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How to Remove Hammerite

Updated February 21, 2017

Hammerite paint's innovation comes in its ability to cover up rust and to create a metallic finish. It can be used on metal as well as wood. Like any paint job, there may come a time when the paint needs to be removed. Hammerite paint contains a special hardener, making it difficult to remove by sanding. Remove Hammerite using a paint and varnish stripper. Paint and varnish stripper penetrates and softens the paint, allowing it to easily be scraped away.

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  1. Apply a thick coat of paint stripper on top of the Hammerite, using a paintbrush. Don't try to work the stripper into the Hammerite with the brush. Simply lay it on and allow it to sit on top of the paint. Leave the stripper to sit for the time indicated in the stripper manufacturer's instructions. The Hammerite will gradually soften.

  2. Scrape the softened Hammerite away, using a putty knife. Use a plastic putty knife if you are worried about scratching the underlying surface. Wipe the constituted paint and paint stripper from the putty knife onto newspaper.

  3. Remove any residual stripper from metal by wiping the metal down with lacquer thinner. Remove any residual stripper from wood by sanding it with sandpaper or steel wool. Sand in the direction of the wood grain.

  4. Leave toxic stripper on the newspaper to dry and place it in a metal container with a lid. Contact your local waste disposal facility for removal.

  5. Warning

    Work in a well-ventilated area and wear protective clothing and gloves, especially if the kind of stripper you are using contains methylene chloride, which is toxic.

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Things You'll Need

  • Protective gloves
  • Paint and varnish remover
  • Putty knife
  • Newspaper
  • Lacquer thinner (for metal)
  • Sandpaper or steel wool (for wood)
  • Metal can with lid

About the Author

Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.

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