Paint Remover

Strip tips for metal:

  • Use channel locks (wide mouth pliers) to open lid.

  • It will penetrate multiple layers, if you keep it wet with stripper.

  • Hold sprayer only 1 inch from the surface being sprayed.

  • Removes most paints and primers at one time. If your primer is stubborn, you may save time by removing the paint first. Attack the primer alone, spray and wait 40 minutes and clean off using a Chore Boy pad.

  • Strip in sections: door, corner panel, trunk etc…

  • Acrylic enamel starts working almost instantly and strips easily; baked enamel takes a little longer.

  • Enamels bubble up, while lacquers liquefy. Sometimes, the primer needs to be removed with a Scotch Brite pad.

  • Plastic fillers will be softened by the stripper and should be replaced, as should glazing putty’s.

  • Most automotive paints will strip in 10-30 minutes. However, some paints can be difficult. If you don’t see results in 30 minutes, you can spray the piece in the AM and not even look at it until afternoon. This process works on metal only, NEVER on fiberglass. Respray the next day to reactive the stripper.

  • It generally takes 1 ½ -3 gallons to strip a medium sized car.

  • Mask off all plastic and rubber with masking tape and heavy paper.

  • Won’t harm chrome.

  • It works best when the METAL temperature is between 65º- 80ºF.

How not to overwork yourself when stripping a common metal surface such as lawn furniture, bicycles, lawn mowers, railings, etc.

Example: An ornate lawn chair can be difficult to strip because of the scroll structure. It will most likely have a large build up of paint to be removed. (These paints can be any type found around the house…latex, enamel, etc.

  • Lay down cardboard and set the item to be stripped on the cardboard. If possible, do your stripping on a patio or in a garage with the door open. Make sure your cardboard covers enough area to insure you keep the removed paint off the concrete.
    First testing a small area with a heavy coat of stripper to see what paint is on the piece and how it’s going to strip. (If it is latex, it probably will not bubble up, but liquefy instead)

  • Wet the item down with a good, heavy coat, of remover.

  • Do only sections at a time, starting at the top.

  • Go away for 10-30 minutes and get involved in something else.

  • After 10-30 minutes, check on the item. Use a brush or putty knife to see how the stripping is proceeding. If it is not down to bare metal at this time, recoat and let it set for another 30 minutes. (Remember you have spent very little time on this item.)

  • On ornate items, you have to use a small wire brush to loosen trapped paint in the ornate work.

  • A way to save time and work, if the item seems like it’s taking a long while to strip, is to coat the entire item with a good, heavy coat of remover and let it sit overnight. The next day, re-spray it and you will find it stripping much faster. (When it is left overnight with the remover on it, the paint becomes brittle. When you re-spray with another coat of remover, the brittle paint begins popping off.)

CAUTION: The above overnight technique is for METAL ONLY!

Do NOT do this with fiberglass or wood!


GM Cars: Almost always have lacquer unless it’s been repainted.

GM FACTORY PRIMERS: Black, cream and grey can be a little tough to remove. We highly recommend the following test to save time and work.

After all paint is stripped completely off, wet down the primer with remover and let it sit at least 40 minutes. Re-spray at this time and go do something else for an hour. If primer is not loose at this check point, do NOT bother it.
If it starts to dry simply re-spray. DON’T RUSH IT, as it will remove the primer for you while you go do something else.

To save even more time and remover, refer below to AUTOMOTIVE PAINTS: SOLUTIONS

FOREIGN CARS: Most are now using acrylic enamel or baked enamel. Acrylic starts working almost immediately and strips easily. Baked enamel takes a little longer.                          

LACQUER PAINTS: These will strip easy, but will not bubble up in most cases. These types of paint liquefy, turn dark and tend to be kind of gummy. Simply follow directions on the can.

PRIMERS: When primers tend to lay there as if nothing’s happening, use a Scotch Brite™ pad after primer has been wet with stripper. You will find they can easily be removed this way. (Above all, DO NOT RUSH the job, and keep the surface wet with stripper)

BODY FILLERS: Plastic fillers – such as - Bondo™ will be softened by the stripper and should be replaced. Glazing putty’s are also affected and should be replaced. (Check them closely.) Black Magic, Kitty Hair, Green Stuff and any other type of non-metal filler should be replaced.

AUTOMOTIVE PAINTS: Most automotive paints will strip in 10-30 minutes. However, some paints can be difficult. Follow the directions on the can label. If you don’t get results in 10-30 minutes, you have one of the hard-to-strip projects and may want to utilize the following solutions.


If the above happens, DON’T PANIC! It CAN be stripped! Take a section at a time, beginning with the hood. In the A.M., spray on a heavy coat and don’t even look at it again until late afternoon. When you come back, spray on another heavy coat and wait about five minutes. If no lifting or liquefying starts to happen, don’t worry. Just leave it sit until the next day. In the morning, re-spray the section and behold what happens! Before your very eyes, the paint will begin wrinkling and curling up like a can of worms!
(Look what little time you have involved!)

Another technique for hard-to-strip automotive paints is to take a piece of coarse sandpaper and LIGHTLY roughen the surface before applying remover. This lets the remover get to the bottom faster. (DO NOT use force with the sandpaper as this will scratch the metal.)

Always sand and prime bare metal before painting!

Strip tips for Fiberglass:

  • We DO NOT recommend the use of Lightning Strip Metal on any fiberglass other than factory automotive or factory boat fiberglass. It is safe to use on factory fiberglass if you follow these simple techniques.

  • NEVER leave overnight!

  • As soon as the paint is loosened, remove it and clean the surface with water.

  • Always tape all glue joints with TWO layers of masking tape to keep remover out of imperfect glue joints.

  • Fiberglass boats sometimes have the color in the gel coat. There must be paint on top of the gel coat for the stripper to remove it.

  • Always wash thoroughly with water.

  • DO NOT USE on fiberglass-repaired areas or un-gel-coated fiberglass.

  • Some cars such as pre-70 Corvettes have only thin gel coats or resins over the fiberglass mat. We DO NOT guarantee the stripper will not damage this type of fiberglass although may have stripped it a section at a time and have not suffered any damage. This is totally at the buyers/users risk.

Real Products Mfg., Ltd.
3480 State Route 15
Ney, OH 43549
1-800-659-2459 Fax: 419-658-2334
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