When you have paint that has gotten on a metal surface where you did not want paint you start to ponder the best way to remove the paint. You can buy chemical paint removers, but a lot of people prefer to try homeopathic methods of removing paint using substances like vinegar that is not harmful to humans, pets, or the environment.
Vinegar is something that most people keep on hand. It is a powerful cleanser; it can also be used in cooking, and to do other chores around the home.
Vinegar is not a paint stripper so you will need to apply a little more elbow grease when you use this solution to help you get rid of unwanted paint.
Things you will need to remove paint from matal in 7 Easy Steps
- A scrub brush with stiff bristles (do not use a wire brush because the wires can scratch and damage the underlying metal causing it to be more susceptible to rust and corrosion)
- White distilled vinegar
- Small container to pour vinegar in
- Soft cloths
- Plastic scraper or small putty knife
- Plastic gloves
- Eye goggles to protect your eyes
- Sandpaper for stubborn spots
If at all possible perform this paint removing outside where you have plenty of ventilation, and where you will not make a mess on your counter, or floors.
Put on your gloves and goggles so you do not get vinegar in your eyes or cause irritation to your hands from exposing them to too much vinegar. Vinegar is a natural substance but it can cause hand irritation, redness, and dry skin if you expose your skin for too ling.
Pour vinegar into your container. You only need about one cup of the vinegar at a time so you do not need a large container. Vinegar is not harmful to humans or pets so you can use a bowl or container from your kitchen and simply wash the container thoroughly with soap and water after use.
Soak your sponge in the container of vinegar and then apply the vinegar to small sections of the paint that you need to remove. Hold the sponge in place for several minutes so the vinegar has a chance to soften the paint.
Use the plastic scraper or putty knife to gently scratch at the paint edges. You want to hold your scraper at a 450 angle and scrape at all of the edges of the paint. Use the scrub brush with stiff bristles to vigorously scrub at the painted area. You need a lot of elbow grease and a little patient determination to remove paint in this method.
Repeat steps 3 and 4 until the paint has been removed from the surface of the metal.
Dry the metal using a clean cloth. You do not have to rinse the metal with water but you can do so if you want to.
You can pour the vinegar down your sink drain when you are finished. The vinegar will not harm the drain, and it can freshen the drain, eliminate some odors, and loosen particles that may be adhering to your drain pipes.
Do NOT pour the vinegar on your grass or around any shrubbery because vinegar can kill some plants. If you have problematic weeds you can pour the vinegar on them to help eradicate them.
If the paint is stubborn and all of it does not come off you can use sandpaper to sand the paint from the metal. Do not be overly vigorous when doing this or you could damage your underlying metal.
Always allow the metal object to air dry completely before you try to coat it with a paint or finishing product after you have used this paint removal process.
You should use a rust prevention product on the metal surface after it has dried because the vinegar is apt to remove any corrosion preventive that may have been previously applied.
There is not a guarantee that vinegar will be able to remove old paint. If you have fresh paint on an item a cloth dampened in white distilled vinegar will effectively wipe away the fresh paint before it adheres and cures on the surface.