The best way to remove paint from walls

Written by amanda flanigan | 13/05/2017
The best way to remove paint from walls
If your paint is peeling away it's better to remove it and repaint the surface. (Getty Images)

Removing paint from walls can be a time-consuming, difficult job. Unfortunately, it is sometimes necessary to get rid of a few layers of paint from your walls. Peeling paint, chipping paint and redecorating are all reasons for paint to be removed. With the many ways to remove paint, you may not be sure which method is best for your specific needs.

Paint strippers

Paint strippers are an effective choice for removing paint from walls. There are four types of paint strippers available: liquids, sprays, brush-ons and aerosols. Each type of paint stripper works in the same manner -- apply the stripper to the area, wait for the recommended period and remove with a scraper.

Liquid paint strippers are ideal for removing one to two layers of paint and can be applied using a brush. Liquid paint strippers work better in smaller areas where detail is a concern.

Brush-on paint removers have the consistency of a thick paste and work well to remove thick layers of paint. If removing a large area of paint, brush-ons will be your best option.

For thin layers of paint, choose a spray remover.

Aerosol paint strippers are convenient, work fast and are best for smaller jobs.

No matter what type of remover you choose, clean the area with white spirit when all the paint has been removed. Every paint stripper is a chemical, so read all directions and follow all warnings when working with them.


Sanding is another method of removing unwanted paint. Sanding cleans paint from walls without the use of harsh chemicals. When sanding walls, use a small hand-held sander with fine grit sandpaper. Sand in a circular motion, working in small areas at a time. You will create a lot of dust, so wear a dust mask to prevent inhalation of the paint residue.

Paint over the area

Painting over the area will cover up the old paint. If the old paint is peeling, remove as much of the peeling paint as possible by hand scraping or sanding. Prime the wall with a wall primer before you begin to paint. Primer will give the new paint a fresh surface to cling to while eliminating the chance of a bleed through. Allow the primer to dry over night and then apply the new paint.

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