The Insiders Guide To Best Paint Strippers

We’ve analyzed 578 reviews of paint strippers and compared them side-by-side, scored according to a range of factors.

Below you will find a comparison chart.

Top Rated

ProductKlean-Strip QSX6 Strip-X StripperRust-Oleum Automotive 255448 AircraftCitristrip Paint & Varnish Stripping Gel
editors choice
Ease Of Use
Ease Of Cleaning

Cracking, chalking, flaking or peeling; if you see any of these symptoms on your wall, it is time to repaint it. Before you coat, the wall with the new paint don’t forget to remove the one hanging out of it because it won’t look nice.

Now, removing the coat which has been there for years isn’t an easy task, so you need to keep few things in mind.

A Few Things To Keep In Mind

Before you buy, ask yourself these few questions.

  • Do you need an eco-friendly solution?
  • What is your budget?
  • How much quantity of the stripper you require?
  • Are you going to work outdoors or indoors?

Now that we are done with self-evaluation let’s look at the list of Best Paint Strippers.

Top Products

Citristrip Paint & Varnish Stripping Gel

Citristrip Paint _ Varnish Stripping Gel
The product will loosen the paint from the turf and makes it smooth. It does not contain methylene chloride which is a highly toxic agent found in many chemical strippers. It stays wet and active up to 24 hours, allowing you to strip multiple layers in one step. It has a pleasant citrus smell and is biodegradable. It can be used to remove latex or oil-based paints, varnish, lacquer, enamel, polyurethane, shellac, acrylics, and epoxy from wood, metal and masonry surfaces.

  • No sticky residue.
  • Not toxic to the material on which it is used.
  • Not hazardous to health.
  • More than enough quantity.
  • Easy application.
  • Low VOC (Volatile organic compounds)
  • Does not contain methylene chloride.
  • Not that effective on wood.
  • Expensive.
  • Toxic for skin.
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Rust-Oleum Automotive 255448 Aircraft  Remover Quart

Rust-Oleum Automotive 255448
It is a professional grade formula and ideal for toughest removal jobs. It acts fast and can be cleaned easily with water.

It is non- inflammable and can be used to strip acrylic, latex, water and oil-based paints and other organic compounds.

It does not contain acid, Methanol, ethanol, petroleum distillates and ethylated alcohols.

  • Safe to use on wood.
  • Less toxic fumes.
  • Quantity is good enough to put a lot of layers.
  • Takes less time to work.
  • Can be used to remove powder coating.
  • It is little smelly.
  • It can be used to remove paint from metals only. It is not meant for walls.
  • Although its name indicates removal of rust it is not that effective for rust removal.
  • Toxic and can cause skin burns.
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Klean-Strip QSX6 Strip-X Stripper

Klean-Strip QSX6

This paint stripper can strip that old paint. It removes latex and oil-based paint and varnish from wood, metal, and masonry in less than 30 minutes.

It also removes pigmented wood stains from wood making it look natural. It is a thick formula which won’t let it drop on your surface. It can also be used as thinner and to remove adhesives from the surface.

Since it is very toxic it is advisable to use appropriate gloves and respirators while working with it. It is meant for heavy duty work. It is so powerful that it can give your home a second chance.

  • It can remove years old paint in a few minutes.
  • Good for removing stains on wood.
  • Way cheaper than its alternatives.
  • Clean up heavy duty spills.
  • No need to use again and again, does it works in one coat.
  • Very toxic as it contain highly volatile organic compounds.
  • Release toxic fumes hence you will need respirators.
  • High quality gloves will be need as it can eat away even latex gloves
  • Extremely flammable
  • The smell is awful.
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Goof Off FG658 Professional Strength Remover

Goof Off FG658 Professional Strength Remover
This product gives your surface an elegant and smooth finish and in a sleek bottle which makes it easy to handle.

It eliminates costly messes in garage, workshop, and home.

It works faster and can also remove adhesives and glues, oil and tar, dried latex paints, hand tools, stains on carpet, clothing, upholstery, crayon, pen, and marker, graffiti and varnish, gum, candle wax, cup marks, caulk lipstick, makeup, tar, bugs and tea saps.

It can be used on different surfaces such as wood, metal, brick and concrete glass. Though it is not much effective to remove hard paint it is quite effective to remove spray paint.

