paint stripper metal

The best way to remove paint from metal with the best paint stripper for metal

Whether you want to repaint or respray your metal furniture, renew defective coatings from bike and motorcycle parts, remove graffiti stains, or recoat a tank, the first step is to strip paint from metal. Proper adhesion of the new paint and coating is only achieved if the substrate is completely stripped and carefully pretreated. The process of stripping metal at home is not recommended for everyone, especially when you have no experienced in handling chemicals. The best option is then to bring the metal parts to professionals. Instead of bringing the metal object to professionals for paint stripping the metal parts, you can try and save money by removing paint from metal at home.

In this article we describe the safest and best ways to remove paint from metal and which paint stripper product you can buy. You will also learn about the dangers of chemically stripping paint by yourself.

Remove paint from metal: safety first

Before you buy the best paint stripper to strip paint from metal parts at home, it is paramount to create a safe working space that protects not only personal health but also the environment. Also: don’t rush, paint stripping takes time and attention.

Before removing paint at home you should follow these safety steps:

  • Make sure your work space is well-ventilated,
  • Has a solid floor (a garage is a good option).
  • Wear safety clothing (long sleeves and pants), including gloves, goggles and a mask with an air-purifying respirator.
  • Have a surface prepared to place the item on during the stripping process, such as a drop cloth or cardboard.

If you decide to not strip the paint from metal yourself, there are professionals in practically every part of New Zealand who strip even powder coating from metal for you at a reasonable price. Stripping paint off larger parts of metal is always best left to professionals.

Paint stripper: tips on which product to buy

Paint strippers at hardware stores are available for everyone. That doesn’t mean those paint strippers aren’t dangerous for health and environment. You should try to stay away from paint strippers that contain carcinogens. Most paint strippers for metal contain the following toxic, polluting solvents:

  • N-Methyl-2-pyrrolidon (NMP),
  • Methyl ethyl ketone,
  • Perchloroethylene,
  • Methylene chloride, (MC/DCM)
  • Toluene

Even without these ingredients, paint strippers are composed of hazardous ingredients; the best advice is to always read and carefully follow what’s on the safety data sheet and technical data sheet that comes with the paint stripper. It is also vitally important to be aware of the possible health and environmental damage that they can cause, and never allow them to reach groundwater.

In order to work as a paint remover, the paint stripper consists of solvents that are able to penetrate a coating so that it loosens and detaches from the surface.

Buy the best paint stripper for metal

If you are confident that you are able to use paint stripper at home, you will find the best paint removers at your local specialist paint shop or even online. You find the paint stripper’s price and chemical basis; that helps you in making the best choice in buying the best paint stripper metal needs:

Paint stripper metaltype/application:removes:Based on:Average Price
Dad’s Easy Spray Voted Best paint stripper on oil-based paint in Test Consumer Magazine NZliquid/spraywater based paint, oil based paint, paints, lacquers, shellacs, latex, varnishes, stains, acrylics, epoxies, polyurethanes, adhesives methylene chloride, methanol, ethylene glycol butyl ether34$ for 946ml (1qt)
Resene Strip-Off paint strippergel/brushpolyurethanes, solventborne paints, waterborne paint, stains, varnishesMethyl pyrrolidone (without methylene chloride)30$ for 1L
Sea to Sky SPC-202N Coating Removerpaste or liquid/brush or sprayoil based paint, adhesive, glue, polyurethane, alkyd, graffiti, runway rubber, enamel, latex, powder coating, epoxy, inorganic zincwater, Benzyl alcohol, solvent; biodegradable (without methylene chloride)35$ for 1L
Polystrippa Advanced Paint & Varnish Strippergel, brushwater based paint, oil based paintDimethyl Sulfoxide (without MC, NMP)32$ for 500ml

After buying the best paint stripper: Test it first

After having bought the paint stripper of your choice, you can apply it on the coated metal part as described in the data sheet. However, to avoid incompatibility with the substrate or paint you should first:

  • Spot test the metal item with the paint stripper.

By testing the paint stripper you will also see after several hours if it works for the type of coating on the metal part.

If you see bubbles and loose chips, you have green light for the next step: applying paint stripper on the whole metal part.

Best way to apply paint remover and paint stripper for metal

A lot of paint strippers for are either liquid or have a creamy consistency. The advantage of a viscous paint stripper is that you can apply it on angled surfaces where liquid paint strippers for metal would run off. Before you start, follow the safety steps previously described.
Here is the best way to strip paint from metal:

  1. Apply the paint stripper to the painted metal surface with a brush or roller. Work in manageable sections, i.e. 1m x 1m)
  2. Leave the paint stripper for the time recommended in the instructions.
  3. Cover the treated section with plastic film or sheet to keep the paint stripper from drying too quickly.
  4. After some hours, remove the plastic and try to scrape the paint with a bladed paint scraper.
    1. If the paint is still stuck fast, allow more time for it to work.
    2. If you are able to lift the paint off, move ahead and begin applying paint remover on the next section.
  5. Collect the scraped paint material in a bucket and make sure to dispose as hazardous waste.
  6. Use a scrubbing pad for places that are hard to reach.
  7. Repeat the procedure if needed.

After successfully stripping the paint you can:

  • Wash residue off carefully, wash it down with detergent, and dry the surface.

To prepare it for following steps, ensure it will not corrode, and completely remove all the paint and solvent:

  • Go over the part with an abrasive pad/ steel wool or electric sander.

Depending on the type of metal and the intended follow-up coating, abrasive sandblasting is the next step of treatment to ensure ideal adhesion before applying paint or powder coating in the colour and finish of your choice.

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