Monthly Archives: January 2013

How to Remove Old Paint and Varnish with Chemical Paint Removers

Chemical Paint Removers. Smart Strip. Dumond Chemicals

Chemical Paint Removers from Dumond Chemicals

How to Remove Old Paint and Varnish with Chemical Paint Removers

All handymen will, at one time, be faced with a home repair project that requires the removal of multiple layers of old paint or varnish before applying a new finish. This can be a tedious, frustrating project! There are several ways to accomplish this task:

1. Use a quality chemical paint or varnish remover to soften the surface.
2. Use a pointed instrument like a razor blade or utility knife to scrape away the dissolved paint or varnish.
3. Carefully sand the surface to remove the multiple layers of paint or varnish. Be careful not to go too far into the underlying surface.
4. Use a heat gun specifically rated for paint removal.
5. Most Effective way is to use a chemical paint remover to remove multiple layers of old paint. Chemical paint removers are sold in either as a paste, liquid or aerosol spray. There are no absolute rules when it comes to paint strippers but the following is a good guideline:

Liquid Paint Removers are usually good for removing one or two layers of paint since these types of formulas dry too quickly and do not get absorbed into multiple layers of paint. They are effective for detailed intricate surfaces.

Paste Paint Removers are much more effective since they stay wet much longer in order to strip multiple layers of old paint in one application. They are effective on vertical and even overhead surfaces like ceilings. After the paste has dried the old paint call easily be scraped off, washed off or in some instances adhere to a fibrous paper included with the product. (i.e. Dumond Laminated Paper formerly known as Peel Away Paper by Dumond Chemicals)

Aerosol Paint Removers are new to the market place. They are easy to use, great on difficult surfaces and make removing 1-2 layers of paint simple and easy (try Smart Strip Aerosol by Dumond Chemicals).

Here are some quick tips that you should consider when removing paint with chemical paint strippers:

1. Research paint removal products before you start your job. Not every product works for every problem.

2. Visit your favorite paint store. Consult with the sales representative to determine which paint removal product will work for you.

3. Go online and do some first hand research. You will be amazed how much information is available like what we saw at Check out some of the online stores like, and They offer specific information about which product works best for each type of paint and surface.

4. When applying paint removal paste, use a sturdy brush and always spread the paint remover evenly over the entire surface. This will help get a uniform surface.

5. If necessary, you may need to go back and redo the process for those surfaces that have “stubborn” old paint.

6. Aerosols are the most convenient and easiest way to apply paint remover; however, they are not made for multiple layers of old paint. These removers are great for small jobs. They also can make detailed paint removal a breeze. We have found Smart Strip Aerosol by Dumond Chemicals is the best aerosol paint remover.

7. Some paint removers claim to be “environmentally friendly.” Read the label carefully to ensure that the product is “green.” We highly recommend the use of environmentally friendly paint removers. Our favorite in this category is Smart Strip Paint Remover by Dumond Chemicals.

8. Always do a “test patch” when applying any paint remover. This will determine how long to leave the paint remover on the surface and whether it will be effective for the paint or coatings you are trying to remove.

9. Always wear chemical resistant gloves even if you are using an environmentally friendly paint remover.

10. Always work in a well-ventilated area. Open the windows if you are working inside.

11. Be patient! It takes time for a chemical paint remover to do its job. Allow the chemicals proper time to penetrate the old paint. They have been there for years and it will take hours (sometimes 24 hours) for them to be removed.

12. You may need to apply a second coat of paint remover on difficult or with many different layers of coatings.

13. It is very difficult to remove paint from fine furniture. Be careful and go slow or you will not be happy with the results. The absolutely best product to use on fine furniture that will not be repainted is Peel Away 7. Often two applications are required to get down to the bare wood. Patience is a virtue when removing paint from fine furniture.

Tips for removing paint or varnish by sanding:

1. When this method is chosen, use a power or hand sander for smaller jobs and for bigger projects considers using a drum sander or belt sander. Check the great selection of sanders at

2. Always remember sanding removes some of the wood surface below the paint. Be careful and work slowly.

3. Always use open coat, coarse sandpaper when removing old paint and varnish. Fine sandpaper clogs up quickly and makes the process very time-consuming.

