Paint generally bonds well with metallic surfaces, and because of that its removal is a little difficult. But, with some knowledge and preparation work, you can give your old and poorly painted metal furniture a fresh new look.
According to the report of MarketWatch, the global Paint Remover market size was USD 1287.6 million in 2020 and it is expected to reach USD 2034.6 million by the end of 2027. However, there are many ways to remove paint from metal including safe and eco-friendly methods.
When it comes to some DIY projects, many people wonder how they can remove paint from metal. But, removing paint from metal is actually not difficult, but it can be time-consuming and sometimes potentially dangerous. And it is definitely possible to achieve if you have time, patience, and the right tools.
In this article, we have shared 7 easy and quick steps on how to remove paint from metal successfully. These will make your object look as good as it did before someone decided to take a paintbrush to it. Also, here we have covered the safety tips you need to follow while working.
So, let’s get started.
Table of Contents
Safety Tips For Removing Paint From Metal
As you will be using different tools and materials in some of the following paint removal methods, you should follow some safety tips while using those to ensure your best success possible. Here are the safety tips you need to follow.
- Work In A Well-Ventilated Area: When you are working with paint strippers, you should make sure that you work in a well-ventilated area and remove flammable materials that may cause fire accidents.
- Wear Heat-Resistant Protective Gloves: When you are using heat guns to remove paint from metal, you need to ensure that you wear heat-resistant protective gloves. Also, you should avoid touching the metal surface until it has completely cooled down.
- Remove Flammable Materials And Wear Nose Mask: You should wear protective gloves and a nose mask to avoid inhaling the acidic concentrations and also you need to ensure that the area is well-ventilated and remove any flammable materials from your working area.
- Use Tongs To Handle The Hot Container: When you are using a mixture of hot water and baking soda, you should use heat-protective gloves to handle the hot container and use tongs to carefully immerse and remove the metallic items from the hot water.
How To Remove Paint From Metal: 7 Easy And Quick Steps
Painting metal is generally easy, but the removal of paint from metal can be really tricky. However, there are several different ways to remove paint from metal. Here, we have covered 7 easy and quick ways how to remove paint from metal.
1. Using Paint Strippers
Applying paint strippers is a common paint removal process for almost any surface – it can be metal, concrete, or plastic. Paint strippers actually work by stripping off the paint from the surface.
Depending on what you are looking for, different forms of paint strippers with different prices and chemical compositions are available in the market. Most people generally prefer user-friendly strippers for indoor use, which are low in odor.
Each person may have different choices, but their process of using paint strippers remains almost the same. First, purchase a paint stripper suited for the metal you are working on, and then depending on your working area, pour a significant amount of stripper into a container.
Now, you need to use a disposable chip brush to apply a thick layer of the stripper on the surface of the metal and leave it for about 30 minutes to a few hours to settle.
Then, you will see the paint begin to form bubbles or swell, which is an indication that the paint stripper is started to work on it. After that, you should use a towel to wipe off the paint stripper and the loosened paint stains from the surface.
You can repeat this process as necessary to achieve the desired results. This process is best for removing spray paint and for large indoor and outdoor projects.
2. Removing Paint Using A Paint Scraper
A paint scraper is a handheld tool that has a plastic or metal blade to scrape off the paint from the metal surface with little effort.
Depending on the nature of the metal surface you are working on, you should choose the paint scraper. If you are working on softer metals like brass, you should use scrapers with plastic blades to reduce damage on the metal surface.
However, for stronger metals, you can use metal-bladed scrapers. But, you should choose a scraper that is well suited for your job and also offers a comfortable hold.
Because scarpers are available in different sizes and shapes in the market. And using paint scrapers is definitely not a difficult task and requires no additional practical skills.
First, you just need to wipe the surface of the metal clean. Then just hold the scraper above the painted metal surface and scrape off the paint. Paint scrapers are usually ideal for small jobs on flat surfaces for which the paint flakes out easily without requiring the use of chemicals.
3. Using A Heat Gun To Remove Paint
Heat can melt paint, causing it to pull away from the metal surface. So, if you have a heat gun, you can remove paint from metals using an eco-friendly way.
First, you need to hold the heat gun a few inches away from the metal surface and start heating slowly. You should begin with the lowest heat setting of the heat gun to avoid overheating.
Then, just move the heat source back and forth to ensure even heating of the working surface. You should not increase the heat setting, because high heat can warp the metal surface.
Now, you need to continue heating for about 30-40 minutes. When the heat starts to work on the metal, the paint will gradually begin to bubble or pull up, loosening its bond on the surface.
After that, you can use a paint scraper to scrape off the loosened paint from the metal surface. When you have scraped off all the loosened paint, you need to wipe the metal surface with a soft towel.
And you can repeat this process to get your desired results. This process is perfect for small indoor and outdoor projects.
