Best Paint Stripper for Metal

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How We Found the Best Paint Stripper for Metal

Customer Reviews

Product Testing

Team Experience

At Cleaning King we know all about removing undesirable or old paint from all different types of surfaces. Yes, we even know how to remove paint effectively from metal. With that expertise, we wanted to take the time to dive into how you can remove paint from your metal surfaces with as little hassle as possible. 

In some cases, you can simply chip away at it or buff it out. This is the case for many restoration and repair projects you might be involved in. However, sometimes that doesn’t get the job done. Removing paint from metal isn’t always a simple process. This is especially true when it comes to multi-layered paint that has been accruing over years and years of repainting , restoration, etc,. 

So, when it comes to that tough to remove paint on metal surfaces, you may need a paint stripper. Paint strippers are chemical compounds that are designed to eat away at paints and pull them free of the surface. Depending on the type of paint you are dealing with, you will need to buy a paint stripper of varying strength and composition. 

So, to help you buy the best paint stripper for the job, our team set out to test the best of the best. At Cleaning King we want to ensure that you get the paint removed in an easy, safe, and timely manner. Let’s talk about which paint stripper is the best for metal, and everything else you should know about stripping paint from metal in general.

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Product Quick Comparison - Best Paint Stripper for Metal
Our Reviews - Best Paint Stripper for Metal

Best Paint Stripper for Metal –  Easy to use

There are many different forms that a paint stripper can take, and each one has its pros and cons. However, our team at Cleaning King believes that the aerosol can of paint stripper from Klean Strip is perhaps the best overall when it comes to ease of use, performance, value, and safety.

It is a simple spray on paint stripper that can tackle some pretty hefty jobs to boot. 

Klean Strip Premium is able to remove virtually every type of paint from acrylic to oil and even latex based. What’s more, it can handle a lot more than just simple paint removal.

Klean Strip Premium can remove shellac, varnish, epoxy, and more! This is your go-to paint stripper for removing virtually any compound from metal. 

Klean Strip Premium is also pretty easy on the skin. It should be noted that it is advised to always use gloves and eye protection when using aerosol paint strippers. However, this stuff doesn’t come with a harsh odor, and won’t burn on contact in seconds.

Overall this paint stripper ticks all the boxes you could ever need for normal everyday DIY repair, restoration, or crafting projects.

Stand-out features include

  • Easy to use for beginners. 
  • Multi-compound remover. 
  • Low odor and easy on skin.

Best Paint Stripper for Metal – Best for Indoor Use

CitriStrip pops up on many professional lists for top paint srippers on the market. This is for a multitude of reasons. The gel itself is made from a relatively low-impact compound that is great at stripping paints from all types of metal including copper, aluminum, steel, and more. 

CitriStrip is a biochemical paint stripping gel. This means that it is made from environmentally friendly compounds that won’t cause a major disaster in your home area. It also comes made with a very pleasing citrus scent (hence the name), and won’t run you out of the house with noxious fumes. That is why this is by far the best paint stripper for large indoor projects. 

One other great feature of the CitriStrip paint stripper is the fact that it is a thick gel compound. It has the consistency of a thick yogurt, and won’t run or drip very easily when applied on vertical surfaces. You can remove paint from metal walls, boats, fencing, and more!

Stand-out features include

  • Pleasant smell that isn’t hazardous.
  • Biochemical composition that is eco-safe. 
  • Works on all types of paints, enamels, epoxies, and lacquers.

Best Paint Stripper for Metal – Best Paint Stripper for Wheels

Goof-Off is a pretty well known name in the crafting and DIY space. It’s a simple and effective ‘gunk’ remover that works well on paints, epoxies, adhesives, varnishes, shellac, and more. It is designed for tackling tough coatings that are difficult to remove from metal surfaces–among other types such as metal, plastics, ceramics, etc,. 

Goof-Off is a great choice for those who are into restoring or repairing smaller metal items. This also works well with those who wish to strip metal for use in artwork or home crafts. The 10oz can is not large, but is more than enough for several uses on smaller surface areas. You won’t get an industrial sized project done with this, but it will work for home use. 

