best paint strippers

Best Paint Strippers For Wood & Metal

Adequate preparation is the first and most important part of any painting job. While painting, the surface beneath the coat would often determine the quality of the finish when you’ve completed the job.

For example, if the surface is peeling, flaking, chalking, or cracking from its previous paint, it will affect the new coat and consequently spoil the job.

So how can you prevent this from happening?

It’s simple! You need to strip the existing coat of paint before applying a new coat.

However, stripping paint can be a time consuming and daunting task, which is where the best paint strippers come in.

Whether you want to spice up old wood, furniture, or metal with a fresh coat of paint, or refinish surfaces in your home, using the best paint stripper for wood or metal to strip off the old paints will make the job easier for you.

Here’s an unbiased review of the best paint remover for wood and other surfaces that you should start using today.

Best Paint Strippers for Wood and Metal

How Did We Pick The Products?

We’ve taken the time to research the various paint removal methods available on the market before deciding on the paint strippers listed here.

We examined how each product work, compared them to one another, considered what people are saying about them on the various online marketplaces, and also looked at customer ratings.

The result is what you’ll find below. We’ve done all the work for you so that you don’t have to do it yourself.

How Will You Know a Good Paint Stripper?

best paint strippers

A good paint stripper should be able to quickly strip off the paint on wood or metal surfaces completely, and consistently.

Unfortunately, slow methods can consume a lot of time, and any tool that works only part-time, or under certain situations, isn’t worth investing on.

Chemical paint strippers can also be dangerous to your health and the manual options can get you exhausted. The primary reason why tools are better is that they’re designed to make life easier and safer for you.

Additionally, paint strippers should also be able to protect the surface underneath the old coat of paint without you having to take special precautionary measures.

They should not damage the metal or wood you’re uncovering if they work as designed. Equipment that damage the original surface defeats the whole point of using them. So you want to be careful while choosing the best paint stripper for metal, wood, and other surfaces.

Best Paint Stripper Reviews

1. Wagner Spray Tech Wagner 0513040 PaintEater – Best Pick

The Wagner PaintEater is a rotating sander/paint remover and is just what you need. Just as the name suggests, it eats through paint without damaging the surface underneath it.

Once that is done, it can also be used to smoothen rough wood, thereby preparing it for painting, staining, or varnishing. It strips off latex materials effortlessly, and after a few passes, it also strips off enamel.

Furthermore, the Wagner PaintEater is pretty easy to use, although it’ll sometimes require you to use both hands to hold it steady.

It’s undoubtedly easier to use than a traditional belt sander – and works equally well for scraping paint from metal or wood – and most of all, it’s quiet and lightweight, and stays cool the majority of the time.

The only drawback, however, is that the tool stops working if it gets too hot at 200º until it cools down again. It would have been good if it has a reset button for when the fuse trips.

  • Calm and lightweight
  • Very easy to use
  • One of the best sanding tool for metal and wood
  • Stays cool most of the time
  • Trips off when it gets hot

2. SEEKONE Heat Gun 1800W Heavy Duty Hot Air Gun Kit

The SEEKONE 1800W Heat Gun is a high impact, multi-use and versatile tool that is designed to tackle lots of DIY tasks.

Apart from using it for removing paint and varnish from wood and other different surfaces, it can also be used for other purposes such as:

  • Upcycling
  • Home improvement
  • Thawing frozen pipes
  • Bending plastics
  • Loosening rusted bolts

SEEKONE heat gun is ergonomically built with optimal weight distribution and a multi-grip handle – reducing user fatigue and weariness over long periods of use.

It features two airflow and heat settings (840℉and 1200℉), giving you more control depending on usage. Apart from that, it also has a built-in overheating protection design, which helps to make the tool safer, and more reliable.

Interestingly, this heat gun also features an overload protector to avoid damaging your circuit and heat gun.

Finally, it comes with lifetime free warranty.

