Paint and Varnish Remover

Items needed for stripping:

Spray bottle
Use only the special sprayer sold with the stripper.

Cardboard or plastic drop cloth
To be placed under the item to catch loosened finish.

Putty knife
To remove loosed finish.

A small stiff brush for tight corners and carvings.

Latex gloves work.

If using outdoors. (avoid using in wind)

On the floor with a window open for ventilation.

Masking tape and heavy plastic drop cloth
To protect anything not being stripped.

Cold water
To wash off stripped items along with hands and gloves. Have cold clean water available, in case you get stripper on your skin.

Strip Tips for Wood:

  • Always wear long sleeves and long pants while stripping.

  • If you get stripper on your skin, wash with cold water and soap.

  • There is no acid, lye, or caustics to damage the wood. It can even be used on veneer. You may want to use denatured alcohol instead of water for the clean up.

  • Hold sprayer 1 inch from the piece you are spraying!!

  • It contains no acetone, toluene or benzene so there is little odor.

  • It can be used indoors, with adequate ventilation.

  • We have not found a paint or varnish it cannot remove.

  • Varnish can come off as quickly as 1-2 minutes while 10 or more layers of paint may take 25 minutes. You will only strip the piece ONE time. DO NOT remove a few layers at a time. Spray the piece, wait 5 minutes, spray again, continue this until the bottom layer is loose and ready to be lifted.

  • One quart will strip 30-45 sq. feet, depending on the surface coating. (A small 3 drawer dresser or 2 varnished chairs)

  • One gallon will strip 120-155 sq. feet, depending on the type of coating and thickness of coating.

ANTIQUES: If you are stripping an antique, you can expect to run into any kind of paint, including non-commercial home mixtures. Fortunately, 99% of the paints you may encounter can be easily stripped with LIGHTNING STRIP®. Though not impossible to strip, some of the more difficult types of paint follow, with stripping suggestions.

BLOODPAINT: This type is just what its name says….blood used commonly on farms from horses, cows, and pigs with some pumice or unknown powder mixed in it to give color and thickness. This can be stripped with LIGHTNING STRIP®. Simply give the stripper time to work and wash with a Scotch-Brite™ pad and warm water.

LEAD BASED & WHITE WASH PAINTS: These two types of paint are not alike in composition, but strip much the same. If you have encountered these paints before, you may tend to think nothing will strip them. (NOT TRUE!) Lead based paint does contain lead (or a metal) which makes it extremely hard. It is usually painted over bare wood (See bare wood section below) as is white wash in most cases. With LIGHTNING STRIP®, you simply need to keep the surface wet with the remover. Eventually, the paint beneath will return to a liquid and can be removed. Do not attempt to remove these paints until they are totally loose.

STAINS & VARNISHES: Some stains will remain in the wood depending on whether they are oil or water-based. To eliminate this problem, mix Trisodium Phosphate in hot water (six cups to five gallons of water) and scrub with steel wool or a Scotch-Brite™ pad following the grain of the wood. (It is possible that two applications of this process may be necessary.)

OTHER PAINTS: Some paints bubble up right before your eyes and literally fall off. Some seem to just lie there as though nothing is happening. These you must check with your putty knife. You will find they are turning into a liquid and can be easily removed. Follow directions on the can. Just remember, no matter what type of paint or finish you are stripping, the WORST THING you can do is rush the stripper. LIGHTNING STRIP® will do the hard work for you if you’ll let it.

LACQUERS: These types of paint will most likely liquefy depending on the age of the lacquer. After spraying with remover, periodically test with putty knife to see if paint is loosened. When ready, follow same directions as in regular paint.

CARVINGS: Paint will get trapped in carvings and seem like there’s no way to remove it. You’ll find this paint is loose, but you’ll need a stiff brush, a screw driver or pointed knife to get it out. Do this gently, do not use force.

BARE WOOD: This is where a lot of stripping jobs fail. Even after you’ve removed all of the paint, there is still a haze or paint color in the wood. In 9 out of 10 cases, this can be easily removed by using the Scotch-Brite™ pad or #2 steel wool in conjunction with the hot water and Trisodium Phosphate mixture as explained under Stains & Varnishes. (Household soap powders can be used, but are not as effective.)

WASHING: Wet the entire item. Quickly, starting at the top, scrub the entire piece with one gallon of very hot water and mix in six cups of soap powder until dissolved, using #2 steel wool or Scotch-Brite™ pad. Always scrub with the grain. Rinse with clean water and let dry. Make sure the entire item is covered and washed thoroughly. Let item dry overnight before refinishing.

PRESSED WOOD: DO NOT use remover on pressed wood, Formica™ or photo finished furniture!

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