Paint Stripper For Wood & Varnish Discussed by Eco Solutions
There are traditional or older ways to strip or remove paint from wood. The methods are heating, chemical stripping, or sanding. Using these methods of removal for wood paint stripper you will need different products and tools for it to work as it should without damaging the original wood.
To help you decide which method to use we have listed the options below with step by step instructions to guide you through and help you decide which method will be best for you to use.
Wood Paint Stripper Using Heat
If you want to use heat to strip paint or varnish from a wood surface then you will need to invest in a heat gun. Put the heat gun close to the paint or varnish and move it up and down the surface being careful not to burn or scorch the surface. It is a balance between heating the surface enough but not too much. The idea is to keep the heat gun rolling over the surface until the paint or varnish starts to bubble and melt. When the surface paint or varnish is soft you then scrape it off with a flat-edged scraper. When you have removed most of the paint or varnish you will likely be left with small areas of the product so you will need to use light grade sandpaper to repeatedly sand over the surface.
Wood Paint Stripper Using Chemicals
Using chemicals to remove paint or varnish can be dangerous due to the hazardous chemicals that are in the product. Always do it in a well-ventilated room or outside as the fumes can damage your airways and really make your eyes sting. Always cover your arms and legs and wear long-sleeve clothing. you must wear goggles and suitable protective gloves at all times to protect your eyes and hands. If any product does get onto your skin or in your eyes, wash it off with clean running warm water immediately and if you need to contact your doctor or 111.
Apply a thick coat of the chemical remover over the paint or varnish which is on the wood surface. Leave it to work as per the manufacturer’s instructions and when the surface starts to bubble remove it by scraping it with a flat-edged scraper or scourer. Repeat if there are lots of layers of paint you need to remove and finish by sanding at the end with a light grade paper to leave yourself with a clean and ready to paint, wax or varnish surface. always be aware you may need to use another product after using a chemical remover to prepare your surface for repainting or varnishing so always check the manufacturer’s instructions.
Wood Paint Stripper by Sanding
Removing paint or varnish from wood by sanding can be a long and laborious process (depending on how many coats you are removing) as well as being very messy with all of the dust that is created. Always do it in a well-ventilated area to ensure you can breathe properly and take regular breaks to give your airways and lungs a break. Start by using coarse 80-grit sandpaper in either a manual hand sander or power sander. It is a balance to use enough pressure so it removes the paint or varnish but not so much that you are sanding the actual wood surface. You have to be really careful to sand evenly so your surface doesn’t get damaged or it will end up uneven. Work over the whole surface and then start all over again if you need to. When most of the paint or varnish has been removed you can increase the grit of your sandpaper which means it gets finer. Finer grit sandpaper (180-220) is great for removing most of the scratches left by the coarser grits you have used. Brush away the dust from the surface every time you change the sandpaper and for any curves, you should do it by hand rather than using an electric or manual sander.
Alternatively, a better solution is to use Eco Solutions Home Strip Paint & Varnish Remover to make your paint or varnish removal, quick, easy and most importantly safe. The product is water-based, non-toxic, non-hazardous, non-flammable, non-caustic, no fumes, no skin burns, environmentally safe and much more. It is a wet working system which means there is no harmful dust created which can cause respiratory problems. It is one product does all and you don’t need to purchase lots of tools and equipment for it to work for you.
Simply paste the Home Strip Paint Remover onto your painted or varnished surface using an old paintbrush and just leave it to work its magic for 20 minutes or more. Using this option, you can’t leave it on too long and it won’t ever damage the surface of your wood. If when you come back to the wood the product has dried spray it with warm water which will reactivate it again. You can use it multiple times so if there has been years and years of different paint or varnish surfaces you can use it, again and again, to gradually remove these without damaging the wood. When you are ready you can take a scouring pad and wipe away the paint or varnish in the same direction as the grain or the wood with warm soapy water. As the surface is coming off you can wipe it with a dry cloth to see if you are close to the original surface. It will sometimes dry 3 times lighter so don’t worry if your finished surface is too dark. Every wood surface differs in regards to the time it will take to dry. If you are going to repaint, wax, or varnish the surface then it’s always best to leave it in a warm area for at least 24 hours to dry fully.
