Top 8 Best Paint Stripper For Metal (2020 Review)

Trying to remove paint from a metal surface? 

Try any of these solutions for removing paint, varnish, lacquer, shellac, and more from your desired metal surface. 

DIY was never easier when stripping paint from metal. We've researched for you on which is the best paint stripper for metal, so now all you have to do is take our word for it!

In this ProPaintCorner.com guide, you will learn:

  • Great tips for removing paint from metal
  • The best paint strippers for metal
  • Other great tips for painting like a pro
  • And much more!
Top 5 Best Latex Paint Strippers (2020 Review)

Below is a quick list of all our top products. Keep scrolling to learn more about how to choose and use the best paint stripper for metal.

Image Product

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Klean-Strip Quart Easy Liquid Sander And Deglosser
  • An easy alternative to sanding
  • Helps paint adhere
  • Permanently de-glosses surfaces
  • An easy alternative to sanding
  • Helps paint adhere
  • Permanently de-glosses surfaces
View on Amazon

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3M Heavy Duty Stripping Pads
  • For use with chemical strippers
  • Durable for multiple job use
  • Removes varnish, paint, and wallpaper
  • For use with chemical strippers
  • Durable for multiple job use
  • Removes varnish, paint, and wallpaper
View on Amazon

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Paint Stripper Super Remover New Generation
  • For use and metal, wood, and concrete
  • Removes all types of paint and varnishes
  • Strongest paint remover available without harsh chemicals
  • For use and metal, wood, and concrete
  • Removes all types of paint and varnishes
  • Strongest paint remover available without harsh chemicals
View on Amazon

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Dumond SmartStrip Advanced Paint Remover
  • No caustic or harsh chemicals
  • Water-based, odor-free, and biodegradable
  • Effective and safe
  • No caustic or harsh chemicals
  • Water-based, odor-free, and biodegradable
  • Effective and safe
View on Amazon

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Sunnyside 2-Minute Advanced Paint Remover
  • Fast-acting formula
  • For metal, wood, marine, and automotive use
  • Sold in gel or liquid form
  • Fast-acting formula
  • For metal, wood, marine, and automotive use
  • Sold in gel or liquid form
View on Amazon

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3M Paint And Rust Stripper
  • Easily connects to any drill
  • Lasts longer than sandpaper
  • Strips paint and varnish from metal surfaces
  • Easily connects to any drill
  • Lasts longer than sandpaper
  • Strips paint and varnish from metal surfaces
View on Amazon

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Bates Paint Scraper 5-in-1 Tool
  • Multi-use putty knife scraper tool
  • Sold in a 2-pack
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Multi-use putty knife scraper tool
  • Sold in a 2-pack
  • Lifetime guarantee
View on Amazon

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DUROPEAK 10 Pack Of Quick Change Easy Strip Discs
  • 2-inch diameter strip discs
  • Easily attaches to any drill or Dremel
  • Sold in a 10-pack
  • 2-inch diameter strip discs
  • Easily attaches to any drill or Dremel
  • Sold in a 10-pack
View on Amazon

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

(updated 9/29/2020)

Our favorite is Klean-Strip QWN285 Quart Easy Liquid Sander Deglosser because it provides an all-in-one solution for your paint removal needs. 

At an affordable price and sold in 1-quart bottles that are cheap to ship right to your front porch, Klean-Strip easily gets rid of paint, lacquerpolyurethane, stain, varnish, and more without the use of extremely toxic chemicals. 

So, instead of using sandpaper try this formula that works hard to permanently de-gloss surfaces and make the paint adhere better.

Want To Just Skip All This Research And Hire A Decent Professional For Your Paint Job?

Click here to check out our pro painter search tool where we instantly send you free quotes from trusted (and thoroughly vetted) painters in your local area.

Process Takes About 30 Seconds

What Are Paint Strippers For Metal?

A paint stripper is anything that is used to remove the paint off of a metal surface.

In some cases, it could be a chemical formula like Sunnyside that helps release the paint, or in other cases, it could be an abrasive remover like a 3M paint and rust stripper that attaches to a drill. 

In the most ideal of circumstances, a successful paint removal will require both grinding and chemicals to create a surface that is either original or ready enough to be painted again.

