6 Step DIY Paint Removal

Homeowners are faced with several options when it comes to performing paint removal the right way. There are guidelines you can follow that will help to determine the amount of paint that needs to be removed that will make the job quicker, as well as much easier too.

natural paint remover1.) Figure out what material is under the paint

If you have drywall sitting under the paint, for example, the last thing you’ll want to use is a toxic paint remover made out of harsh chemicals. All this will do is destroy the drywall. Instead, grab some sandpaper or an electric sander and go at it the manual way, being careful not to push too hard. On the other hand, if you’re removing paint from crown molding or baseboards, then you should resort to using the chemicals because the sander will change the lines and shape of the molding.

2.) Clean up the surface paint

Clean the surface paint with some sort of degreasing agent, such as liquid dish soap or 409 cleaner. Rinse away the detergent or cleaner with water and let it air dry for a day.

edging tape3.) Use edging tape

You’ll next want to take painter’s tape and tape the edges off where you’ll be sanding or spraying, thus keeping away from areas that you don’t want to change.

4.) Chemical paint removal

There are several paint removers that we recommend, all of which are environmentally friendly, so don’t think you have to use something that’s toxic. Simply perform a quick Google search for such a product. Once you have it in hand, spray it onto the surfaces that you want to remove paint from and let it sit for a half hour. Once the time has passed, grab some old rags and wipe it up. Any paint that wasn’t dissolved by the paint remover should be scraped off with a putty knife. Try not to let anything get in your eyes.

5.) Get your home ready for sanding

Remove any valuables from the walls, and get the furniture out. Use Visqueen on doorways so molecules don’t get transferred from room to room.

6.) Sand

We suggest renting an electric sander from a hardware store or equipment rental facility. Start with a pretty coarse sandpaper. After you’re done sanding, sweep up or wipe down the sanded surfaces so you can see how well it worked. Then, go over these same surfaces again with a less coarse sandpaper, and repeat. This should take off all the paint pretty easily. Lastly, use a super-fine grit paper to smooth out and polish the sanded surfaces so they’re ready for the new paint.

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Robert Gibbon

I'm just a normal guy living in Los Angeles who likes to write about subjects as he's learning them. My current obsession is remodeling my home. We bought a place built in the 1970's, and it needs some love. Walk with me through my journey as I blog about all the fun things a homeowner can do themselves.