8 Best Paint Strippers For Metal | Reviews & Buying Guide

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If the thought of getting rid of that old paint on your metal fascinates you, then you’re definitely in the right spot! Paint stripping is a time-consuming and expensive process. Here’s how we made it easier, safer and quicker.

Paint Strippers For Metal

Removing old paint from metal is a time-consuming and expensive process. The cost of materials, the amount of time it takes to do the work, and the risk that you’ll damage your metal surface are all reasons why stripping paint from metal can be so tricky.

Paint strippers are designed to remove old layers of paint without damaging the metal underneath or requiring any sanding or scraping and are not as scary as they sound. If you know what to do and which product to use, you can easily strip paint from any metal surface without fear of damaging it or yourself. 

This article will explore the various types of paint strippers for metal on the market and how each one works best with certain metals and surfaces. We’ll also talk about applying them and why you should choose a particular type over another. 

Whether you need something gentle or heavy-duty, there is a paint stripper out there that can help. You don’t have to worry about ruining your project anymore because these products will do all the work for you! 

By the time we’re done, we hope that painting your kitchen cabinets won’t seem like such a daunting task after all!

Our Favourite Paint Strippers For Metal Compared

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8 Best Paint Strippers For Metal | Reviews

1. Sunnyside Corporation Paint & Varnish Remover (Best Overall)

  • Works on any metal surfaces
  • Quickly removes multiple layers of paint or varnish
  • Fast-acting
  • More eco-friendly than before
  • Not as powerful as other chemical removers
  • Expensive

2. Dumond Chemicals, Inc. Smart Strip Advanced Paint Remover (Best Value)

  • Zero VOCs
  • Safe on new metal
  • Less work than sandblasting
  • You can use it with a brush, roller, or sprayer
  • Work on vertical surfaces too
  • Dried paint may require an extra coat before removal
  • Some complaints regarding patchy removal

3. D Super Remover Paint Stripper

  • Removes up to 5 layers of paint in
  • One application
  • Eco-friendly
  • Works on any surface, including metal
  • Fifteen minutes work time before you remove the paint.
  • Patchy removal
  • Not the best for use on concrete

4. Sunnyside Corporation 65664 Hi-Speed Ready-Strip Citrus Paint & Varnish Remover

  • No harmful chemicals
  • Eco-friendly
  • Safe on new metal surfaces
  • Ideal for use with a sprayer
  • No drips
  • Not as strong as some other products on the market today.
  • It may need an additional layer for more stubborn paints.

5. MAX Strip Paint & Varnish Stripper

  • Dust-free removal
  • No harmful chemicals
  • No ventilation needed for indoor use
  • Thirty minutes work time before you remove the paint.
  • Not practical for automotive or baked-on paints

6. Sunnyside Multi-Strip ADVANCED Paint & Varnish Remover

  • No harmful chemicals
  • Eco-friendly
  • Great coverage
  • Stubborn paint may need scraping off

7. Safe ‘n Easy Citrus Paint & Varnish Remover Gel

  • Non-drip formula
  • Citrus aroma
  • Made in the USA
  • Removes latex paint and oil-based paint
  • Temperature-sensitive
  • Brush application only

8. Confined Space Paint Strip Gel 

  • Quick working in as little as 30 minutes
  • No dangerous chemicals or fumes
  • Difficult to apply with brush or roller
  • Not as powerful as other paint strippers
  • Set time is long

Video: How to Strip Paint from Metal

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Paint Strippers For Metal Buying Guide

Using a paint stripper used to be reserved for painting professionals because of the harsh chemicals that would need to be used, but that isn’t always the case anymore. There are multiple products on the market that you can use in your own house without fear of harming yourself or others because none of these paint strippers contain dangerous chemicals like methylene chloride or NMP.

There are a few things to look for before buying any paint stripper that will help you decide which product is best for your needs. 

Type of paint stripper

There are several different types of paint strippers on the market, each with a unique purpose. The three most common types are gel, liquid, and paste. 

Gel paint stripper – These have a gel consistency that you can apply directly onto surfaces. It usually comes in a plastic container or jar, so you should scoop it out before using it. 

Liquid paint stripper – These typically come in aerosol cans. This type of paint stripper has a runny consistency, so it is easier to apply without making too many mistakes.

Paste paint stripper – The paste variety is similar but comes in an unopened container or bucket to be mixed with water before use.

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Active ingredient

Solvent paint stripper – These paint strippers work because of the solvent. This type of paint stripper works by holding a chemical solvent in place until evaporated. It essentially weakens the bond between the paint layers enabling it to be removed.

