10 Best Spray Paint Strippers for Metal: Review Guide

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Painting can be incredibly fun and rewarding, unless it comes to metal furniture or equipment. Coating a metallic object might not sound very arduous if the piece is new and has never been layered before. However, in the case of an old one, you either need to adopt the DIY technique or look for an excellent product that peels off the existing layer without damaging the metal furnishing. 

Scrapping paint from metal surfaces can be daunting, as the materials are often hardy and resistant to most removers. However, certain products like spray paint removers have proven successful in removing even stubborn layers of paint.

So, how can you choose the best spray paint remover out of the many available options? To simplify the process, here is a rundown of the top 10 spray paint removers, outlining each one’s benefits and drawbacks to let you determine which one perfectly meets your requirements.

OUR TOP 3 PICKS OF BEST PAINT STRIPPERS FOR METAL

premium

pick

Rust-Oleum Aircraft Remover

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  • Professional grade formula
  • Great for tricky removal of jobs
  • Works well on vertical surfaces
  • Does not damage the underneath furnish
  • Easy and convenient to use in aerosol form
  • A little pricey but worth it for challenging projects

ALL

purpose

Citristrip Stripping Gel

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  • Multiple layer removal in one step
  • Removes dried latex, oil-based paint, varnish, lacquer, and polyurethane
  • Use easily on wood, metal, and masonry surfaces
  • Pleasant citrus scent
  • Worth for an easy and effective stripping process.

FAST

ACTION

Sunnyside Advance Paint Removing Gel​

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07SQH6JCJ&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=paintplatform 20&language=en US 10 Best Spray Paint Strippers for Metal: Review Guide
  • New and safer formula
  • Removes multiple layers of paint in just one application
  • Works best on both vertical and horizontal surfaces
  • Work done quickly and effectively
  • Great coverage per gallon too

How Did We Finalize the Products?

We evaluated 50 spray paint removers and rated the top ten based on the criteria listed below:

1.     Price

Price is the biggest concern of any customer while buying a product. Nobody would like to spend a few hundred bucks to remodel a window or a door. So, select products that are the most valuable to money and efficient per gallon application.

2.     Least Toxic

Most paint removers in the market contain methylene chloride (NMP) or some other form of harsh chemicals. When the remover is applied to the surface, they react with the surface and, as a result, emits harmful fumes.

Because caustic fumes are detrimental to the environment, we searched for the least noxious substances that are biodegradable and ecologically benign.

3.  Convenience

Nobody wants a product that makes a mess and requires much time to clean. So we shortlisted the easily applicable products that need minimum effort to peel off the stripped coatings. Further, these products are also convenient to use due to the absence of strong odors. 

Best Spray Paint Removers for Metals

Metal items are often cherished for their unique design and craftsmanship. However, over time it is not uncommon for them to become covered in paint. This can be a huge eyesore and take away from the piece’s beauty.

To restore your metal item to its former glory, you need to use a quality spray paint remover. Without further delay, let’s move to the list of the best spray paint removers for saving your treasured metal items!

1. Rust-Oleum Aircraft Remover

Key Features

  •  The product dries up quickly
  • Ideal for tough jobs due to its unique grad formula
  • Works best on rusted metal surfaces
  • Can remove dust or powder coating on the motor vehicle

What do we like best?

Rust-Oleum Aircraft Remover is ahead of its competition in the industry because of its professional grad formula, which makes it perfect for metal surfaces. A few coats (usually less than 3) are enough to peel off all the paint and expose the bare metal.

Another great advantage this product has is its non-corrosive solid formula, which contains harmless chemicals that don’t react with metal surfaces. By acquiring this paint remover, your equipment will be effectively restored to its original form.

What needs to be improved?

A minor inconvenience some people face is that it can be a little harsh on drywall. Plus, premium pricing is also a downside for some buyers.  

Pros

  • Only require a couple of coats
  • Dries up quickly, especially during hot weather
  • Able to remove powder coating
  • Works well on wood and other non-metal surfaces as well
  • Does not harm cold welds (like J-B welds)

Cons

  • Mist cloud after spraying
  • Price is on the higher end

2. Citristrip Stripping Gel

 Key Features

  • The all-purpose gel works on a variety of surfaces
  • Removes all types of oil and latex-based paints and varnishes
  • Ability to remove multiple layers of paint at a time
  • Has a citrus scent which makes it pleasant to use

What do we like best?

If you are looking for a jack of all trades, put your hands down on Citristrip Stripping Gel. It can remove almost all types of paints and varnishes on most surfaces, including wood, metal, and even masonry.

The most significant advantage of this gel is its versatility which comes in handy. So, no matter whatever surface you are coating, it’s always helpful to have this paint stripper throughout the process because you never know when you might need.