Goof-Off is a trusted brand and will work well with most paints that you need removed from metal. The main issue with Goof-Off is the very potent odor. It has a very strong chemical smell, and isn’t the most environmentally friendly. However, it is still very safe to use and will make sure your hobby metalworking is free of paints and other coating compounds.

Stand-out features include

  • American made and trusted for years. 
  • Works wonders on metal surfaces. 
  • Works with virtually all paint types.

Environmentally Friendly Paint Stripper for metal

Best Paint Stripper for Metal – Environmentally friendly

Paint strippers are by their very nature pretty harsh as a compound. They have to be in order to strip away all different types of compounds ranging from paints to adhesives. However, just because they are though doesn’t mean they need to be dangerous–for you or the environment. That is the main benefit of SmartStrip Advanced Paint Remover. It’s eco-friendly and extremely safe to use. 

SmartStrip Advanced Paint Remover is free of NMP’s (N-methyl pyrrolidone), as well as methylene chloride. It is a completely biodegradable compound that is water based and won’t chew through your skin or lungs when in use. This is a great choice for those who want to remove paint, epoxies, lacquers and more in a safe and environmentally conscious manner. 

SmartStrip Advanced Paint Remover is also super easy to apply to metal surfaces with a roller, brush, or chemical sprayer. This makes application of the paint stripper very simple and versatile based on your needs or the needs of the project. This is a top notch paint stripper that does the job without the guilty conscience.

Stand-out features include

  • Eco-friendly and biodegradable. 
  • Safe for skin contact. 
  • Great for use indoors or outdoors.

Best Paint Stripper for Metal – Best Paint Stripper for Cars

Dumond Chemicals is a household name in the industrial painting and construction space. They are known for producing high quality products that are trusted by professionals and newcomers alike. From the same manufacturer of the SmartStrip above, this paint stripper is a more heavy duty option. 

Peel Away 1 Heavy Duty Paint Remover is designed to take off the heaviest paints from lead based to latex and oil based. It can handle metal surfaces that have been painted and re-painted up to 30+ times! This is an industrial paint remover that is designed to tackle the jobs that are a bit too large for general paint stripper use. 

One great thing to note is that this is also a full paint remover kit. It comes with an application tool, neutralizer, laminated paper, and the removal paste itself. This is a great kit for those who have a massive project to tackle and need the ‘big guns’. For heavy duty paint stripping needs, go for the Peel Away 1 Heavy Duty by Dumond.

Stand-out features include

  • Strips away up to 30+ layers of paint. 
  • Inflammable and low-odor. 
  • Safe for indoor and outdoor use. 
  • Very heavy-duty.

Buyers’ Guide – Best Paint Stripper for Metal

The term ‘paint stripper’ is just an umbrella term that covers any compound that is designed to remove paints and other adhesive like compounds. Paint strippers themselves come in four different types that you will need to consider when buying. Here is how you can break them down:

Caustic

Caustic paint strippers are made with active lye as one of the main compounds. This lye (sodium hydroxide) is there to cause a chemical reaction with the paint to help remove it from the metal. This reaction effectively turns the paint into soap, which causes it to slide off. Caustic paint strippers work very well but are very harsh on the skin and eyes and should be handled with care. 

Solvent

Solvent paint strippers are highly chemical compounds that are generally considered a bit more volatile. This is due to their high Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) levels. Solvents use chemical reactions to dissolve and remove paints of all types from virtually every surface. They are extremely versatile, and are favored among professionals. However, they do come with a very pungent odor, are hazardous when breathed in through fumes, and are not very environmentally friendly. 

Biochemical

Biochemical paint strippers are preferred by those who want to avoid high levels of VOCs and NMPs. They are made from organic chemical compounds such as terpenes and organic N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone. These are considered a safer alternative to caustic or solvent paint strippers, but do still need to be treated with caution. They are better for the environment though. 

VOC-Free

VOC-free paint removers work without the presence of NMPs, lye, or other VOC compounds. They typically use naturally occurring compounds such as alcohol, and remove paints such as oil based and water based rather easily. They are odorless, safe for the skin, and safe for the environment. Their only major drawback is that they are not the strongest or most effective against tougher compounds like epoxies or latex paints.

How to remove paint from metal

Removing paint from metal does require quite a bit of care and proper preparation. You will need to take the time to understand the paint you are working with, as well as the metal it is painted on. This will help you to get yourself ready to prepare the area for removal of the paint. 

