A Comprehensive Guide to Stripping Paint From Walls

Your Guide to Removing Paint From Walls

The best way to brighten up a room in your house is with a new coat of paint. But before you get painting, you want to strip the old paint off. There are probably a few layers on there, making your new coat subject to flaking and peeling!

Read on to learn the importance of removing paint from walls, and a few ways to do it.

Removing Paint From Walls

A lot of the time, you don’t need to remove all the old paint from your walls. You mostly need to focus on problem areas — areas where the old paint is peeling, cracked, or dirty.

Damaged areas like this are hard to cover 100% with a new coat of paint. They might also cause your new paint to lose adherence, and flake off itself!

But sometimes, it’s best to strip the whole wall. This will ensure your new coat is even and effectively spread. Here are a few tips for getting all that paint off.

Use the Right Tools

There are a few different tools you can use to scrape that old paint off with ease.

Putty Knife: A putty knife is one of the most commonly used paint scraping tools. It’s just a flat piece of steel on a handle. With this, you can manually scrape off any damaged areas.

The best tactic is to push into the paint and scrape upward. This is an effective way to remove paint and reduce the chance of jabbing into your hand. It’s not the fastest way, but for it’s perfect for walls with minimal damaged paint.

Paint Shaver: If you want to get a little more technical, try a paint shaver. This tool has a spinning piece that effectively strips paint as you run it over any surface. It’s faster, it’s effective, and it’s great for large paint removal jobs.

A paint shaver can remove most types of paint, including lead-based. It’s a little more expensive than a putty knife, but it may be worth it if you’ve got a lot of paint to scrape.

Heat Gun: Some people choose a heat gun to help remove paint. With a heat gun, you can heat up sections of old paint, making them easier to scrape off.

Sand Paper: Sandpaper is another effective method of removal. Just rub it against old paint and watch it flake off!

PPE: You should always use protective equipment when painting, especially with stripper. Get safety glasses, old clothes, chemical gloves, and a ventilator.

Paint Stripper: Paint stripper is the chemical solution for removing paint from your walls. You can get it in a traditional can, or even a spray can for easy application. There are different paint strippers for different jobs, so make sure to read the label before buying.

Removing Paint With Paint Stripper

The first step to removing paint from walls is getting prepared.

Lay a plastic sheet or tarp under the wall you plan on scraping. That way, you won’t get paint chips all over your floor. Next, put on your PPE — gloves, goggles, ventilator, work clothes, and boots.

It’s also a good idea to ventilate the room itself before starting. Open a window and get some air going so paint and chemical smells aren’t hanging around the air.

Next, it’s time to apply your paint stripper. If you have a spray can, spray it over the whole wall as evenly as you can. If you have a regular can, get a wide-head paintbrush and spread the stripper all over the wall.

You don’t want it to dry too fast, so put on a fairly thick coat — about an eighth of an inch thick. The thicker the stripper you buy, the better.

Let the stripper sit for a minute, the start scraping when you see the old paint bubbling. The bubbles mean the stripper is doing its job, loosening the old coat. Thanks to this process, the old coat will come off in long strips when you go at it with your putty knife.

Start at a low point on the wall and scrape upwards with your putty knife. Get under the paint and use slow pushes. Try to get as long a strip off at a time as you can for convenience.

Before you re-paint the wall, you have to neutralize the stripper. Each stripper has a different method, detailed on the can. Usually, it involves washing with a water/neutralizer mixture.

Removing Paint With a Heat Gun

Once you’ve got your PPE on, and your plastic sheet down, get your heat gun and your scraper. Hold the gun about two inches from the surface of the wall and apply heat to the area you want to strip. When you see the paint start to loosen, scrape in an upward motion with your putty knife.

Try to do about three-foot sections at a time. It might take some time to get the whole wall with the heat gun, but it’ll give you very effective results.

Removing Paint With Sandpaper

Prepare your area, get on your PPE, then get a bucket of hot, soapy water and a cloth. Wash the whole wall before touching it with sandpaper.

You probably don’t want to approach this job with a simple strip of sandpaper. You’re much better off using a sander, or a sanding block. A sander runs on electricity, and a sanding block is a tool with a handle that you can wrap sandpaper around.

Either get your sanding block or your sander ready. Try to use a rough grit paper, somewhere around 80-grit. Now, it’s time to get stripping.

Just rub the sandpaper back and forth across the wall one foot at a time. Use a good amount of pressure to get all that paint off. Wipe off the dust, and behold your newly-stripped wall.

You might want to use a putty knife after to even up rough spots.

Remove Old Paint With Ease

Removing paint from walls is an easy and helpful skill to learn. All you need is the proper tools for the job, and a little bit of patience. So get those tarps down and give that room a fresh coat today.

If you’d rather have a professional paint your home, click here to see what Flordia Painting Company can do for you.

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