4. Use An Angle Grinder
If you have an angle grinder, it can be a quick and easy paint removal option, because the machine will do most of the work for you.
But you should be prepared to deal with all the noise and dust that comes from the grinder. In this process, you just need to fit the grinder with a strip disc. And then use it to remove paint from the metal surface.
Strip discs generally come with various types of abrasive materials. So, you should choose the one that is designed to remove paint from metal and will not cause damage to the surface.
This job can be done using a variety of grinder attachments. Angle grinding is the perfect option for strong metal surfaces like steel, metal furniture, pipes, and large flat surfaces.
But, you need to be certain that the paint you are removing does not contain lead. And as you will be using a power tool, make sure to wear proper safety gear.
5. Use A Solution Of Baking Soda And Water To Remove Paint
Baking soda can be found in almost every kitchen, but not many people know that this compound can be the solution they need to easily remove paint from the metal surface.
This method is one of the simplest and most effective paint removal methods, mainly for small metallic items. Also, if you are highly sensitive to chemicals, this can be the perfect option for you.
First, take a container, fill it halfway with hot water and then add a significant amount of baking soda, enough to cover at least the entire bottom of your container.
Now, you need to immerse the metal surface or the metallic item from which you want to remove the paint into the container containing the mixture of hot water and baking soda. Then, you should leave the metal surface in the container for about an hour.
The mixture will gradually work on the paint, loosening its bond with the metal surface. After an hour, you will start to see the paint peeling off from the metallic item. Then, you should scrape off the remaining paint from the surface using a brush.
You can also wipe the metal piece using a soft cloth to remove any remaining paint stains. Baking soda generally works on all types of paints – it can be acrylic, oil-based, or enamel.
6. Apply Acidic Concentrations On Metal Surface
Using acidic concentrations is also one of the most effective ways of removing paint from metal surfaces with minimal effort and quick results.
When you pour an acidic concentration on a metal surface, it starts to react with the paint, weakening its bond with the metal surface and causing it to peel off, and then the solution evaporates.
The common acids that are used for the paint removal process are concentrated hydrochloric, phosphoric and nitric acids. As most of these acids are highly reactive, you should handle them with extreme care.
And these acidic concentrations are perfect for removing paint on large metal surfaces. You should remember that acidic concentration should only be used when the paint is hard or difficult to remove such as acrylic or latex paints.
The paints that tend to come off easily like oil or enamel paints are not the best candidates for acidic concentrations. Vinegar can also be an option for removing paint from metal as it contains acetic acid.
However, it is usually not as effective as some other products, but it can work really well if you heat it before use.
7. Using Chemical Solutions
Not everybody likes to use chemicals, however, chemicals are a reliable solution for removing persistent paint from metal surfaces. In this process, ammonia and acetone are the most commonly used chemicals.
Ammonia solution generally reacts with the metal loosening its bond with the paint and causing the paint to peel off easily.
You just need to pour the chemical solution into a container and then use a chip brush to apply a generous layer on the metal surface.
And allow approximately 30 minutes to several hours for the chemicals to react on the metal. After that, you will notice the paint start bubbling and peeling away from the surface.
These chemical solutions can also be hazardous, so you should wear protective gloves and face masks while using them. And due to the chemical nature of these products, you should work only in well-ventilated rooms or outdoors.
Wrap Up On How To Remove Paint From Metal
Removing paint from metal can sometimes be a very time-consuming process. But, you can do it with little effort by using some of these processes discussed above to give your old, rusty, and poorly painted metal surface a fresh look.
You should also avoid using hard-bristled brushes or coarse sandpaper to scrape off paint from metal surfaces because these can damage your metallic pieces.
And you should ensure that you read and follow all the instructions on the chemicals and stripper packaging which you are using.
Also, if you are using a heat-related method, you should go for a low-heat setting. Because excessive heat can seriously damage your metal surface.
If you are facing problems in any of these processes, you can call in a professional to remove the paint. I hope you found this article really helpful and informative and if you have any doubts or questions regarding this topic, please let us know in the comments below.
FAQ: How To Remove Paint From Metal
As there are several methods that you can use to remove paint from metal, most people have many questions in their minds. Here I have tried to answer some of the most commonly asked questions related to this topic.
Q1. Does Coke Remove Paint From Metal?
Ans: Coke can also remove paint from metal. You just need to soak a towel in the soda and keep reapplying it to the metal surface until the paint starts to warp. After that, the paint can be easily scraped off from the surface.
Q2. Does Vinegar Remove Oil-based Paint?
Ans: Vinegar can dissolve both water-based paint and oil-based paint from the wooden and metal surface. It is a natural paint remover as it contains acetic acid and is one of the best ways to remove paint.
Q3. How Do You Remove Dried Paint?
Ans: You should use a plastic scraper or putty knife to slowly scrape away paint from the surface. You can also use acetone for tougher paint stains, however, you should test it before use.