Solvent-based paint removers or strippers use chemical solvents to remove old finishes. They are not one chemical, but a combination of chemicals, each with a specific job to do.
The active ingredient is usually a chemical called methylene chloride. Some products contain active ingredients other than methylene chloride, but they are not as effective in penetrating, blistering, and lifting the old finish. Other chemicals in paint removers work to accelerate the stripping process, to slow the evaporation of the stripper, and to act as thickening agents.
Paint strippers typically come in two forms: liquid and semi-paste. In general, the liquid works faster. The semi-paste is best for all-around work, because it doesn’t run or drip when applied to vertical surfaces.
It goes without saying that any chemical or combination of chemicals with the potency to lift off old paint should be treated with respect. Solvent-based strippers work fast and are harmless to wood, but they may pose health hazards to humans and should be used in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.
We have included a list of safety and health tips. But no list can take the place of the manufacturer’s recommended use of its product. It is important to read individual product labels and follow them exactly.
The Paint Remover we recommend is Jasco’s Premium Remover