When looking to strip your wall, ceiling, or floor paints, the secret to getting the best results on any surfaces lies in the type of paint stripper you use.
There are numerous paint strippers in the market today, but not all of them can guarantee you a high-quality performance. To choose a good paint stripper, you have to look at its eco-friendliness, application versatility, and activation speed.
Here are our top picks for the best paint strippers for multiple surfaces. Read on to find out which paints match your needs.
Best overall: Citri-Strip Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel
Best runner up: MAX Strip Paint & Varnish Stripper
Best for wood: Citri-strip ECSG807 Aerosol Paint and Varnish Stripper
Best for metal: Motsenbocker’s Lift Off Latex Paint Remover Spray
Best for concrete: Super Remover New Generation
Best eco-friendly: Dumond Smart Strip Advanced Paint Remover
Fastest working: Sunnyside 657G1A ADVANCED Paint & Varnish Remover
Our top spot goes to this paint and varnish stripping gel from Citristrip. The stripper is widely popular worldwide, known to be environmentally friendly and having a non-offensive citrus scent.
Its robust formulation gives the paint excellent stain removal properties across different surfaces and allows it to stay wet and active for up to 24 hours.
With this gel, you can strip up to five layers of varnish, latex and oil-based paints, lacquer, and shellac from any surface with just one application!
Many homeowners start seeing results in just 30 – 60 minutes without compromising the painting surface. If you’re looking for high-quality and value for your money, this is your paint stripper!
- It’s biodegradable and non-corrosive
- Gel is easy to apply
- Works on metal, wood, concrete, and other masonry surfaces
- Has no harsh fumes
- Removes multiple layers
- No methylene chloride or NMP
- Removes dried latex
- Stays active for up to 24 hours – suitable for smoothing surfaces.
Max Strip Paint and Varnish is among the most effective strippers for multiple surfaces in the market. It comes with a skin-safe combination, making it perfect for application as a DIY and professional use.
The paint stripper’s formulation is free of Methylene chloride and NMP, which are harmful chemicals. It also doesn’t emit any fumes during application, and so you can use it in rooms with poor ventilation!
You can use it on a variety of surfaces besides wood, including glass, metal, concrete, porcelain, brick, carpets, fiberglass, and laminate.
Many homeowners praise this stripper for its no-drip gel formula and how easily it cleans with water. It can strip paints, shellac, varnish, polyurethane, latex, etc., effortlessly.
However, the manufacturer warns against using it on plastic surfaces.
- Has a skin-safe formula
- Zero methylene chloride or NMP content
- Works on many surfaces
- Odorless and may come with a unique fragrance
- Easy to clean with water
- Budget-friendly solution
Best Eco Friendly
The Dumond smart strip series is highly regarded as the most “environmentally responsible” in the market. It’s 100% biodegradable, and unlike most paint strippers in the market today, it comes with zero methylene chloride and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
This water-based paint is also odorless and doesn’t emit any fumes when applied on different surfaces. It can remove multiple layers of paint, including varnish, lead-based paints, and urethane from metals, masonry surfaces, and wood. It works perfectly indoors and outdoors.
For best results, most experts recommend applying this stripper using a sprayer or roller for large areas.
- Non-carcinogenic and 100% biodegradable
- Water-based and odorless formulation
- Removes multiple paint layers
- Works on a variety of surfaces
- Works quickly
- Remains wet for long periods
Best Paint Stripper for wood
Another Citristrip product that works flawlessly when removing paint and varnish from wooden surfaces is this Citri-Strip ECG73807 Paint Remover.
The paint is biodegradable and contains no harsh chemicals like NMP and Methylene chloride. It comes with a mild-citrus scent and never emits poisonous fumes on application.
This paint shares a lot of similar features with the Citri-strip paint and varnish gel mentioned earlier.
Its potent formulation allows it to remain active and wet for over 24 hours, and it can easily remove up to 5 layers of paint in just an hour.
Overall, this stripper is versatile and can be used to remove varnish, shellac, lacquer, dry latex and oil-based paints, polyurethane, etc. It also works well on multiple surfaces, including wood, concrete, and masonry surfaces.
The best thing about this stripper is that it’s compact and very easy to apply. Therefore, if you’re new to painting, this should be your first stop.
- 100% biodegradable
- Doesn’t emit toxic fumes on application
- Works on multiple surfaces
- Remains active and wet for 24 hours
- Easy to apply hence beginner-friendly
- Removes up to five layers of paint
- Comes in a fresh citrus scent
Best Paint Stripper for Metal
The Motsenbocker latex paint remover spray is a cost-friendly paint stripper perfect for removing latex paints on your metal surfaces. The spray is popular in the country mainly because it’s locally manufactured.
Motsenbocker is 100% biodegradable and uses a patented water-based Enviro Science formula to remove all latex and acrylic paints and enamels effectively.
The stripper is also NMP and methylene chloride free and comes with very little VOCs (less than 50% of the regulated content).
It also takes a relatively short time to be active. You can start scrubbing within 30 – 60 minutes.
The manufacturer, however, warns against using this stripper on painted surfaces as it can remove them.
- Works on multiple surfaces well
- Water-based and biodegradable
- Has zero NMP and methylene chloride
- Low VOCs content
- Easy and fast paint clean-up
Best Paint Stripper for Concrete
This new generation super remover is one of the strongest paint strippers you can use on any surface. It offers an all-in-one painting solution, removing all forms of paints, stains, urethane, and even shellac from your surfaces.