Always Find out First if the Wood is Worth Exposing
If you have decided you want to finish your wood surface with a clear varnish or wax then it’s a good idea to expose the woodwork in a small area to check what the original surface colour is and what it looks like. Find an area that can’t be seen, as an example inside a drawer, the top of a door or underneath a table and do a removal patch test. Paste on your Eco Solutions Paint & Varnish Remover in that area and leave it to work then wipe away. When you have done this and it has dried you can wax it, paint it or varnish it so you can test what you want your finished product to look like. Following this process, it also tells you if the original surface is worth exposing before you go through the whole removal process.
As in the above, if you are thinking the job may be too big for you it’s always better to try a small unnoticeable area first and this way you will know beforehand if you want to strip the paint of varnish, or if you want to use a professional to do it for you.
If you have a big project which can include doors, kitchen cupboards, stairs, mantle pieces, spindles, windows, piece of furniture then your time may be better spent focusing on something else and you sending it to a professional for them to use a dip tank for the paint or varnish removal. If you are considering this then you need to be able to easily remove the pieces and transport them wherever you need to.
Another option is to use Eco Solutions Home Varnish & Paint Stripper on one door or area and you will quickly see how easy and safe it is to do yourself. Doing it yourself will save you a huge amount of money and give you a huge amount of satisfaction when done. Our paint and varnish removal product is safe to use, creates a minimal mess and is also very quick with minimal tools needed. If you have intricate detail on a wood product or tight spaces where the paint or varnish has seeped into then Eco Solutions product enables you to remove it without damaging the detail or the product as it is a wet system removal product.
Do you Have Lead Paint in your Property?
If your home was painted prior to 1978 then lead paint could have been used. If you have any doubts as to the age of the paint you want to remove then you should always take precautions. Always be aware that 90% of houses built before the 1940s is likely to have some lead-based paint.
Lead poisoning is a metal poisoning which is caused by lead entering the body either by swallowing or breathing in dust. Symptoms of lead poisoning can include; abdominal pain, constipation, headaches, irritability, memory problems, infertility, tingling in the hands and feet and many more. Lead stays in the body for different amounts of time, depending on where it is and how severe it is. Lead poisoning is as a result of eating or breathing in dust from deteriorating lead-based paint.
Lead poisoning is a serious problem for both children and adults and is frequently caused by the dust from sanding lead-based paint so you should always be aware if the paint you are removing is lead paint and never use the sanding method.
If you are unsure if you have lead paint or lead paint stripping then always call in an expert.
Removing Varnish or Paint from Wood Using Heaters
Heaters or heat guns use extremely high temperatures to soften varnishes or multiple layers of paint so the paint can be scraped away and properly removed. The heat method doesn’t create a huge amount of dust which is positive, however, there are quite a lot of downsides and disadvantages including:
- You have to be extremely careful that you don’t seriously burn yourself
- It takes a lot of patience and time
- You can easily char or scold the wood
- It can catch fire
- You have to invest in a heat gun
- You nearly always have to sand the wood after the process
- There are nasty fumes
Comparing this to the better solution and method of using Eco Solutions Home Strip Paint & Varnish Remover which is quick, easy, safe and often fun.
Traditional Ways to Remove Paint from Wood
There are many old fashioned “traditional” methods for Wood Paint Stripper for removal of paint or varnish from wood involving highly toxic chemical wood strippers, a heat gun, putty knife, paint scraping tool, a scourer and a toothbrush but these days none of these are the easy or safe ways to do it now that Eco Solutions Home Varnish & Paint Remover is readily available to buy from many different stockists.
Issues with Traditional Ways to Remove Paint from Wood
Heat Gun – The issues with the heat gun are not burning yourself and heating the paint to the correct temperature so it is easy to scrape off without burning or scorching the original wood when you are using this method as a Wood Paint Stripper.