  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
  • It’s very safe to use
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to hold
  • Honestly, there’s nothing to dislike about this tool (check the customer reviews)

3. Bates- Paint Scraper, Taping knife, Paint Remover for Wood

This is undeniably one of the best paint scrapers out there that get the job done with a finer finish. It’s designed to make refinishing and repair jobs quick and easy.

The Bates paint remover has multiple uses, you can use it as a paint scraper, paint can opener, screwdriver, putty knife, crown molding remover, hammer, box opener, etc.

It features a rust-resistant steel blade for durability, straight-ground blades for flexibility, and carbon steel blades.

The tool is also built with a soft grip to last for long jobs without any feeling of fatigue — and like SEEKONE heat gun, it also has a lifetime warranty.

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Insanely affordable
  • It’s a bestseller on Amazon
  • Soft grip design
  • Has multiple uses
  • None

4. Excel Blades K11 Razor Blade Scraper

This is a manual paint scraper that uses replaceable razor blades set in a steel lightweight body.  It’s flat and capable of scraping off paint, old caulk, soap scum, burned on cook-top spills, glue, etc.

This tool is mostly useful for small projects where a large power sander or scraper would not be needed.

You don’t have to worry about cleanup; however, it can be difficult to hold it firmly due to its size. It holds the razor in place with the help of a spring.

When you put any pressure on the marked button, the razor suddenly retracts. It’s equally difficult to insert and remove the blades.

Overall, this manual scraper works and is “very affordable.

  • Best for the money
  • Excellent for small jobs
  • Flat and effective
  • Uses replaceable blades
  • Blade retracts suddenly
  • Hard to hold
  • Difficult to insert and remove the blades

5. Citri-Strip Paint Stripper Gel

This is one of the best paint stripper gel on the market. Just splash it on the surface you plan to strip, leave it for some hours and then wipe it out.  It’s really that easy.

It stays and active wet for about twenty-four hours, and it lets you strip several layers of paint in a step. Surprisingly, it equally sticks to vertical surfaces.

Unfortunately, this chemical contains N-Methyl-2-pyrrolidone, which, according to the State of California, causes birth defects or other reproductive damages.

Nitrile gloves, standard latex, or rubber will NOT be enough to protect you because the stripping solution can penetrate them. For adequate protection, you must use butyl rubber gloves.

Aside from that, the fumes are equally unsafe – and opening your windows isn’t enough to diffuse them. It’s advisable to have a positive airflow via the room where you’re using the gel, to blow them outside.

Overall, this paint stripping gel works wonders, but the biological dangers make it a perpetual runner-up.

  • High effective
  • Pretty easy to use
  • Can penetrate multiple paint layers
  • Easily adheres to vertical surfaces
  • Produces dangerous fumes
  • Can lead to birth defects

6. PORTER-CABLE PC1500HG Paint Remover Heat Gun

This is a paint remover heat gun that discharges lots of heat, enough to set paper ablaze. It features variable temperature and dual-speed controls so you can easily get the right settings for your project.

It’s highly effective at stripping paints, but it’s very time-consuming as you have to be slow and systematic. If you’re in a hurry, then this heat gun is not the best option for you.

That said, one of the drawbacks is that the temperature is not constant. It randomly moves up and down without prior warning – and it equally not durable, so this isn’t a long-term solution to anything.

That’s not all, it’s also very loud, and when it finally dies, you’ll find out that customer service won’t do anything about it.

This paint removing heat gun works – while it’s alive. However, you’ll have to endure its limitations.

  • Affordable
  • Great controls
  • Produces lots of heat
  • Very slow
  • Too loud
  • Has short lifespan
  • Varied temperature

7. Dumond Smart Strip Advanced Paint Remover

The Smart Strip Advanced Paint Remover is a 100% biodegradable, Eco-friendly, water-based paint stripper.

It’s incredibly effective for stripping multiple layers of industrial and architectural coatings from nearly every interior and exterior surfaces such as metal, brick, stone, wood, plaster, concrete, and most plastics and fiberglass.

