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Paint Removers

Although you can use heat or a scrapper, the most thorough (in the grain) paint removers are chemical. The are designed to penetrate the paint and dissolve it (so that you can wipe away the paint) and/or its attachment to the underlying surface (so that you can easily peel off the paint).

Most traditional chemical paint removers are solvent based with methylene chloride as the primary active ingredient. Methylene chloride is a toxic chemical, so be sure to follow all directions.There are also a number of "no-toxic" and "bio-friendly" chemical paint removers that use different formulations, such as soy oil or citrus.

Paint removers come as liquids and gels or semi-pastes. Gels and semi-pastes allow you to work with walls and other vertical surfaces without drips, but are generally thought to be less effective than liquids.

Read and follow all directions carefully. For best results, read the fine print to make sure the paint remover you pick is formulated for the paint and surface you intend to use it on.
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