The paint’s formulation doesn’t include any toxic ingredients, NMP or methylene chloride, making it safe for domestic use. It’s perfect for concrete, metal, and wood surfaces.
Super Remover New Generation also acts pretty quickly and will allow you to start working on the surface in just 15 minutes. However, you’ll need to leave it on for some extra minutes for tougher jobs.
It’s also viable for heavy-duty projects, and it can remove up to 5 layers of paint effortlessly.
- Safe and free of NMP or methylene chloride
- Acts quickly (15 minutes for most projects)
- Removes multiple layers of paint
- Works on multiple surfaces
- Effective on heavy-duty tasks
Sunnyside Paint strip is the perfect paint strip option if you want to quickly remove multiple layers of paint. The stripper is designed in a heavy-duty coating allowing it to remove up to 15 coats of latex and oil-based paint, lacquer, stain, urethane, and varnish.
Owing to its fast-forming process, you can start working in as fast as thirty minutes after applying it.
Like all other modern-generation paints, this Sunnyside paint is biodegradable and non-flammable. It also doesn’t contain any caustic substances, Methylene chloride, or NMP.
It, however, emits a small odor when applying it, so consider improving your ventilation before using it.
The paint is also very versatile as it adheres to vertical surfaces seamlessly. You can apply it on multiple surfaces, including wood, metal, bricks, marble, and masonry surfaces.
- Formulation is free of N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) and methylene chloride
- Formula acts in just half an hour
- Works on multiple surfaces
- Removes up to 15 layers of paint, stain, varnish, etc.
- Odor-free; Perfect for indoor and outdoor surfaces
- 100% biodegradable
- Clings to horizontal and vertical surfaces well.
How to safely use paint stripper
When working with a paint stripper, your first safety step should be wearing protective clothing. Put on your safety goggles, wear a face mask and always use gloves to handle the paint strippers.
You should also ensure that you’re working in a well-ventilated room. Some paint strippers emit harsh fumes that can affect your respiratory health.
Other essential safety rules include:
- Always read the safety recommendations from the manufacturer
- Don’t eat or drink around the work site
- Work outside as much as possible
- Wash off any paint stripper on your skin or eyes immediately
- Keep away any static or other items that spark away from the work area
Pro tips for removing paint
When repainting your house, removing the old peeling paint before starting can help bring back that old brightness and style your home once had. For the best results, we recommend hiring an expert for the job.
But, if you’re working on a tight budget, you can always save a couple of bucks doing it yourself. Here are some quick tips that can help you achieve high-quality results:
#1: Always put on your safety gear
Before touching anything, ensure that you’re protected. Put on a face mask, wear gloves and protect your eyes. You don’t want to inhale any poisonous paint fumes or get skin irritations from touching the paint.
#2: Use inexpensive paint brushes
When applying your paint stripper, you can save some money by using cheap paint brushes. This is because you don’t have to apply the stripper smoothly or evenly. Moreover, you’ll just throw away the brushes after use so, don’t waste money on expensive ones!
#3: Always pour a portion of the stripper into a jar or painter’s tray
To avoid contaminating your whole can of paint stripper during the job, always have a jar or painter’s tray near you. Pour a portion of the stripper into the tray and use that to dip your brush for painting. If you need more stripper, simply pour more into your jar or tray and use that.
#4: Pour sawdust on wet paint stripper
Once you’ve applied the stripper on your stain-filled surfaces, you can make the removal process easier by sprinkling some sawdust on the wet surface. Sawdust makes it easier to scrape off the paint finish and simplifies the cleanup process.
#5: Start and finish the job on the same day
With paint stripping, you want to move quickly since the dried stripper may be harder to remove on drying.
Yes! Besides tantalizing our meals every day, you can use your white vinegar to remove any stains on your wood surfaces. Vinegar is cheap, environmentally friendly, and doesn’t emit any fumes when applying.
You can also utilize it on other surfaces such as metal and concrete. When you combine it with lemon and cola, vinegar can also remove those light stains on your driveway.
It depends on the type and condition of the old paint. If the old paint has started peeling, cracking, or has been affected by water leaks, you can’t paint over it. Your first step will have to be removing the old paint, applying a primer, then repaint.
If you’re also using another type of paint different from the old paint for the repainting project, e.g., an oil-based paint instead of latex paint, you’ll also have first to remove the old paint.
The only time you can paint over the old paint is if you’re using the same type of paint, and the old paint is in good condition.
After a successful paint stripping project, your last step is usually disposing of the used stripper and the peeled-off paint. To do this, first find out whether your local environmental department can dispose of the paint strip on your behalf.
If not, put on your protective clothing, then leave the stripping paint to evaporate by exposing it to open air. Ensure that it’s away from direct sunlight since paint strippers are very flammable.
Another option is finding someone who’s doing some renovation work and selling the stripper to them at a throwaway price.
Yes! Most paint strippers have a set shelf line, and the precise date varies depending on the different manufacturers. However, most paint strippers will expire faster once they have been opened.
It will depend on the paint strippers you use. For fast-acting paint strippers, you can start painting in about 3 hours, while for other stripping paints, it may take up to 24 hours. Keep in mind; factors such as the room temperature and weather may increase the timeline to start painting.