This paint stripper is remarkable for the safe and easy removal of lead-based paint and is ideal for molded, intricate, and carved surfaces.

Furthermore, it can be used to remove marine paints without spoiling the gel coat – and because it is a paste-based stripper, the Smart Strip Advanced Paint Stripper can easily be applied by roller, brush, or traditional airless paint sprayer.

Finally, this is a revolutionary paint remover that is very safe for the user, the environment, and the substrate. It is odor-free and doesn’t contain methylene chloride (DCM), toxic chemicals, or any caustics.

  • Adds a great value
  • Safe for user, environment, and substrate
  • Can remove multiple layers
  • 100% biodegradable
  • No toxic chemicals
  • None

Types of Paint Strippers

best paint remover for wood

Paint stripper comes in different types – for different purposes, and it’s very important to get the one that works best for your specific needs.

It comes in three main categories:

  • Caustic
  • Solvent
  • Biochemical

However, there is also an additional variation within these three categories, which we will also discuss below:

Caustic Paint Strippers

​Caustic paint strippers use lye to turn the top layer of the coating into soap, by creating a chemical reaction that helps loosen the coat from its surface. Lye is produced from either or caustic potash (potassium hydroxide), or caustic soda (sodium hydroxide).

These type of strippers is designed to remove most alkyd and latex paints, but they must remain on the surface for a few hours in order to work properly.

They’re slower than most other solvents though, but they equally have fewer health risks. The most common risks associated with caustic strippers are lung irritation or skin burns, but these are alleviated by proper clothing, gloves, and enough ventilation.

However, the only downside to caustic solvents is that they darken the wood quite often, which means you’ll be required to also bleach your furniture if you plan on painting it a lighter color.

Finally, caustic strippers work best at temperatures over 50°F.

Solvent-Based Paint Strippers

​Paint strippers that use chemical solvents as their main ingredient strips paint by dissolving the bond between stain or paint layers, which results in the coating bubbling up and peeling or scraping off.

As mentioned earlier, methylene chloride (DCM) is one type of solvent, but it is not recommended because of the health risks associated with it.

Other types of solvents include the ones using alcohol, methanol, N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP), acetone, toluene, and/or ketones.

These options have fewer associated risks though, but you should still be careful while using them – endeavor to read and adhere to every safety instruction on the bottle!

Biochemical Paint Removers

​Biochemical-based strippers are the same as chemical solvents, the only difference is that they use solvents obtained from plants.

Some of the most common options are:

  • Pine or citrus terpenes
  • Lactic acids (derived from corn sugars)
  • Citric acid
  • Soy oil
  • Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) (derived from paper by-products or wood pulp)

Biochemical paint strippers have minor associated health risks, but they can lead to skin irritation, and it’s also advisable to always use them in a well-ventilated area.

Apart from the biochemical agents, these products sometimes use NMP.

It’s worth mentioning that there are other alternatives to the strippers listed above, as I mentioned earlier. These alternatives methods include:

  • Heat: Comes in the form of a low-intensity “infrared heating system,” a torch or heat gun. It’s also an effective means of stripping paints.
  • Sanding: This works by removing paint by hand or with the use of a power sander
  • Power Washing: This option is mostly good for stripping paint on exterior walls

Paint Stripper Buyer’s Guide

paint stripper

While buying paint strippers for wood, metal, walls, or other surfaces, ensure you know exactly what you want before making the purchase. This is because smaller purchases like these do not usually come with warranties.

Although you can also get them from offline retail stores where you can easily return the product if it breaks or doesn’t work the way you want, provided you’re still with the receipt.

Furthermore, remember that most paint removers will need razors or sanding paper, and replacement pads. You might also want to get them while buying the stripper as you’re going to need them in the long run.

And when you’re using any kind of paint stripper, you’ll also need goggles to protect your eyes.  Whether they scrape it off mechanically, use chemicals, or sand the old paint off, there will always be particles in the air that can harm the eyes.