4. Sanding is recommended only on extremely rough jobs.

Chemical paint strippers are more effective and will give better results but they do cost more money!

Tips for removing paint or varnish with a heat gun:
1. Heat guns do work since they destroy the film in the old paint and then the paint can easily be scraped away. Check out the selection of great heat guns at

2. The process can be dangerous and caution is recommended.

3. Never keep the heat gun in one spot. It can easily burn the wood or other surface. Move the heat gun in a circular motion and avoid browned or darkened spots to appear. If you smell something burning stop immediately.

How to Remove Marine Paints

Marine Safety Strip

Marine Safety Strip

Boaters know that marine paints are the toughest paint finishes available. Maybe that’s why marine paints are more expensive. The tough finishes make marine paints more difficult to strip.

Three methods of paint removal available to you to successfully remove the paint from a boat: mechanical sanding, heat guns, and (the best method) paint stripping chemicals.

Mechanical sanding is the most labor-intensive method. It’s messy and takes countless hours of hard work. The process consists of removing the paint or varnish from the boat finish by manually sanding it away inch by inch foot by foot. You’ll need plenty of sand paper and quality power sanders. However, based on the size of your boat and the intricate details you may also consider having multiple sanders including an orbit sander and a detailed finishing sander. The process will take time and you will have to change the sandpaper constantly. Start with course sandpaper but be extra careful of stripping too much paint too much material that will create a depression in the underlying substrate. This danger can be minimized by constantly keeping the power sander moving. Never push down too hard on the sander or hold it on one location for too long.

Some “marine experts” strip paint mechanically by using “mechanical scrapers” with sharp blades. We do not recommend this procedure for novice carpenters. It can cause a disaster including gouging the wood or fiberglass substrate, or even causing serious injury. However, experts can do this process safely and effectively.

Another method of removing marine paint is by using heat guns. Using heat to strip paint on a boat, of course, requires care. The process can be dangerous and should never be rushed. Safety first is the rule when using heat guns. You must make sure there is no fuel or other flammable substances in the area that is going to get stripped. Start in one small area at a time and apply the heat in a controlled methodical manner. The biggest danger is holding the heat in one spot too long and scorching the underlying surface. Constantly move the heat gun and stop immediately if there is a smell of something burning. After the paint has been softened by the heat use a putty knife or scraper or to remove the residual paint. We do not recommend heat gun paint removal on your boat unless you have mastered the skills on other surfaces. Boats are filled with gasoline and there is always a major risk using heat guns. Please exercise caution!

The best method of paint removal for boats is the use of chemical paint strippers. However, on a boat they can work too well and damage the surface beneath the paint, especially if it is fiberglass, so great care must be taken. Chemical paint strippers can be messy and affect other areas on your boat but if you follow the precautions, you’ll find chemical paint strippers as your best alternative for the removal of marine paint:

1. Mask off all areas that you don’t want stripped.
2. Use heavy-duty plastic drop cloths and “blue” masking tape.
3. Select a chemical pain remover specifically labeled for marine paint removal. Our favorite is Peel Away Marine Safety Strip from Dumond Chemicals.
4. Use a paste so that it will adhere to all vertical surfaces
5. Work slowly. Do “test patches” and determine the “cure time” of the paint stripper you have selected. Different marine products will have significantly different sure times based on the surface and weather conditions.
6. Marine chemical strippers might need to be applied more than once on tough marine paints.
7. Give the stripper time to work. It could take as long as 24 hours.
8. Carefully scrape or wash the dissolved paint.
9. Follow the procedures on the label for the optimum results.

When you complete the paint removal process it is important to prepare the boat’s surfaces for proper refinishing. Clean the surfaces carefully and wipe dry. Then make sure the surfaces are “baby smooth” by carefully sanding using progressively finer grits of 80, 100, then 220 grit sandpaper.

Stripping marine paint is a big job but necessary to keep your boat in the best condition!

How to Remove Enamel Paint

Peel Away

Peel Away

What is Enamel Paint?