Scourers, Putty Knife and Toothbrushes – These tools are needed to remove the paint from any joins and integrate areas of the wood and it takes a lot of time and dedication to ensure you don’t damage the original wood when doing it.
Chemical Wood Stripper – You should always wear long sleeves, trousers, goggles, chemical resistant gloves and only ever use it if you are working in a well-ventilated area if you are using a chemical product as your Wood Paint Stripper. The chemicals can burn your skin, eyes and damage your airways if the fumes are inhaled so you should be very wary of using them.
The best alternative to all of these traditional methods is Eco Solutions Home Paint & Varnish Remover which is safe, non-toxic, non-hazardous, water-based easy, quick and much more.
As an example, if you have ever attempted to remove stubborn paint or varnish from a chair, table leg or spindle with a toothbrush, you will absolutely appreciate the ease of wiping away the paint or varnish after it has been treated with Homestrip Varnish & Paint Remover. The wet system makes it easy to remove everything even in the joins and nooks.
Types of Chemical Wood Paint Stripper
Chemical wood strippers will only work only on certain types of wood finishes, and when there are multiple layers of paint or varnish, it can often mean you have to use the chemicals numerous times to get back to the original surface. This increases the likelihood of you burning your skin or eyes or breathing in dangerous fumes.
There are two types of chemical paint removers which are caustic and solvent.
Caustic Paint Removers – Caustic paint strippers typically have sodium hydroxide (also known as lye or caustic soda) in them. They work by breaking down the chemical bonds of the paint using a process called hydrolysis which is a chemical process which splits the substance into two parts. Caustic wood strippers have to be neutralized to ensure the new finish doesn’t crack or peel off. There aren’t a huge number of benefits of using a caustic paint stripper when there are safe, non-toxic water-based products available like Eco Solutions Home Varnish & Paint Stripper available which you know will do what you need it to without causing you any harm.
Solvent-Based Paint Removers – Solvent paint strippers work by penetrating the layers of old paint or varnish and breaking the bond between the paint and the wood by creating a reaction which swells the paint. The main active ingredient in most solvent-based paint strippers is dichloromethane, also known as methylene chloride. Dichloromethane can have serious health risks and implications if not used safely and correctly and one of these can include death. It is a banned substance for consumer use in many countries now.
Nitromethane is also a commonly used solvent and dimethyl sulfoxide is a less toxic alternative solvent used in some formulations.
Most chemical paint removers come in a liquid or a gel form which attaches to surfaces. Their principle is for the harmful chemical to penetrate the paint or varnish, making it swell which weakens the adhesion to the underlying wood and enables you to scrape off.
Alternative and Eco-Friendly Paint on Wood Stripper Methods
Steam Boxes – Steam can be used on large surfaces to remove layers of paint or varnish and steam boxes are often used by commercial businesses to strip bigger items such as window frames, doors and kitchen units.
A commercial steam box is an effective way to remove paint or varnish from wood, and there are no dangerous chemicals or fire hazards as experienced and knowledgeable businesses use them. The downsides to using a steam box are that it can be a slow process if more than one exposure is needed and it can cost you a lot of money to have it done by a professional company.
Infrared Heat Guns – Infrared heat guns use the same principle as a heat gun, however, they work at a temperature of around 260 degrees centigrade which is below the temperature which paint and wood normally catch fire making them a much safer option.
The disadvantages are the process creates fumes which are dangerous when they are inhaled. If the wood is overheated and left on an area too long it can still scorch or burn the original wood layer. They are also known to be less effective on very old, dry or brittle oil-based paints.
About Eco Solutions Home Strip Paint & Varnish Remover
- It is a safe water-based formula
- It’s tough, not toxic
- It is non-hazardous, non-toxic, non-caustic
- It’s PH neutral
- There are no fumes
- You don’t burn your skin when using it (we advise you still wear suitable clothing, gloves and goggles)
- You don’t have to work in a ventilated room or area
- It is non-flammable so no need to be worried about the wood catching fire
- It is non-combustible
- You can use it around people with respiratory problems including asthma
- It is a working wet system so it clings to the surface and if it dries you can spray it with water to reactive
- It is ideal for the removal of lead-based paints
- There is no H (hazard) on the label
- There are no P (precautionary) statements on the label
- It is environmentally safe
What are the Benefits of using Eco Solutions Home Strip Paint & Varnish Remover as your Home Strip Paint & Varnish Remover?
