Wood Stripper
July 6, 2004 11:14 AM   Subscribe

I've got a built-in china cabinet that has several coats of house paint that I would like to strip. What's the stongest/best wood stripper I could purchase at my local Home Depot? I have no qualms about working with industrial strength products. As a matter of fact, I kind of like the danger...
posted by sharksandwich to Home & Garden (4 answers total)
Others will recommend their faves, but I like the citrus based strippers, as they are safer, particularly as you're working indoors (I'm guessing you're joking about liking the danger). I haven't noticed that they're any less effective than the other stuff at HD.

The way I get paint strippers, any kind, to work more effectively is to lather it on, and then cover it all with saran wrap and let it sit for a couple of days. Because it's not drying out, it's working longer, while you're off smoking cigarettes next to oxygen tanks, or whatever it is you do for fun.
posted by luser at 11:28 AM on July 6, 2004

My preference in stripping paint, inside and out, is towards the heat guns rather than the chemical strippers. It's about $50 for taking off as many layers as you want, plus $3 for a scraper.

The fumes are less obnoxious than chemical strippers, and the environmental damage is probably smaller (nasty chemical production and disposal vs. emissions from paint decomposition and energy for power). Additional benefits include watching the paint literally bubble up from the wall and drop off.
posted by whatzit at 11:31 AM on July 6, 2004

I've had great success with this (the first one in the list). It is really nasty stuff, but takes off many layers of paint in one application. I've yet to use a paint stripper that removes everything. You'll still need to do some moderate to heavy duty scraping. Best three things for this project using this product: (1) ventillate, ventillate, ventillate (2) wear long sleeves and long pants (3) wear neoprene or PVC gloves.
posted by plinth at 11:35 AM on July 6, 2004

I like heat guns much better. Be careful with them. Practice on removing paint from a paint stirrer or something first until you get an idea what it should look like. Don't let the paint blacken, just heat it until it softens and bubbles. After that it's very easy to remove the paint. Heat guns are useful for all kinds of other crap too, so it's good to have one around. Melting frozen water pipes, removing bumper-stickers and other stickers from metal or glass, drying stuff out, etc. They're basically just much more powerful hair dryers. The only difference you get with price is quality of construction, maximum temp and the ability to direct air in different ways (i.e. being able to concentrate or diffuse the heated air). I think you can get a decent one for $25-30.

For vertical surfaces, which I'm sure your cabinet has plenty, I believe there are some stripping pastes. You put the paste on, cover it with some kind of wax-paper stuff and then a while later, you peel off the wax paper. The paint and stripping crap come with the wax paper. Never used it, heard good things about it.
posted by RustyBrooks at 12:37 PM on July 6, 2004

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