According to

Enamel paint is paint that air dries to a hard, usually glossy, finish, used for coating surfaces that are outdoors or otherwise subject to hard wear or variations in temperature; it should not be confused with decorated objects in “painted enamel“, where vitreous enamel is applied with brushes and fired in a kiln. The name is something of a misnomer as in reality, most commercially available enamel paints are significantly softer than either vitreous enamel or stoved synthetic resins, and are totally different in composition; vitreous enamel is applied as a powder of paste and then fired at high temperature. There is no generally accepted definition or standard for use of the term enamel paint, and not all enamel-type paints may use it.

Typically the term “enamel paint” is used to describe oil-based covering products, usually with a significant amount of gloss in them, however recently many latex or water-based paints have adopted the term as well. The term today means, “hard surfaced paint” and usually is in reference to paint brands of higher quality, floor coatings of a high gloss finish, or spray paints. Some enamel paints have been made by adding varnish to oil-based paint.

Although, to repeat, “enamels” and “painted enamel” in art normally refer to vitreous enamel, in the 20th century some artists used commercial enamel paints in art, including Pablo Picasso (mixing it with oil paint), Hermann-Paul and Sidney Nolan. The Trial (1947) is one of a number of works by Nolan to use enamel paint, usually Ripolin, a commercial paint not intended for art, also Picasso’s usual brand. [1] Some “enamel paints” are now produced specifically for artists.

How To Remove Enamel Paint

Multiple layers of Enamel Paint can be difficult to remove. The basic methods are sand paper, heat guns and chemical paint removers. Each method has its drawbacks: Using sandpaper on enamel is a tedious job and requires care, patience and time. Using a heat gun is dangerous for the novice. Chemical paint strippers can be expensive and some are dangerous, caustic and not safe for the environment.

These tips will help you remove enamel paint safely and effectively:

1: Select The Proper Paint Stripper to remove Enamel Paint

There are two different kinds of chemical paint strippers.

  • Toxic Paint Strippers require you to wear protective gear like a mask, gloves, and safety goggles. The area needs to be well ventilated.
  • Safe Paint Strippers are “green” and “biodegradable.”

2: Remove the Enamel Paint Residue

No paint remover is perfect. More than likely you will have to apply several applications to get almost all the paint off.

After the majority of the paint is removed use a fine sandpaper to remove the residual paint.

Always sand in a circular direction and be careful not to cause indentations in the wood or other surface.

The Final step is to wipe the surface down with a soft damp cloth.

3: Applying the Chemical Paint Stripper

Paint Removers can either be a liquid, paste or aerosol. Care should be taken in the application process.

Various tools are effective based on the type of paint remover: paintbrush, spatula, or a foam paint applicator.

Do not apply the paint remover in a similar manner, as you would paint. Apply the paint remover “heavy” by placing “blobs” of the stripper on the surface.

A thick application is the way to go for the best results.

If you do not apply enough to the surface you will for sure have to do it again!

4: Cover the Stripper

Cover the paint stripper with paper towels; saran wrap or even aluminum foil allows it to stay moist longer.

The longer a paint stripper stays wet, the better it will work.

Paint removing products that come with special “paint removal paper” (like Peel Away) excel in removing multiple layers of paint.

5:  Cleanup

Cleaning up old paint can be a “pain.” And messy. You should have a double strength plastic bag handy.

Some paint remover products like Peel Away have a distinct advantage in the clean up p process.  Peel Away is a paste that you cover with the Peel Away Paper. As the paint is drying it gets absorbed to the Peel Away Paper and attaches to it.  This makes clean up very easy.

6: Safe Disposal

Proper disposal of the old paint is very important and in fact many community have specific regulations especially when it comes to lead paint removal.

Contact your local authorities if you are not sure of the proper disposal in your community.

When using a chemical paint stripper seal the debris in a container. Do not place this debris in your trash. It is considered toxic waste.

Contact your local authorities if you are not sure of the proper disposal in your community.

If you are using a “safe non-toxic biodegradable stripper” you can put it in your trashcan.

For a great selection of paint removers, visit