You can tell it is working because the paint will bubble, and you can scrape or wipe it away. The big downside with a solvent-based paint stripper is that it contains harmful chemicals. Always wear protective gloves, eye-ware, and a mask, so you don’t inhale any of the fumes. 

Lye-based – These are great because they are not only non-toxic but also biodegradable. They don’t use harmful chemicals, so you can safely remove many layers of paint without worrying about the damage to your home or health. It is essentially a caustic soda mix that is found in many household cleaning products.

The significant disadvantage is the amount of time it takes to work, and it’s sensitive to temperature, operating best at around 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Biochemical stripper– This type of paint stripper is the newest on the market. It doesn’t work with chemicals at all, instead using enzymes and lactic acids to dissolve layers of old paint, allowing it to be scraped away.

It works best on latex and non-alkyd-based paints (like shellac). They are incredibly safe to use around both humans and pets, which is why veterinarians highly recommend them. 

Confined Space Paint Strip Gel - Removes Paint in The Smallest Spaces, Long Term, Non-Toxic, Safe, No Hazardous Fumes, Citrus Aroma (32oz/Quart)


Before purchasing a paint stripper, it’s essential to determine what type of metal your project will be working with. This is a crucial step in removing stubborn paint so that the removal process is as smooth and easy as possible. The wrong product could cause damage or significant surface degradation. Additionally, there are certain materials that cannot handle the chemical reactions involved in paint removal.

There are many different types of metal, but it’s best to be safe rather than sorry! If you’re not sure what kind of metal your project uses, ask the manufacturer or supplier for more information. If possible, take a look at older projects that have already been completed with this material. Is there paint on it? Is there any chipping or peeling? If so, that’s a good indication of the kind of product you’ll need to remove.

Health & Safety

One of the most important things to consider before buying a paint stripper is your health. As mentioned above, many different solvents and active ingredients can be pretty harmful if misused. 

Many chemical strippers have been linked to liver disease, cancer, and breathing/respiratory issues. It’s also essential to think about the safety of your family and pets. If you have young children or animals, it’s recommended that you stay away from any products with harmful chemicals (dichloromethane), which could be potentially fatal if swallowed.

Safety gear is essential when using paint strippers – always wear protective gloves, eye-ware, and a mask, so you don’t inhale any of the fumes.

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Usability & Ease of Application

The best paint stripper for metal should also be easy to use, requiring minimal effort and expertise on your part. 

For example, a liquid paint remover with an atomizer can make it quick and straightforward to apply to any surface – you don’t even have to get your hands dirty! 

Additionally, the best paint strippers should be effective with minimal product required. It’s always better to err on the side of too little rather than too much when dealing with chemical solvents to avoid unwanted side effects or damage.

Buying a non-drip formula is one of the easiest ways to keep your project clean and safe. It eliminates any unnecessary messes or spills that could potentially ruin your flooring, clothing, or furniture.

It would help if you also considered how the paint stripper could be applied. For example, a roller or brush can be used on large or flat surfaces, whereas solvent stripper sprays are easy to use on vertical surfaces.

Take your time buying paint strippers that are safe and effective for your particular project. It’s an essential part of the process, so you’ll want to be sure before making any purchases. 

MAX Strip Paint & Varnish Stripper 1 Qt

Outdoor or indoor use

It’s important to consider where you’ll be applying your paint stripper. Will you be working on an ample exterior space or indoors?

Many of the best metal paint strippers are designed for use indoors and out, but it won’t hurt to double-check before purchasing.

The weather can have a significant impact on how sound paint strippers work. 

For example, if it’s windy or raining outside, you may need to wait for the weather to clear before painting. This applies especially to exterior projects so that you can avoid any uneven paint application caused by moisture in the air.

If working indoors, make sure your area is well ventilated to prevent inhaling hazardous fumes.

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Activation time

The most effective paint strippers will have a quick activation time so you can move on to the next phase of your painting project. Look for something with a 30-minute or less activation time, so you can get started on preparing and applying your new paint immediately after removing the old one.

If you’re working on multiple projects, look for one that will work quickly without compromising its cleaning ability.

Additionally, you should think about how long it takes once the paint stripper has been activated until the paint is ready to come off. Once again, a shorter time frame would be optimal – a 15-minute or less time might be your best option if you’re looking for something that will work quickly.

Just bear in mind that some paint strippers work better than others depending on the type of paint or surface that is being cleaned, and it can take way longer depending on the product. Do you have 24 hours because that is what some products need?