- It is suitable to use on most surfaces including wood, metal and masonry
- It doesn’t create any dust as sanding does as it is a wet working system
- It is a safe, rapid and effective paint removal product
- It won’t scratch the original surface as sanding can do
- You can get into awkward and integrate areas which you can’t when sanding
- It is gentle and doesn’t damage the original surface
- It removes the paint in the grain of the wood without damaging it
- It doesn’t discolour surfaces
- It can be used on all types of surfaces including wood (hard and soft), Marble, Stone, Brick, Concrete, Plaster, Ceramic Tiles, GRP, Aluminium, Brass, Cast
- Iron and other soft metals
- It removes all types of paints including Lead-based paints, Oil-based paints, Solvent-based paints, Water-based paints & emulsions, Polyurethanes, Stains, Varnishes and waxes, Intumescent paints, Rust-preventative surface coatings
- Eco Solutions Home Strip Paint & Varnish Remover is quick and easy to use and saves the hard work from repeated sanding, dust and fumes, chemicals when using a chemical remover and burns if using heat
Eco Solutions Offers a Range of Water-Based Non-Toxic Products
- One product does all
- There are no pre or after treatment
- It is suitable for many substrates
- No skin burns
- PH neutral
- Solvent-free- “Tough not toxic”
- No H (hazard)
- No P (precautionary) statements on the label
Home Strip Paint & Varnish Remover removes all types of paint, varnish and surfaces. It is quick to use, safe to use and means no need for sanding so no mess.
Grime Go removes all types of grease, oil, dirt, stains, grime, dirt, mould, adhesive residues and paint splashes too. It can be used to prepare surfaces for repainting or just to clean and brighten the substrate. No fumes, no skin burns, no abrasives and non-toxic.
PVCU Cleaner cleans uPVC windows, doors and guttering (may etch certain types of Perspex and polycarbonate so do a patch test first). Removes heavy grime, dirt, oil, and paint splashes too. Spray on and wipe away any stains and grime. The product is safely being used by an increasing number of consumers and professional users alike. DIY Doctor is currently one of the largest home improvement websites in the UK. They are committed to putting the customer first, providing a platform for novice and experienced Home Improvers so they can get together with experienced tradesmen to share knowledge, skills and experience about anything to do with house and home. You can see their demonstration for PVCu Cleaner here.
Super Strength Degreaser removes grease, oil, grime, glue and even light carbon build-up. It is effective and pleasant to use, water-based, no abrasives with no H (hazard) or P (precautionary) statements on the label.
Graffiti Go removes all paints including car spray paints – Graffiti shadow – Leather dye – Marker pen -Crayons – Fly posters – Chewing gum and can be used on all types of surfaces including; woods, all metals (including Aluminium), stone (including soft and porous stones), brick, marble, concrete, most plastics (may etch certain types of Perspex and polycarbonate).
X-Tex Artex Remover is one of the quickest, easiest and safest ways to remove Artex®. Simply paint over the artex® walls and ceilings then scrape off when softened. This process is called a working wet system and means that the artex® is kept wet at all times. This results in no asbestos fibres becoming airborne and eliminates the risk of breathing in hazardous microfibres which can lead to Asbestosis.
Once you have tried one of the Eco Solutions products you will never go back and will always have them in your DIY Cleaning Toolbox at home. Our Wood Paint Stripper Home Strip Paint & Varnish Remover will make your paint or varnish removal easy, quick and safe.
Where can you buy Eco Solutions Products?
Our Home and Trade Strip Products are ideal to use for any upcycling, cleaning and DIY jobs and can be ordered through Brewers, Buildbase, Jewsons, Travis Perkins. You can find our list of stockists here.