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Top 5 Best Paint Stripper for Wood and Metal of 2021

When painted surfaces age they often lose some of their beauty because the paint gets marred, chipped, or the finish coating becomes dull over time. Instead of buying new furnishings, cabinets, and such when this happens you can buy a paint remover and strip away the old paint and varnish to reveal the beautiful item beneath the paint.

To find the best paint stripper for wood and metal we had novices and professionals try the products and the following ones were all recommended as easy to use, and effective.

The following list of paint stripper impressed us greatly..

Citristrip QCSG801 Paint
  • Materials: Metal and masonry
  • Citrus scent: no harsh fumes
  • Size: 1 Quart
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Formbys 30013 Furniture Refinisher
Formbys 30013 Furniture Refinisher
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Size: 5 x3 x8 inches
  • Materials: Steel wool
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Rust-Oleum Automotive Gloss Clear Coat
Rust-Oleum Automotive 253522 Gloss
  • Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Size: 5 x 4.5 x 4.5 inches
  • Materials: High gloss finish
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Goof Off FG653 Professional Strength Remover
  Goof Off FG653
  • Weight: 2
  • Size: 
  • Materials
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Top 5 B​​​​est Paint Stripper for Wood and Metal Reviews

1. Citristrip Paint & Varnish Stripping Gel

Citristrip Paint & Varnish Stripping Gel - painterscare.com

This biodegradable product will safely help you wipe away the layers of paint, varnish, and finish materials that are on your cabinets, doors, furniture and painted surfaces. You can easily take away the ravages of time and restore an item to the beauty it held when it was new and fresh.

This product has a pleasant odor so it will be safe for you to use indoors and will not cause you any discomfort. It smells like oranges and the active ingredient is methylene chloride. This means it is non-caustic and although it should not burn or damage skin protective gloves are recommended during application and removal.

It is an orange color so you can easily see where you have applied the product and where you might need more. This product needs to be wet on the surface in order for it to work so it is designed to remain wet for a period of 24 hours so you have plenty of time to apply it with no worries that it will dry on the first section before you get the last section covered in product.

2. Formbys 30013 Furniture Refinisher

Formbys Furniture Refinisher

Formby’s easily dissolves away old varnish coatings, lacquer, shellac, and other protective and decorative coatings. You will not need to sand the old varnish away. You simply apply this product and give it the appropriate time to work, and then wipe away the old varnish with a clean dry towel. No sanding and no scraping involved.

If all of the old varnishes do not wipe completely away from a little steel wool and a gentle rubbing will remove the remainder of any lacquer, shellac, or varnish. It does not damage the wood or remove the color from wood so you are left with a beautiful piece that looks new again.

Once the old varnish is removed you need to apply Tung Oil to condition the wood and protect it. Then you are ready to apply a new finish coat or a heavy wax, or do whatever decorative treatment you want to your project piece.

3. Rust-Oleum Automotive 253522 Gloss Clear Coat

Rust-Oleum Automotive Gloss Clear Coat

This is a professional grade paint remover that can effectively remove the toughest of paints with very little effort on your part. You can easily remove old paints, varnishes and finish coats to reveal the item beneath the old finish. It will not interfere with the application of new paints or varnishes.

You can remove paint and old varnishes from furniture, trim, cabinets, scuff marks from floors, and many other surfaces, safely, and quickly. When you have finished using this product you simply clean any residue left from it off with clean water. You do not need an astringent cleaner to clean this away.

It can be safely used indoors because this is a non-flammable material and it does not have a powerful odor. You should wear protective gloves and eyewear when using this product, or when using any product designed to remove paints and varnishes.

4. Goof Off FG653 Professional Strength Remover

Goof Strength paint remover for wood

Goof Off Pro Strength Remover works the first time you apply it so it gets rid of things like tough spots and stains, chewing gum, and other things that most removers have no effect over.

Goof Off Professional Strength will remove caulk, the residue left from duct tape, stickers, and decals, adhesives and glue, crayon marks, pen and marker marks, scuff marks, dried latex paint, caulk, tree sap, candle wax, and asphalt and tar.