What needs to be improved?

Some consumers have complained about a residual film of gel on woodwork. But it is not much of an issue as paint thinner can easily remove the film.

Pros

  • Removes multiple layers at a time
  • Works on a variety of surfaces
  • Does not have any harsh chemical odor
  • Easy to apply
  • Readily available in most stores

Cons

  • Takes up too long to dry
  • It can leave a sticky film behind on wooden surfaces

3. Sunnyside Advance Paint Removing Gel

Key Features

  • Acts very fast, usually 2-10 minutes on most coatings
  • Based on a new formula that makes it much safer to use
  • Works on a variety of surfaces (including glass)
  • Covers a broader area in fewer amounts

What do we like best?

Removing leftover residue within a few seconds gives this product an edge over other alternatives. It won’t take any longer than 2 minutes to scrape the paint off, and during our testing, this product was effective enough to remove not only to strip the top layer but also some of the stains underneath.

Moreover, its fast-removing capabilities are not restricted to just metals. With horizontal surfaces like glass windows, we obtained the same results as well. So if you are looking for a paint stripper with a less messy formula, Sunnyside Corporation Advance Paint Removing Gel is for you. 

What needs to be improved?

Some consumers have complained that the new formula is relatively weaker than the previous one. 

Pros

  • Fast action removal
  • Works on multiple surfaces
  • Much safer to work with
  • Covers large areas
  • Works on horizontal surfaces as well

Cons

  • Also, require a plastic or wet towel layer
  • Weak against enamel paint

4. Smart Strip Advanced Paint Remover – Biodegradable

Key Features

  • Remover is biodegradable and does not evaporate toxic fumes
  • Can remove up to 15 layers of paint through a single coat
  • Works on multiple surfaces, including fiberglass and bricks
  • Works best on lead-based paints and molded surfaces

What do we like best?

This is the ultimate DIY product for any homeowner due to its diverse functionality. It can work on almost any surface and does not take much effort to remove all the paint in 1 coat.

If you have a metallic piece coated with lead-based paint, Smart’s Strip Advanced Paint Remover is what you require. Its unique formula is specifically manufactured to dissolve lead-based dyes, which makes it one of the best spray paint removers for metals.

What needs to be improved?

Some consumers complain that the remover evaporates quickly without working if left uncovered in hot weather. 

Pros

  • Can remove many layers at a time
  • Works on diverse surfaces
  • Specializes in intricate carved and lead-based paint removal
  • Less toxic and environmentally friendly
  • Odorless and therefore convenient for many to use

Cons

  • Takes a long time to dry up
  • Not very effective on very old coatings

5. Goo Gone Automotive – Paint Remover

Key Features

  • Effective at removing bumper stickers and plastic sticker residue
  • Applicable on both interior and the exterior of the vehicle
  • Able to remove tar and decal stains from your exterior
  • Highly portable due to its compact size

What do we like best?

This is a dream product for any car enthusiast. If you are trying to find the best metal spray paint remover for your car, you don’t
have to look any further. It is a universal product that works both on your interior and exterior (including the dash) without doing any damage to the car’s original finish.

Its compact size makes it convenient to store in a car trunk and pull out whenever necessary.

What needs to be improved?

Contains relatively less amount per unit, but its portability makes up for this shortcoming.

Pros

  • Removes all types of sticky residuals from your car
  • Ability to remove tar and decal stains on the wheels
  • Works on a glass window as well
  • Applicable on both interior and exterior
  • High portibility

Cons

  • Cannot remove tree sap
  • Does not work on vinyl stickers

6. Premium Spray Stripper – Aerosol Non-Methylene Chloride

Key Features

  • Works best on metal, wood, and masonry surfaces
  • Being non-methylene chloride makes it safe to use
  • Produces form to remove the paint
  • Best at removing mastic adhesive coverings

What do we like best?

Stuck with the hard-core metallic painted surface? We have a Premium Spray Paint Stripper in our bucket.

Due to its foaming capabilities, it can strip off even the most stubborn paint from metal objects. As soon as you spray the product on your equipment, the foam immediately gets to work and starts dissolving the paint coating.

So, all you have to do is to apply the stripper and, wait for 15 minutes, leave the rest of the job to this incredible paint removal
solution. 

What needs to be improved?

Some consumers have complained about the strong fumes evaporating from the product. But it can be easily evaded by working outside or near a window.

Pros

  • Strong removing capabilities
  • Does not contain methylene chloride
  • High foaming advantage
  • Short drying time
  • Can remove mastic adhesive surfaces

Cons

  • Limited application
  • Strong fumes in closed areas

7. Sunnyside Advanced Solution – Multi-Strip Paint Remover

Key Features

  • Removes 1 to 4 layers with a single light coat
  • It is very thick, which makes it perfect for vertical surfaces
  • Safe to use due to the absence of NMP
  • Can remove lacquer and urethane in addition to paint and varnishes

What do we like best?