The final factor is price. Some chemical-based removal products are costly, whereas others are more affordable but may not work as effectively and take longer to complete the job.

When buying paint strippers, it’s important to remember that you get what you pay for. Many cheap products are ineffective and may require multiple applications (and more money) to finish a project.

Finding high-quality paint strippers at an affordable price isn’t too difficult and often comes down to the type of project you’re doing. 

For example, if you’re removing paint from a small metal project like a birdhouse, an aerosol paint remover will be perfect for keeping your budget in check. 

However, when removing paint from larger projects like metal furniture or vehicles – it’s recommended that you opt for more heavy-duty products to ensure you’re getting the best value for money.

It’s essential to think about your budget and how much you’re willing to spend on a paint stripper before making any final decisions – this should narrow down your options significantly! 

You must consider the value of your time and materials when choosing paint strippers so that you don’t expend more money than needed on something that won’t work for your project. 

Always err on the side of caution when it comes to buying paint removers – if there is any doubt, do additional research to make sure the product you plan on buying is the best for your needs because you cannot return it once opened for safety reasons.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How to use paint remover on metal?

Despite the array of products to choose from, the process is the same.

Step 1: Preparation
Remove dust and debris from the surface.
Cover anything that is not needed to be stripped
Wear personal protective equipment, such as gloves, safety goggles, a mask, and a long-sleeved top

Step 2: Application
Apply the paint stripper directly onto the paint you want, removing
Apply using the manufacturer’s recommendations, for example, a brush or roller
Paint may bubble or peel
Wait the recommended activation time

Step 3: Remove old paint
First, use a paint scraper to remove the majority of the old paint
Next, take a stiff nylon brush or scrub pad to the remaining bits
Then, re-apply if some old paint remains

Step 4: Cleanup
With a clean cloth or rag, wipe the surface using mineral spirits
Do the same with clean water
Wipe it all down with a clean, dry cloth

What makes a good paint stripper?

The most crucial factor in choosing a paint stripper for metal is its strength.

First, you should determine the type of metal surface you’re going to be stripping. 

Paint removal products are different depending on what you’re stripping and where it’s located – for example, an oven that has been built into a kitchen unit will require another product from the exterior of a car which you will have washed regularly with soap and water.

In general, you can expect to pay more for products that need to be formulated for heavy-duty work – but the results are always worth it in the end. 

Various paint strippers on the market, including liquids, gels, pastes, aerosols, and solids. 

The most popular are liquids which you can use on almost any type of metal surface. They usually come in a spray bottle but may also be applied using a brush or roller, depending on the brand you’re buying.

Gel strippers are similar to liquids but have thicker consistencies that are best used when working with vertical surfaces or when complete coverage is required. 

Aerosol paint removers, on the other hand, are usually very quick and easy to use. This type of paint stripper is perfect for smaller metal projects where time is of the essence, although it may be harder to get into every nook and cranny.

Finally, pastes are usually used when you want to get down and dirty with old paint – they’re very thick, so require the use of a brush or roller. The results after using these products are always worth it, but you are warned that paste strippers are usually very hard-working, so don’t expect them to work on your first attempt.

The next most important factor in choosing the best paint remover for metal is its cost to value ratio. 

Some products are more expensive than others but do a better job of removing the paint you want to get rid of – so always compare products before buying one that may not be up to scratch.

When it comes to the cost of paint strippers, it’s important to remember that “you get what you pay for” applies. 

The final factor in choosing the best paint remover for metal is how long it will take for the paint to come off. 

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Can you use a paint stripper on all surfaces?

You should always check the packaging for specific safety precautions before using a paint stripper on any surface – but as a rule of thumb, you can use these products on most metal, plastic, wooden, and concrete surfaces.


When removing paint from metal, a high-quality stripper will make the job much easier. So when you think about it – time is real money when it comes to stripping paint off surfaces. 

Also, remember that paint strippers have different strengths, so always choose the product that will do the best job for you. 

And when it comes down to it – a good paint remover should leave no mess behind but cause minimal damage to surrounding surfaces if used correctly.

So whether you’re stripping paint from an old car or home appliances, there’s a product to suit every job. 

Paint strippers are designed to remove paint, but not all will work for every metal surface. It would be best if you took the time to research how your product should be used before applying it or risking damage to your property. 

Here are some other articles you may like:

9 Best Spray Paints for Metal | Reviews & Buying Guide

Best Way To Remove Spray Paint | 5 Different Methods

7 Best Professional Airless Paint Sprayers & Buyers Guide

Our Favorite Professional Airless Paint Sprayers

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Walter Snyder

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