Remember that not all paints are the same and not all metals react the same way. If you are working with older pieces of furniture or toys remember to test the paint for lead. This will help you know how to safely and effectively remove the paint. Once you have identified the paint and the metal, as well as purchased the proper paint stripper, you can finally get started. 

Prepare Your Area

Ideally you should always remove paint outside if you are using a paint stripper. While some are great for indoors, they are not always ideal for use in enclosed areas whenever it can be helped. Prepare your outdoor area with heavy duty cardboard, and block off any grass or gardening areas that might suffer from the chemical exposure. 

Finally, tape off any areas of the surface that you don’t want stripped–if any–and prepare to get to work!

Apply Paint Stripper 

Once you are set up and ready to go, you can apply the paint stripper. Pour the stripper into a metal can, or into your chemical sprayer if being used. If you are using a paint brush to apply the stripper make sure you are using a disposable brush as it might not be usable after. 

Apply a thin layer of the stripper to the metal surface and allow it to sit as long as the manufacturer recommends. Don’t touch it or apply more until you have finished the next step!

Scrape The Paint

After the paint stripper has sat and worked its magic, you can now set about removing the paint. This will require you to use a paint scraper or paint scraping pad to gently remove the paint. Slowly chip away at it in a way that doesn’t scrape the metal underneath the surface. Only remove the paint that comes away easily without too much resistance. 

If you cannot get all of the paint off in one round, always go back to the previous step and apply another layer of paint stripper. Continue doing this until the paint is all off and the metal is paint-free!

Clean The Metal

Now that you have removed all of the paint, you can clean off the metal and prepare it for whatever you wish to do with it. To clean the metal, you should wipe it down with mineral spirits to remove any residual paint flakes that may be hanging on. Then you should spray and wipe down the metal with water to remove the residue of the paint stripper. 

Once you have fully washed and dried the metal, you can now re-paint it or form it however you want. This process can be done with virtually any metal ranging from copper to aluminum and stainless steel!

Conclusion – Best Paint Stripper for Metal

You may be into crafting, or you may be interested in repairing or restoring old furniture. Whatever your reasons, when removing paint from metal you need the right stripper to get the job done. 


Our team at Cleaning King is well versed in the process of stripping all types of paint from virtually every metal known to man. We work hard to review the best products, processes, and advice for those who need to know how to strip paint from metal. With that, we believe that the best paint stripper for metal is the Klean Strip Premium Aerosol Paint Remover & Stripper. It is simple to use, works quickly, and tackles most home repair and DIY projects easily.

Cleaning Kings Choice - Best Paint Stripper for Metal

Best Paint Stripper for Metal FAQs

Paint strippers will work over the course of a few minutes to several hours. This will depend on the type of paint stripper you are using and how many layers of paint you are removing. Some fast acting removers can begin working in as fast as 15-30 minutes. However, more heavy duty needs might require the paint stripper to be left on for as long as 24-72 hours. Always follow the instructions for advised setting time before removing from the surface of the metal.

Most modern paint strippers are excellent at removing a whole host of varying paint mixtures from metal. Acrylic, oil based, water based, latex, epoxy based, you name it. These paints can all be removed with the right paint remover and a bit of patience.

Paint strippers are tough compounds that should always be handled with care. Even VOC-Free paint removers should be handled with gloves and goggles at all times. You should also wear a respirator mask to avoid breathing in the fumes. This is primarily for caution, but is always a good practice to have when working with chemicals of any kind.

Applying paint stripper and remover on metal can be done in a variety of ways. The most common method is to use an old or disposable paint brush. This allows you to get an even coat while also reaching any crevices easily. Another method is to use a chemical grade sprayer to apply the paint remover easily and evenly. This of course only works with thinner paint strippers that can be pushed through the spray nozzle.

Most paint removers are perfectly safe to use with metals of all types. Ranging from aluminum to copper and iron. Paint strippers and removers are generally designed to work on metal, wood, ceramic, plastic, glass, etc,.

Paint stripper works the same way on metal as it does on any other surface material. Depending on the type of paint stripper you are using, the paint stripper will loosen or dissolve the paint over time. This reaction will change based on the type of paint and the type of paint stripper being used.