your old paint job but scraping and sanding down the areas that are loose and weak and then re-priming and top coating your paint.
After a year or so, the chipping and flaking my start again, in which case you realize that it is better to just remove everything and start from a blank slate, a pristine smooth surface. Removing house paint also brings into question the issue of lead paint residue. And since it is common to have layer upon layers of coatings, the lead that builds up is not insignificant. This means that you should also be extra careful when handling old paint and making sure you dispose of it properly as well.
Best Paint Stripper Reviews
- Citri Strip Paint Gel (Top Pick)
- Wagner Paint Eater
- Wagner Heat Gun
- Rust-Oleum Automotive Aircraft Remover
- Franmar BLUE BEAR Soy Gel Paint & Urethane Stripper
Citri-Strip Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel
If you want the best paint stripper for metal that uses a chemical to breakdown the paint, we highly recommend Citri-Strip Paint. We would consider using the best chemical paint stripper a very safe way to get rid of paint. However, it is also one of the most labor intensive and time consuming as it takes time to allow the chemical to settle.
The chemical itself it very safe, does not react with skin, and does not release any harsh fumes. It smells like oranges and is incredibly easy to apply. You simply brush on a thin layer and wait for about an hour for the chemical to dry and react with the paint. Then, using some kind of wedge or scraper, you simply scrape it all off in one motion.
The paint should come off like butter and the end result is some kind of gel gooey texture. The best part about using this product and really any chemical stripper is that you can really get those hard to reach spots that a paint grinder or heat gun would never be able to reach. This includes small corners on furniture to tucked away spots away from an outlet.
Compared to other chemical strippers, we think Citri-Strip has the right combination of efficacy and safety. The chemical is industrial grade and removes paint much cleaner than other brands. It can also remove latex, epoxy, enamel, and all types of coatings from wood, metal, and stone surfaces. Citri-Strip is the only chemical paint stripper that we have tried that completely removes all paint and varnish in one clean go. Although it can be used for all types of surfaces, we would say that it is the best paint stripper for metal surfaces.
Other brands tend to leave traces of paint on the surface, which gets annoying to scrape off. We prefer chemical strippers over grinders or heat guns because it is much safer and creates less of a disturbance around the house. Paint grinders require lots of manual labor, gets extremely noisy around the house, and requires you to be near an outlet. Heat guns can be dangerous if mishandled. Citri-Strip is the most effective and safest way to remove paint. The only thing you need is a lot of time and patience. Overall, if you want the best chemical paint stripper, we highly recommend you go with CitriStrip.
Wagner makes the best paint stripper for wood if you want a cost effective and safe way to remove paint. It basically is a machine with a rotor that grinds away the paint using 3M spun fiber disks. The rotor delivers 3.2 amps at 2,600 RPM, which is enough to dislodge most paint surfaces while keeping the substrate intact. It is a one-step paint remover in that all you need to do is hook it up to a power source and grind away. It will be gently to your siding, trim, and substrate and your old paint will fall off very easily.
The Wagner Paint Eater is also under 4 pounds so it can be used both one handed and two handed. It is a versatile machine and you never feel fatigued when holding it for long periods of time. We really like the 3M flex-disc system included with the machine that is capable of handling both flat and curved spaces. It compact size allows you to tackle hard to reach edges and underneath lap siding. The disc glides over nails, screws, and rough edges with ease and minimizes the build up of paint and dust.
Compared to other paint grinding machines in the market, we prefer the Wagner Paint Eater. While we must admit, there are more powerful machines out there that spin at a higher RPM, those machines are much more expensive, more dangerous, louder, noisier, and more tiring. Although you may have to grind an area twice to ensure that you have fully removed all the paint, it is still less work than trying to hold a 20-30 pound machine up.
We really can’t stress how important portability and weight matters in a paint removing job. You don’t want to be handling heavy loud machinery all day and even risk self injury. The Wagner Paint Eater deliver just enough amps and revs per minute to strip the paint from most places. You will have to work it a little in some areas but overall we think it is great value. If you are looking for the best paint stripper that is a grinding machine, look no further. Wagner PaintEater is the perfect value solution.
Wagner 1,200-watt Heat Gun
The Wagner Heat Gun is the best paint stripper for concrete if you want a tool that can remove paint and also bend plastic, loosen rusted bolts, and thaw frozen pipes. It is particularly effective for concrete. This heat gun produces 1200 Watts/4100 BTU of heating power and has a temperature settings of 750 degrees Fahrenheit and 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, which allow for low and high heat settings.
We recommend the 1000 degrees setting for stripping paint. If you like to do everything yourself around the house, you will like this device. It is very easy to operate: simply take the gun out of the box, plug it in, switch to the right temperature setting, point at a paint surface you want to strip and hold the trigger.
You dont need to hold the gun right on the surface – a couple of centimeters away will be enough for the heat to transfer to the old paint and break bonds. It only takes a couple of minutes and the paint should start bubbling and blistering. After this just use your hand to tear off the softened paint. Be sure to wear gloves and a respiratory mask to block out the paint fumes. Also don’t point it in one spot for too long or you will damage the wood.
