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Paint Removers – Performance Guidelines

Paint Removers - Performance Guidelines

There are many companies that make paint removers. However, there are just a few leaders in the field. Some paint removal manufacturers make products for commercial and industrial applications. I have hunted for the ones that make products for you and me - i.e. homeowners. Many of the products below can be found at local hardware stores, large home centers, and paint stores.

As you will see from the guidelines below, you have to be very careful about selecting the right paint or finish solvent. There is no one miracle paint stripper that is universally safe on all surfaces! Take your time and make sure that you pick the right one. For example, let's say that you intend to strip paint from some delicate aluminum object or thin aluminum siding. If you purchase an alkaline stripper you have got problems! The stripper will eat away and etch the aluminum! Read the labels, especially the area of the label that speaks to Precautions!

Several of the companies below have very handy pamphlets and charts that help you select the correct stripper. Klean-Strip is one in particular. Their chart lists properties such as strength, thickness, speed, wet time, water washability, etc. I suggest you call all of the manufacturers and request their product literature. It will be well worth it!

Dumond Chemicals, Inc.

Dumond Chemical makes the Peel Away product. This is the paste like remover that requires a special paper so that you can remove up to 30 layers of paint in one application! They make 4 primary products:

  • Peel Away 1
    This alkaline paste product is to be used for multiple layers of latex paint. Do NOT use it on aluminum, veneer or plywood, varnish only on hardwoods (it will discolor the wood!), urethanes and epoxies and baked enamels.

  • Peel Away 6
    This safe remover is specially designed for fine furniture restoration. It will remove urethanes and varnish without harming or discoloring wood. In addition, it can remove many layers of latex paints and varnish from virtually any surface.

  • Peel Away 7
    This tough remover will attack and remove tough coatings such as oil paints, epoxies, urethanes, traffic paint, chlorinated rubber, automotive paints, etc. It is safe on many substrates including hardwoods and aluminum.
  • Peel Away 21
    This stripper is safe for virtually any surface and will remove many household paints.


Klean Strip makes a wide range of residential strippers. You name it, and they have it. They have many different stripping products. They range from furniture stain removers to adhesive/mastic removers.

  • Premium Stripper
    This is a stripper for latex and oil based paints, urethanes, epoxy varnish, varnish, shellac and lacquer. It comes three ways: #1 KS-3 Thick Brushable Paste for tough jobs. #2 Easy Sprayable is a thin bodied stripper that is water washable. Be careful as the water rinse can raise wood grain. #3. Convenient Aerosol stripper is great for small projects.

  • Heavy Bodied Paint Remover
    This product is a moderately thick stripper that cuts through multiple layers of old finish. It is water washable. It is great for painted metal.
  • Strip-X Stripper
    Removes paint, varnish and stain. Water washable and clings to vertical surfaces.
  • Klean-Kutter Remover
    A thin liquid remover made to remove clear finishes. Great for antiques.
  • Deep Down Stain Stripper
    This product helps you remove stains from wood. Penetrates virtually all clear finishes. Sold in a spray can.
  • Fiberglass Stripper
    Use this to remove paint from fiberglass. Water washable.
  • Adhesive Remover
    A heavy-duty paste for removing old floor covering adhesives, mastic, contact cement, asphalt and latex adhesives.
  • Citristrip
    A stripping gel that contains no methylene chloride. A great orange scent allows you to work comfortably indoors.
  • Gillespie Furniture Stripper
    Removes multiple layers of paint from wood furniture in a flash!

Parks Corporation

Parks makes a full line of paint and clear finish removers. they also make a paint deglosser for increasing adhesion if you are going to repaint over glossy paints. Call them for sure and ask for this brochure by title: The Facts About Finish Removal.

  • Pro Stripper II
    This removes oil, latex and clear finishes safely.

  • Pro Stripper
    Fast acting methylene chloride. A semi-paste.
  • No Drip Strip
    Semi-paste. Clings well to vertical surfaces.
  • Liquid Strip
    Liquid formula great for detailed furniture restoration work.
  • Furniture Refinisher
    Removes old furniture finishes and dirt. No need to sand or scrape. Simply recoat with new clear finish.
  • Adhesive Remover
    Removes hardened adhesives beneath floor tile, ceramic tile, paneling, etc.
  • Wipe - It - Off
    Removes dried latex paint spills or spatters without affecting underlying oil based or urethane surfaces. Great for clean up after painting those bedroom walls without making sure the drop cloth was close enough to the wall!

Author's Note: We've received other questions about similar problems. Here's one from Leigh, in Columbus, OH.

"I have a cement pad/stoop located in front of my front door. The previous owners painted this a dark brown. The paint is chipping off. I was wondering if you could please tell me how to remove this paint? The pad is in good condition, and I would much rather prefer a 'natural' cement color! Thank you! "

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