Most varnish strippers have an active ingredient like:

Toluene

Also known as methylbenzene, toluene is an odorless and clear liquid that occurs naturally in the tolu tree and also in crude oils. 

toluene is a common ingredient because it is known for dissolving substances like paint, resin, etc.

Sodium hydroxide

A co-product of chlorine production,  sodium hydroxide is also known as lye or caustic soda.

Dimethyl sulfoxide

Dimethyl sulfoxide is an organosulfur and colorless liquid that dissolves compounds.

Read More >> What Are The Best Spray Paints For Metal?

What Are The Different Types of Best Paint Stripper For Metal?

Scraper tool

The most basic way to get paint off is by using a scraper. This tool works great when the paint is loose and flaking off because you can simply pass over it with something like this Bates Paint Scraper, and it will be sufficient enough for the next stage in the painting process. 

Chemical paint strippers/caustic strippers

Many different chemical formulas will remove paint. 

Acetone, for example, is an extremely useful(but potent) example of a caustic paint stripper that removes paint from a metal surface and is a common ingredient in paint varnishes and removers.

Earth-friendly formulas paint strippers like Smart Strip are a good option because they don't contain any harsh chemicals.

Stripping  pads

Sometimes all you need is a bit of man(or woman) power to get the surface prepped for painting.

That's when stripping pads like 3M 10112 Heavy Duty Stripping Pads come in handy

Varnish stripping gel

Citristrip is an example of a stripping agent that comes in a gel form that doesn't contain toxic chemicals like methylene-chloride and has a citrus scent with no harsh fumes. 

Sunnyside also has a gel-form option for paint removal.

Read More >> How Do You Properly Use Paint Stripper?

Want To Just Skip All This Research And Hire A Decent Professional For Your Paint Job?

Click here to check out our pro painter search tool where we instantly send you free quotes from trusted (and thoroughly vetted) painters in your local area.

Process Takes About 30 Seconds

How Do Best Paint Strippers For Metal Work?

When removing paint, the technique you should use depends on the project you are working on. You must use a product that coincides with the type of paint you are removing.

If the paint is lacquer or shellac, you may want to specifically use a lacquer thinner. That's why it's important to read the label before purchasing so you know what function the product offers. 

Stripper pads, scraper tools, and sandpaper = essential

Sometimes you need more than just a scraper tool or putty knife to remove paint from a metal surface. 

For example, if you are painting exterior panels or metal, you may not even want to use a paint stripper because a power washer or quick pass with the sanding pole will strip the paint sufficiently for another clean coat to be applied. 

But on the other hand, if you are stripping off paint from an expensive set of wheels on a vehicle, you will want something like acetone (propanone) to restore the surface to its original shiny form. 

Read More >> How Do You Dispose Of Paint Stripper?

Did you know: Most paint strippers are made with a combination of acetone, toluene, and methanol. These chemicals evaporate quickly, but they're also highly flammable, so use with caution!

What To Look For In The Best Best Paint Strippers For Metal?

Since there are many different types of paint strippers, there are a few things you should look for when removing paint from a metal surface.

Earth-friendly

It's better to buy products that don't damage the environment or your health.

Products like Smart Strip are environmentally responsible which means they won't damage the environment, and they also won't damage your health when using them.

Variety

There are plenty of different methods for stripping paint, and it may be that you use more than one way when stripping paint. 

For example, you could use the 3M Paint and Rust Stripper to get most of the paint off of a vehicle, and then use a varnish remover like Sunnyside to completely rid the surfaces of paint particles.

Removing paint from metal can be challenging, but if it's too challenging, then that might mean that you are using the wrong method. 

It shouldn't take hours to get the paint off (in the best of cases), so a good idea is to do a quick Google or Youtube search to find out what is the best solution for your specific project.

You'll be surprised at how many users have already experienced the same issues and have adequate answers. Like this video from Youtube:

Want To Just Skip All This Research And Hire A Decent Professional For Your Paint Job?

Click here to check out our pro painter search tool where we instantly send you free quotes from trusted (and thoroughly vetted) painters in your local area.

Process Takes About 30 Seconds

Our Reviews Of The Best Best Paint Stripper For Metal

Klean-Strip is a liquid sander and de-glosser that helps the paint adhere easier the next time around. 