Even the best metal spray paint removers can fail when faced with a shiny vertical surface. That’s where Sunnyside Advanced Solution comes along. It was designed with the intent to function on the vertical surface, which makes it slightly thick and adhesive.

This adhesiveness further contributes to stick to slippery surfaces like shiny metal windows, marble, and veneers, along with wood and other glass surfaces.

What needs to be improved?

It can leave uneven patches due to its high viscosity. But they can be easily cleaned with a few strokes of sanding paper. 

Pros

  • Very thick and adhesive
  • Does not contain NMP
  • Sticks to slippery vertical surfaces
  • Ability to remove lacquer and urethane
  • Removes multiple layers with a light coat

Cons

  • Leaves behind patches
  • It cannot be sprayed

8. Smart Citrus Paint & Varnish Remover Gel – Easy and Efficient

Key Features

  • Removes multiple layers per single application
  • Nice citrus scent
  • Works on a variety of surfaces
  • Does not require any caustic chemical

What do we like best?

Looking for some stuff to tackle with the acrylic paint or to rid of corrosive miniatures on metallic objects? Smart ‘n Easy Citrus Paint & Varnish Remover Gel is what you should consider. 

It has the ability to remove multiple layers of different paint colors upon a single application. This removing gel also has a lovely citrus scent which made our experience quite pleasant.

Furthermore, the process of application is uncomplicated and user-friendly: just apply the solution, let it set for the allotted time, and then power wash it to avoid any residue.

What needs to be improved?

Like other removers, this one also lacks the ability to remove decade-old paint coatings. This happens mostly on wooden surfaces which only have a single paint color.

Pros

  • Removes multiple layers of different color
  • Has a pleasant citrus smell
  • Perfect for DIY users
  • Does not make a lot of mess
  • No caustic chemicals

Cons

  • Ineffective on old paints
  • It can be bothersome to remove

9. Krud Kutter – Latex Paint Remover

Key Features

  • Removes all types of latex paints (fresh or dry)
  • Low VOC fumes make it applicable on interior surfaces
  • Works on surfaces like floors, carpets, and laminate and vinyl
  • Biodegradable and environmental friendly

What do we like best?

Worried about the latex paint stains on your metal surfaces? We have got you covered. This product tends to work with all types of llatex paint sprays (fresh or dry) and makes them vanish in a few minutes. Its low VOC formula is also convenient to use inside closed spaces.

From a portability standpoint, it is ahead of the game since its form is similar to that of a spray bottle. Further, it’s essential to
wipe out sprayed drops with a paper towel, otherwise, you will end up damaging your precious furniture. 

What needs to be improved?

Sometimes you might need a few extra sprays to get the job done. This is because of the remover’s low VOC formula, which makes it less toxic and easy to apply.

Pros

  • Requires only a few minutes to work
  • Perfect for interior work due to low VOC
  • Works on interior surfaces like carpet, laminate, and vinyl
  • Safer for the environment
  • Less toxic formula

Cons

  • Takes longer to remove old stains
  • Does not work on leather

10. Goof Off Splatter Hardwoods – Dried Paint Remover

Key Features

  • Works as soon as it comes in contact with the paint
  • Very strong formula
  • Specifically made for hardwood floors and tiles
  • Strong chemical fumes

What do we like best?

Last but not least!

Dried paint stains on metal surfaces like garage doors or railings are very common. These stains are not washable and very irritating to look at. If you have been entangled in a similar situation where dried paint is giving you a tough time, go for Goof Off Splatter Hardwoods to automate your procedure.

This dried paint remover has a potent formula that reacts as soon as it comes into contact with the surface. Within no time, the
reaction will cause the paint to start peeling off.

What needs to be improved?

Leaving this remover on for too long might leave a wet stain on your floor. 

Pros

  • Extremely strong
  • Works very fast
  • The paint peels right off without much effort
  • Works on all types of flooring
  • Comes in strong packing

Cons

  • Strong chemical fumes
  • Leaves a stain if left on for too long

How to Purchase the Best Paint Remover for Metals?

Metal surfaces are hard to paint because most of them are covered in a protective layer like lacquer and shellac, which makes it hard for a regular remover to penetrate and dissolve the paint.

So they require specialized removers which can break through thick layers of coating and dissolve the paint without reacting with the metal surface. But acquiring the desired item is quite challenging as the market is flooded with various products that claim to stand excellent even if the reality is the opposite.

To make your purchase hassle-free, here we are providing a list of a few factors that you should keep in mind while selecting spray paint remover for metals. 

