Favorite paint stripper product for wood?

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879
Location
California
Thread starter
I'd like to strip, down to bare wood, the many layers of paint from my kitchen cabinets and louvered pantry doors and repaint them so they look nice. Do you have a favorite brand of liquid paint stripper that I can "wipe on...wipe off" (as Mr. Miyagi says)? If the product is sold at either Home Depot or Lowes, that would be convenient but I don't mind ordering it online if I need to. I'm a novice woodworker, so do you have any other suggestions for repainting once I have the old paint off? Should I sand the cabinets? Is there a specific type of brush, roller, etc., I might want to use? I welcome your suggestions! Ed
 
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4,083
Location
Texas
I have used a thin liquid paint remover . Not much good . Switched to a paint remover the consistency of a gel . It did pretty good . Apply the gel and let it sit , without messing with it . Just let it bubble & do its thing . Wear rubber / latex gloves and a respirator , if inside ( sounds like it would be ) . Open the doors and windows . Do not get the stuff on your skin , it does not play well . Be careful . Sorry , can not remember brand , purchased years ago at Lowes or Home Depot . Best of luck to you . :-)
 
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248
Location
Pacific Northwest
I've used traditional methylene chloride paint stripper a good number of times and it works well, but I don't think I would want to use it indoors. It's pretty noxious stuff - too many fumes and you don't want it to get on anybodies skin. I would look for a less toxic formula for the things you can't disassemble and take outside. Unfortunately none the low toxicity options are going to be a wipe on, wipe off kind of experience as they take a lot longer to soak through the paint fully. You might consider taking all the doors off so you can do them outside with regular paint stripper.
 
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1,233
Location
Warner Robins, GA
Originally Posted by ET16
Citristrip is good and not too harsh.
I haven't used this on paint, but have used it to strip varnish on gun stocks and it does a good job.
 
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9,796
Location
Jupiter, Florida
The stuff I always use is "Aircraft paint remover" by Kleen Strip, yes, that's the brand.

The one that contains methylene chloride works, the one without methylene chloride is slower than molasses in January and does a poor job.

It's good to note that products with methylene chloride (also called dichloromethane) are the only ones that exposed bare wood in some large paint stripper tests.
 
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15
Peel-Away is an alkali paste that you spread on multi-layered paint and cover with paper. Less fumes than the acetone stuff.
second this. My <100 year old house was filled w/pant, and Peel Awa was my go to when I stripped all of the trim, woodwork and windows all the way down, then sanded and stained.

For big, flat sections, I used a heat gun and scraper (works great until you get into ridges). Peel Away for the curvy bits, and then some chemical stripper for the last part. I found this to be the fastest method, by far. If you're trying to get to bare wood to stain, there is no "one method" that's fast and effective if you're dealing with a lot of paint. Peel Away 7 was a valuable tool in the arsenal, though.

OP, for kitchen cabinets, I'd spray with an hvlp gun vs. using a roller or brush. If you're just getting into wood working, it's worth it. I've painted stuff with just a pancake compressor and the $15 purple HF gun, and it still gives a more satisfactory result than a brush or roller.
 
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