  • Work for different surfaces.
  • Quite useful for at home work.
  • Not too costly.
  • Fewer fumes.
  • Less toxic.
  • Wide array of application.
  • Do not effective for heavy duty work.
  • Hazardous to health and you will need gloves to protect your skin.
  • Proposition 65 warning.
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Jasco Bix EJBP00206 Premium Paint & Epoxy Remover

Jasco Bix EJBP00206
It is premium for its powerful, quick action. It works great on varnish,

lacquer, vinyl, shellac, latex, polyurethane, and synthetic coating.

It removes all enamel and epoxy based paints. It comes with easy to use spray nozzle and also work for heavy duty spills.

  • Work on almost any surface
  • Easy application.
  • Work well on tiles
  • Works on two stage automotive paint.
  • Clog ups and unclogging becomes a tedious task
  • Highly toxic and comes with Proposition 65 warning.
  • Highly corrosive
  • Not safe for antiques.
  • Can’t be used on vinyl floor.
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How to Choose The Best Paint Stripper

Here are some tips to use while buying and using the chemical stripper.

Types of strippers

According to the kind of paint you want to remove you can buy a different kind of strippers.

Strippers can be majorly divided into three categories, i.e., Caustic stripper, Solvent stripper, and Biochemical stripper.

Caustic strippers

These strippers are water-based solutions with PH 13 t o14.

Its major component is lye, which is may be either potassium hydroxide (known as Caustic Potash) or Sodium hydroxide (Caustic Soda).

The paint coat is loosened from the surface as the lye reacts with the oily components of the paint turning into soap.

Caustic strippers are good for removing latex, alkyds or enamel paints. They are not good for acrylic, epoxy or polyurethane coating. It doesn’t work well below 10 degree Celsius temperature, but they are easier to handle and less harmful than solvent strippers

Solvent strippers

The most common solvent is methylene chloride which dissolves and softens the bond between film substrate causing the coating to bubble up.

However, these kinds of strippers are more hazardous for health by reducing blood capacity to carry oxygen and may cause permanent kidney damage and cancer.

They are good to be used on acrylic, epoxy, polyurethane, polyaspartic and polyurea. They work better in the cold, draft-free conditions because heat and wind cause evaporation. They are fast and very corrosive hence can remove any kind of coating.

Biochemical strippers

The solvents in them are derived from plants which include terpenes from pine and citrus, lactic acid from corn sugars, etc. These are not as harmful as caustic and solvent strippers, but these do contain harmful compounds.

The biochemical stripper might not give you efficiency like that of the solvent stripper, but it is less odor and is eco-friendly.

It will take time to remove a thick coat of paint, but it will work on all kind of surfaces.

Proposition 65

It is a warning issued by the State of California against products that contain harmful chemicals which can cause cancer and birth defects.

While buying any stripper look for these warning and decide if want to go through the risk or not.

Even If you decide to use them, make sure you make use of good respirator which can absorb the toxic fumes coming out of these strippers.

Compare price

If you are buying a stripper check out prices both online and your home depot. Sometimes your domestic shops offer these products relatively cheaper than online.

Indoors or Outdoors

If stripping is being done indoors, then keep the space ventilated to let the toxic fumes exit the room. Make sure that air circulates in the room. You can use fans for this purpose.

Tips to use a paint stripper

  • After you are done with stripping wipe the surface with denatured alcohol.
  • Prime the metal as soon as you are done with stripping because exposed metal will catch oxidation and starts rusting.
  • Don’t be in a hurry. Let the stripper do its work and then strip it off. You can do it in two sessions if the paint on the wall is thick.
  • Always use appropriate gloves and respirators.
  • Don’t let it touch your skin.
  • Look for strippers which have low volatile organic compounds.
  • Don’t try to apply thick layer as it will become messy and hard to remove.
  • Always use proper tools to apply and strip the chemical stripper.
  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.


As we already know about the kind of strippers and their features. We know about the health hazards they can cause. Regarding work efficiency some strippers are may be very reliable, but for me, health is a major issue so comparing above strippers CitriStrip contains lesser toxic elements. CitriStrip Paint Varnish Stripping Gel would be the best option as it contains no methylene chloride and is also VOC compliant.

Though it does come on bit expensive side if compared to other strippers it works for a wide range of surfaces which is also a major positive feature.

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I've been working in professional paint service in Hampton, VA for the last 15 years. So i know a lot about painting and spray painters.With my team we made this site with to help you to understand why some spray painters are better than others, and how to find the best one for your type of job.

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