We were a bit worried about how effective a heat gun would be at stripping paint, but the Wagner Heat Gun proved us wrong. It is an extremely and efficient way of stripping paint. Within minutes under extreme heat, the paint will soften and just peels off like butter. However, with easy solutions there is always a catch. Operating a heat gun has many risks including the risk of burning yourself, the risk of burning the house down, and the risk of inhaling heavy fumes emitted from burning paint. These issues can be minimized by wearing the right protection, but you never know what is going to happen. Nevertheless, if you want the best paint stripper or the best heat gun, Wagner is the way to go. The Wagner Heat Gun crushes its competition in terms efficacy and safety.
Rust-Oleum Automotive 255448 32-Ounce Aircraft Remover
If you are looking for the best automotive paint stripper, you should definitely go with the Rust-Oleum Aircraft Remover. It is designed to remove the toughest finishes from vehicles and aircrafts. This is a professional grade automotive paint stripper that is very fast-acting.
The Rust-Oleum Aircraft Remover and automotive paint stripper is designed to thoroughly remove acrylics, lacquers, polyurethane, and baked enamels. This leaves a clean slate for you to paint or prime your automobile, boat, motorbike, or aircraft. Unfortunately, this product is not designed to work on fiberglass, plastics, or synthetic surfaces. It starts working in as little as 5 minutes and really cuts through paint and all types of finishes.
The Rust-Oleum Automotive Paint Stripper comes in 3 sizes: 18 ounce spray, one quart, and one gallon. It is composed on a blend of methanol, ethanol, and methylene chloride. In terms of efficacy, we would rate this product as the single most effect paint stripper on the market. This product basically works in 10 minutes and all it takes is some water to clean up. The quart and gallon containers are not flammable, so you don’t need to worry about safety issues.
All in all, if you are looking for the best automotive paint stripper, the only obvious choice is the Rust-Oleum Aircraft Remover. It is not only limited to aircrafts, but can also be used on cars, trucks, lawn mowers, tractors, motorcycles, marine vehicles, etc. It is the most efficient paint stripper out there and will get your vehicle stripped bare so that you can re-apply paint or primer.
Franmar BLUE BEAR Soy Gel Paint & Urethane Stripper 1 Quart
Franmar Blue Bear is a great paint stripper if you are looking for a 100% biodegradable solution. This is a paint stripper that is made from 100% natural american soy beans. It definitely does not contain any harsh chemicals like Methylene Chloride. Also, it has no toxic fumes and is virtually odorless. We really like this paint stripper because it is very safe to use and presents no health hazards.
Because it is non-toxic and environmentally friendly, the Franmar Blue Bear Paint and Urethane Stripper is great for amateurs. One big challenge for experienced people who want to remove paint themselves is a significant safety risk. Most paint strippers are quite potent and require work gloves or a respirator. With the Franmar Blue Bear Paint Stripper, you can afford to put the gas mask away, but please wear your gloves and some decent protection.
In terms of power and efficacy, we have to say it is not nearly as effective as the strongest paint removers on the market. However, you should know that there is a trade off to everything. This stuff works for most average joe projects and is fit for those who are not sure if they are ready to deal with harsh chemicals. The Franmar’s paint stripper is the best paint stripper for metal if you can deal with a bit of work and scrapping. Obviously it is not magic and does not just magically dissolve your paint. But because it is 100% non-toxic, you don’t risk any permanent damage to yourself.
More Info on the Best Paint Stripper
There are three main ways to get rid of old paint. You can grind it down, apply heat to it, or use chemicals to remove the old bonds. The best paint stripper or best paint remover can be found in all three methods. In terms of removing paint by grinding it down, we think it the most labor intensive of the three. It requires you to some sort of power sanding disk or clapboard sander and even then it is a lot of physical labor. It is rather cheap and efficient method to get rid of your old paint. However, if you are not experienced with handling machinery, you could damage the wood or spray dust everywhere. Also you have to be able to handle the loud screeching noises that the scraping machine will be making the entire day.
Heat is another way to remove old paint. Normally blow torches or heat guns are used to apply heat to the paint. Blow torches apply a naked flame to the paint while heat guns apply high heat in a similar way hair dryers apply heat. Heat guns are the preferred method of stripping old paint because it has less of a fire hazard risk. Heat guns are a great way to take off multiple layers of paint at the same time and work by softening the bonds in the paint. You still need to manually scrap off the paint afterwards, but the process is just much easier. The risk with using a heat gun is that the heat can lead to smoke and even fire.
Lastly, chemical strippers are a good way to strip paint. They are safer than removing paint by heat and easier than grinding it down manually using a sanding disk. These chemical strippers are solvents that break the bond between paint and substrate. Usually these chemical strippers are applied to the paint directly. You usually leave it on for a period of time to let the chemicals react with the paint. Afterwards, the paint still needs to be scraped off, but it should come off extremely easily now.