It can be used on glass surfaces, wood surfaces, concrete, brick, metal surfaces, fiberglass, hand tools and the majority of car finishes.

Goof Off Professional Strength has the ability to remove most messes and mistakes, and help you bring new life back to your belongings.

This powerful remover has powerful chemical ingredients, including Ethylbenzene. The State of California has found Ethylbenzene to cause reproductive harm and cause birth defects. You must wear protective eyewear, respirator, and goggles when using this product.

5. Goof Off FG658 Professional Strength Remover – Aerosol

Goof Strength Remover

This paint stripper can be used to remove paint from wood, stone, brick, metal, glass blocks, concrete, and some auto finishes. If you have paint that needs to go away then Goof Off Graffiti Remover is a great choice.

This remover is specifically formulated to cut through spray paints, ink, and even crayon without causing any damage to the surface below the marks. It is a very fast acting paint remover. It is packaged in a convenient spray can so you simply spray it on, let it go to work, and wipe it away.

Spray paint is one of the toughest paints to remove so Goof Off Graffiti Remover has some strong chemicals present in its composition. You should wear protective respirator, eyewear, and gloves a when using this product because it contains N-methyl pyrrolidone. This substance has been proven by the State of California to cause birth defects or reproductive harm so take all necessary precautions when using.

Types of Paint Stripper

Paint strippers come in two basic formulas. There are caustic paint strippers and solvent-based paint strippers. The type of painted surface that you are removing the paint from will determine whether you will need to apply a caustic stripper or a solvent based stripper.

Solvent Based Paint Strippers

The solvent based paint strippers are designed to break the bond that exists between the painted object and the paint on it. The solvent based stripper accomplishes this by causing the paint on the item to swell and thus weakening the bond between the paint and the object.

One of the most frequent ingredients in solvent-based strippers is methylene chloride. They are very good at removing thick layers of built-up paint, and they do not cause any damage to the wood or surface of the project piece.

Caustic Paint Strippers

Caustic paint strippers work by breaking down the chemical composition of the paint. The main ingredient in the majority of caustic paint strippers is sodium hydroxide. The sodium hydroxide reacts to the oily ingredients in the paint and causes the paint to start to break down.

These strippers can be used on pieces that have a lot of detail and intricate carving, but the caustic strippers can damage the surface wood as well as remove the paint or varnish.

How to remove flaking paint?

remove flaking paint

Flaking paint can cause an item to look worn out and unsightly, but you can easily remove the old paint and apply some new by following these simple steps. Be sure to place smaller pieces that you are removing paint from on newspaper or a drop cloth prior to starting to make the clean up after the work easier to do.

Scrape to Remove Large Particles

The largest particles of flaking paint should be scraped away prior to any other methods being used.

Wash away the Bits

You should wash away or wipe away all of the loosened paint that you can before you move on to another method of removal.

Scrub with a Brush

You will want to take a stiff brush and vigorously rub the surface of the piece to remove even more paint that has become loose. You can use a stiff toothbrush in intricate areas.

Professional Removers

Professional paint strippers and removers can be applied to remove any of the paint that is stubbornly hanging on at this point.


You can use fine sandpaper to smooth away any really tough paint that is still hanging on at this point.

How to strip paint off wood walls?

strip paint off wood walls

Before you jump in and remove paint from wood walls first inspect the walls to determine if this step is absolutely necessary. If you see any indications that the pain has chips, cracks or bubbles then you must remove before painting the surface.


The first step to removing old paint is to use a scraper and knock away any loose particles that you can.


A commercial paint stripper is the easiest way to soften up old paint and make it turn loose from the wood wall it is on. Follow the directions on the stripper, and remember to wear protective gloves. Be sure the stripper you buy can be used indoors.


If you do not want to use the paint stripper to remove the pain you can try heating the paint up using a torch, heating gun or heating iron. You have to apply the heat so that the paint blisters where you can then scrape it away. This may take several applications of heat, and be careful that you do not cach the wooden surface on fire.


The final approach to stubborn paint removal from wood walls is sanding away any paint that simply will not come off by other methods.