The good thing, however, is that goggles are very cheap, and if you buy them with your purchase as a bundle, it will help you qualify for free shipping.

That’s not all, you will also need chemical resistant gloves (butyl rubber gloves, specifically) when using chemical paint strippers, even if with the aerosol types. And yes! Respirators will also be necessary to protect your lungs.

Strangely, a good shop fan is equally a brilliant option to consider when buying a paint stripper of any kind. It will help to blow away those dangerous fumes or particles in the air to protect your health.

How to Strip Paints

Now, here’s how to strip paint using chemicals:

How do you strip paint off wood and metal?

A natural way to remove paint from metal surfaces is to combine baking soda and water or white vinegar and water over a heat source. You can do this on your stovetop with a disposable pot or pan. For every quart of water, add 1/4 cup of baking soda or vinegar and bring the water to a boil.

What is the fastest way to remove paint from metal?

In fact, an incredibly effective paint remover for metal is boiling water. This technique is best for removing old paint from items like hardware, hinges, knobs, etc, and is likely the fastest, easiest, and cheapest option if done correctly.

What is the best paint remover for metal?

Best for Metal: Klean-Strip Premium Paint Remover and Stripper. Brush Klean-Strip on a metal surface, and you’ll be able to easily strip off paint, epoxy, or polyurethane. This product is ideal for metal, as well as working on masonry and wood.

What is the best thing to strip paint from wood?

You can use steel wool to get rid of stubborn areas of paint or varnish, and old toothbrushes and wire brushes are also useful. Take care with metal scrapers when stripping wood so as to avoid scratching or gouging the wood when removing the paint or varnish.

Will vinegar take paint off wood?

Vinegar does not remove paint from wood, but it can soften paint and make it easier to remove. It is a non-toxic, natural alternative to chemical paint strippers, but may take a little more time and effort to get all the paint off.

Will a pressure washer remove paint from metal?

Pressure washing is one way to remove paint from wood, metal, concrete, and other exterior surfaces. Selecting a pressure washer with a range of 2,000 PSI to 4,000 PSI will give you the most effective power for removing peeling paint. As with all power equipment, always wear safety glasses and closed toe shoes.

Does vinegar remove paint from metal?

Vinegar is an excellent solution if you want to remove paint from metal objects. Let the paint soften for 10-15 minutes, then scrape it off with a paint scraper. Vinegar is a cost-effective, natural alternative to commercially available paint strippers, that contain toxic chemicals and give off harsh fumes.

What is the best grit sandpaper for removing paint from metal?

Attach an 80-grit sanding disk to your sander and begin sanding the metal surface from which you need to remove paint. Because 80 grit is pretty coarse, stop using it when the paint is almost all the way off.

How do you get paint off of metal?

Use an old pan and add water. For every litre of water, add about 60ml of vinegar or baking soda. Put the item you want to strip in the pan and boil for about 15 minutes or until the paint falls off. Wear heat protective gloves and use tongs to remove the metal.

How do you remove paint from metal furniture?

How To Remove Paint From Metal Furniture

  • Clean the painted metal surfaces.
  • Apply generous amounts of paint stripper to the painted surfaces with a brush or cloth.
  • Scrub the paint off with a putty knife and wire brush.
  • Clean the metal thoroughly once you have removed all of the paint.

Best Paint Stripper For Metal | Conclusion

To ensure your safety when stripping paint from any surface, it is important to get a reliable tool that actually performs its job without all of the added hazardous chemicals.

From our review, you can see that the Wagner 0513040 PaintEater is easily the best paint stripper on the list.  It’s lightweight, fast, efficient, user-friendly, and has a long lifespan.

And if you’re considering cost, then the Excel Blades K11 Razor Blade Scraper is easily the best choice. It’s pretty much affordable as a manual stripper. If spending a little extra energy and time isn’t a problem for you, go for this tool.

Finally, I hope that these reviews have made your buying decision easier than it would have been otherwise. Now, it’s time to sit down and pick the ideal tool for your projects.