Types of Paint Remover

Not all metal paint removers are built equally. The truth is they are countless types of metal spray paint removers depending upon their formula. But we can categorize them according to the type of paint they remove. Understanding the difference between each type is crucial to ending with the right purchase.

Primarily, there are four types of paint strippers available:

1.    Solvents: The most effective type of paint remover we ever have. They are induced with the potent chemicals that disrupt paint’s adhesion to the surface. Further, solvents are efficient in wiping paint, epoxy, and polyurethane from wood, masonry, and metal objects and surfaces.

2.    Caustic Paint Stripper: It comes in contact with the paint to turn the coating into a soapy substance in order to break down the bond between the paint and the surface on which the solution was applied. However, they don’t operate with epoxy or polyurethane.

3.    Biochemical Paint Strippers: These strippers are produced by incorporating plant-based solvents and an organic substance called N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) to make them less abrasive. Just like caustic paint strippers, they are incapable of working on epoxy or polyurethane.

4.    Low- Or Zero-VOC Paint Strippers: If you are concerned about the environment, low- or zero-VOC paint strippers are what you should add to your cupboard. They are induced with natural solvents such as benzyl alcohol instead of NMP or methylene chloride, which are highly corrosive.

Safety

Safety should always be your first priority. As you can see throughout the list, many products can be too toxic to be used on interior surfaces like metal doors or inside windows. Some fumes are so strong that even a well-ventilated room will not be of much help.

That is why choosing a metal paint remover that you can safely handle is very important. If you have a family with young children, it is better to go with the least toxic and odorless metal paint removers.

Having a caustic metal paint remover might take a little longer, but your safety levels will significantly increase. Finally, staying away from substantial toxic formulas is better, especially if you are a newbie.

Application Process

Every paint remover is unique in its formula and functionality. Metal surfaces are very vulnerable to chemical reactions. For example, if you use a spray paint remover with a strong formula and leave it for too long on the surface, it might eat away the metal itself.

In other cases, the product may react with the metal and form poisonous fumes that are absolutely detrimental to health. So, it’s always advised to read the application process given in the manual before experiencing the product in real time.

Further, paying attention to procedures will help you understand the application process and decide which product you should buy and which you shouldn’t.

Point to Ponder: Going through the manual and guidelines will not only save your precious time but also aid in achieving the best possible outcomes.

Refund and Exchange Policies

First-time buyers with little knowledge of metal spray paint removers are more susceptible to making an ineffective purchase. If you are working on a huge project and have purchased the metal remover in bulk, a small unfortunate mistake might significantly impact your budget.

Even if you aim to deal with household items, paying an extra buck for paint remover is pretty bothersome. To avoid facing any of these issues, make sure to go through the return and exchange policy of the product in the beginning.

These policies differ from product to product and company to company, giving them a thorough read is essential. In case the product doesn’t function as intended, you can claim a refund or benefit with an exchange policy.

Alternatives: Readily Available Substitutes

Let’s suppose you have some guests coming over, and you don’t have to go and get a commercial remover. Or, you just don’t want to spend money to get a few stains out. In that scenario, you can go for substitutes readily available in every home kitchen.

Vinegar

 Vinegar is one of the most widely available kitchen ingredients, which also works perfectly as a DIY paint remover. All you have to do is heat up the vinegar in your microwave (do not boil it). Take a sponge, soak it in the warm vinegar, and rub it over the paint stains; they will vanish.

Baking Soda

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is an excellent substitute for paint removers if you are dealing with minor paint stains. Initiate by boiling water in a pot (don’t use the pot you use for cooking), then add a quarter cup of baking soda to it without stirring. After a few minutes, use the mixture to clean the stained surface; this DIY works best on metal surfaces.

Liquid Detergents

The whole purpose of a detergent is to remove leftovers. A detergent solution works best to scrap off paint strains from metal tools. Because they contain chemicals that loosen the bond between the paint and the target surface, a detergent will work better on fresher blemishes instead of old harder ones.

Nail Polish Remover

And finally, we move on to the ultimate DIYer, the nail polish removers. They are basically paint removers in smaller packaging sizes but serve the same purpose. So if you have a stain on a wall or any other surface, a nail polish remover will work as well as any other commercial paint stripper in the market.

Conclusion

Scrapping paint from metal can be challenging, but the finest spray paint removers can help.

We have compiled a list of the best spray paint strippers to help you out with the excellent possible purchase. The list is by no means exhaustive, but with our rigorous selection criteria and an extensive assortment of items, you are likely to discover one that corresponds to your requirements.

In case you are hesitant to shell out more cash just to fix a few patches, you can opt for one of the substitutes mentioned above and say goodbye to those bothersome and irritating stains forever. 

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