How to strip paint off wood and furniture?

strip paint off wood and furniture

Removing the paint from a piece of furniture is the beginning to creating a piece that is unique, fresh, and attractive. This renovation process will save you a lot of money and will give you furniture that is gorgeous.

Start by Cleaning

To begin removing paint from wood and furniture you must first clean the piece. You want to clean away any dust, grime, or dirt that has accumulated on the item.

Remove any Loose Paint

Your next step will be to use a stiff brush or a scraper and remove any loose chunks of paint. A stiff bristled toothbrush is excellent to use in tiny cracks and detailed places. A denture brush will also allow you to reach down into intricate designs.

If you use a scraper be very careful not to gouge the item and create a flaw in the wood.

Apply a Quality Stripper

You are now ready to apply a quality paint stripper to the item. Work on small areas instead of trying to cover the entire piece in stripper at once. You never want to let stripper dry before you wipe it away, so when you concentrate on smaller areas you have the ability to remove the old paint before your stripper dries. This also allows you to take a break if you need to before you start removing paint from the next sections.

You want a solvent based stripper for this type of paint removal. A caustic stripper may damage the wooden surface under the paint and varnish.

strip paint from metal

Removing paint from a metal surface is a lot like removing paint from a wooden surface. The steps are almost identical, but some of the tools and products may be different.

Clean it First

You always start a project like this by cleaning away any grease, grime or loose paint and debris. On metal surfaces, a wire brush will remove most loose items, but do not press down to firmly while using or you can scratch the metal.

Apply a Stripper

You need a professional paint stripper that is rated for use on metal surfaces. Apply this according to the manufacturer’s instructions and wear all required safety apparel.

You can use a putty knife or a wire brush to help you remove the paint that is turned loose by the stripper.

Clean again

Once the paint has been removed you need to clean away any residue that the paint stripper left behind before you can prime the item and put new paint on it.

You should apply rust prevention or a rust converter before you prime a metal piece just to protect your item.

How to strip paint from plastic?

Plastic items can be challenging to remove paint from without damaging the plastic it is made from.

Clean it First

Your first step to removing paint from any surface material is to clean the item thoroughly and dry it thoroughly.

Scrap away what you can

If the paint is cracked or blistered you may be able to use a scraper, a putty knife, or a stiff bristled brush to remove a lot of the paint on the item.

Nail Polish Remover or Denatured Alcohol

When you are dealing with paint on plastic these two items may effectively help you to remove the paint if you simply have a small area of paint to remove or a spot on the item. These substances will have to sit on the paint you want to remove for several minutes, as many as ten, before they begin to work at all.

Professional Stripper

Make sure that the stripper you purchase is a solvent stripper and that the manufacturer says it can be used on plastic items. Many professional products will be harmful to plastic.

Frequently Asked Questions About Wood Paint Stripper

What is the easiest way to strip paint off wood?

The best way to strip paint off of wood is using a commercial paint stripper and sanding the wood. The commercial paint stripper will have detailed instructions on how to apply and how long to leave the product on the surface. When you have finished with the paint stripper let the wood dry and then sand any remnants or stubborn paint away until the wood is smooth.

Does vinegar remove paint from wood?

If the paint has not dried and cured then vinegar can help you to remove it from a wooden surface. After the paint has had time to dry vinegar cannot remove it. Paint is absorbed by the wood so it is more than surface deep and you need something that can reach deep to remove it.

How do you neutralize wood after stripping?

You can use water and soap to clean the wood and remove any of the residue from the stripper. You need to wash it thoroughly and then allow it to dry completely, for at least 24 hours before you do anything else.

Final Word

Stripping away old paint and varnish can be a time-consuming task, but the professional solutions available make it possible to remove paint in less time, with less work. You simply need to read the instructions on the package so you can determine if the solution is appropriate for use on the material that you want to remove paint from.

Paint removers should be thoroughly cleaned off of the surface of the item prior to applying a new coat of paint. Dry the item completely after you clean it.

Removing paint should always be done in a well-ventilated area. You should also wear protective gloves and eye protection whenever you are using a paint remover. Your safety is important.

About Arnaud Kuhlein

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