Making Eco-Friendly Paint Remover

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Making Eco-Friendly Paint Remover

Did you know that you can create your own paint remover? While you can buy it from paint or home improvement stores, you can make a natural paint remover that’s far less toxic using a few basic ingredients.

The Case for Natural Paint Removers

Most chemical paint removers contain high volumes of VOC – Volatile Organic Compounds. VOCs can affect the environment and your health, including the respiratory and nervous systems.

We recommend doing a patch test with these solutions in a less visible surface area before doing a broader application.


Vinegar is a handy household item used for a variety of needs. It also makes a great paint remover.

        • Heat about ½ cup of vinegar in the microwave without letting it come to a boil.
        • Rub the hot vinegar (be careful not to burn yourself) on the painted surface using a sponge or cloth. Allow it to sit for a while to deteriorate the paint.
        • After a while, the paint should scrape off easily. If not, re-do the steps. It may take two to three applications to deteriorate the paint.

Washing Soda Paint Remover 

Washing soda, which is not the same as baking soda, can be used as an inexpensive, harmless, easy-to-make paint remover. (Washing soda can be found in the laundry detergent section of a supermarket.)

        • Pour 1 cup cold water into a dish and stir in 4 spoonfuls of washing soda.
        • Add one spoonful of flour at a time to the mixture, thoroughly mixing each spoonful in.
        • Keep adding flour while continuously stirring until you achieve a thick and consistent cream.
        • Once you achieve that creamy consistency, brush it onto the paint you want to remove.
        • Let it penetrate the paint surface for 30 minutes.
        • Carefully rinse off the cream while scraping off the paint with a firm brush.

 Borax and Ammonia

When working with ammonia, it’s critical to work in a well-ventilated area and wear gloves. (Follow the brand’s instructions.) This recipe is ideal for removing older paint from surfaces.

        • Pour 2 cups of room-temperature water into a dish.
        • Add 1 cup of borax, 1 cup of ammonia, and 1 cup of washing soda.
        • Mix the solution thoroughly until it forms a consistent creamy paste.
        • Brush the cream over the paint.
        • Allow it to penetrate for 15 to 20 minutes, then rinse off with warm water while scrubbing with steel wool.

Paint Stripper Tool

If you’d like to get your exercise without using any solutions, you can try using a paint stripper tool. A few things to note: it’s extremely labor intensive, and you can scratch the underlying surface if you are not careful when scraping.

Heat Gun

A good option if you’d like to avoid any solutions is a heat gun. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. The heat gun works by heating surface paint until bubbles are on the paint, then scraping off the paint.

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