Fiberglass Paint Stripper
Safe Strippers for Most Fiberglass Doors
Paint and varnish strippers come in all shapes and sizes so to speak. They range in strength from very powerful and toxic to mild and somewhat toxic. The fastest acting strippers often contain a chemical called methylene chloride. The vapors from this have been shown to cause cancer and if you get this stuff on your skin it will burn (the voice of experience). The second group of strippers slightly down the power scale are those that contain sodium hydroxide or sodium metasilicate. The mildest strippers are those that often contain NMP or d-Limonene.
The best way to strip an existing fiberglass door is to get re-finishing instructions from the manufacturer. Look on the hinge edge of the door or the top of the door for a manufacturer's name. You may also find it on the hinges in some instances. If you can't find a name, then I would start with the least powerful stripper.
Here is what can go wrong. Fiberglass doors tend to have specialized factory applied paint-like primers on certain surfaces. If you strip these off, then you are toast. Your mission is to just remove the degraded clear top coat. You can do this with methylene chloride strippers if you work in small areas and work quickly. Apply the stripper in a small area and use a timer to make sure it sits no longer than 2 to 3 minutes. Follow the stripper instructions for best results, but watch the clock!
The following strippers are safe to use on fiberglass doors made by the Therma Tru Corporation. There is a good chance they may be safe for other doors, but check yourself to make sure!
- Bix Stripper
- Bix Tough
- Dad's Easy Strip
- Savogran Super Stripper
- 3-M Safest Strip