Although it may not be the most ideal product for completely removing paint from a metal surface, it will help if you are looking to repaint a metal surface effectively.

So, if you don't want to bust out the sandpaper, but you still want to repaint a surface successfully, purchase a 1-quart bottle of Klean-Strip off of Amazon to keep around for your next painting projects.

Pros

  • An easy alternative to sanding
  • Helps paint adhere
  • Deglosses surfaces permanently

Cons

  • May not completely remove paint easily
  • Harmful if swallowed

These 3M 10112 Heavy Duty Stripping Pads are a good supply to have around in certain situations because they quickly strip off the paint by hand with the help of a varnish stripper.

Want the toughest pads for assisting you in your paint removal? Then we recommend these 3M stripping pads because they are inexpensive and handle the business. 

If you are constantly removing paint, or if you are an auto mechanic constantly removing oil and carbon deposits(or something similar), then this is a great product to stock up on.

Pros

  • Inexpensive paint removal solution
  • Ideal for paint removal with varnish stripper
  • Removes wallpaper, paint, and varnish

Cons

  • 3M dominates the market
  • You'll also have to purchase a varnish remover

This patent-pending gel formula removes all forms of paint, epoxy, varnish, polyurethane, and shellac for an all-in-one solution for paint removal needs. 

In just 15 minutes, this super remover works hard to remove paint from desired surfaces with a formula that excludes highly toxic chemicals like methylene-chloride, and NMP

Purchase Paint Stripper Super Remover New Generation in either one quart or one gallon of Amazon.

Pros

  • Ideal for heavy-duty projects
  • Removes up to 5 layers of paint
  • Sold in large 1-gallon size (128oz)

Cons

  • Highly-flammable
  • Eye irritant

Dumond Chemicals Smart Strip advanced paint remover is a non-toxic solution that assists in removing paint from metal surfaces.

With its green-colored and 'earth-friendly' packaging Smart Strip is designed to give the user a safe and reliable solution for paint removal without damaging the skin or causing respiratory problems in the user. 

Purchase a 1-quart sample size of Smart Strip off of Amazon.

Pros

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Biodegradeable
  • Odor-free and water-based

Cons

  • May not be as effective as other chemical-based formulas
  • Not always necessary

When a pressure washer won't quite cut it, you can try something like the 3M Paint and Rust Stripper

All you have to do is attach this tool onto a drill, and you have yourself a spinning stripper that effectively strips the paint off of metal surfaces. 

Use the 3M Paint and Rust Stripper as a better alternative to sandpaper because it works faster and lasts longer. 

And the best part is, all you need is a simple drill with a 1/4-inch mandrel. 

Note: Wear a mask/respirator, goggles, and (if necessary) when using this product

Pros

  • Easily connect to a drill
  • Longer lasting than sandpaper
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • May not work as good as a chemical stripper
  • Not a chemical varnish stripper

Looking for the ideal putty knife scraper for removing paint? You've just found it.

The Bates Paint Scraper Putty Knife Scraper makes repainting easy because it has a stainless steel blade that easily and consistently scrapes paint from your project.

A putty knife scraper is essential when painting, and it helps if you have one like this multi-use Bates brand because it has thousands of 5-star reviews from satisfied customers.

Pros

  • Removes crown molding, paint, applies putty, etc
  • Lifetime guarantee 
  • Also works as a screwdriver, paint opener, and more

Cons

  • Not a chemical varnish stripper
  • More expensive than other scrapers

This multi-pack of quick-change easy strip discs fit easily onto your drill or Dremel and 

With a 2-inch diameter, these are the perfect discs for removing rust, cleaning up welds, as well as paint and oxidation.

Pick up a 10 pack of these on Amazon!

Pros

  • For use on metal, wood, and fiberglass
  • Comes in a 10-pack
  • Longer life and higher-efficiency

Cons

  • Smaller diameter (2-inch)
  • Not a chemical varnish stripper

Our top pick is the Klean-Strip QWN285 Quart Easy Liquid Sander Deglosser because it effectively removes all types of paint, varnish, shellac, lacquer, stain, and polyurethane with a formula that excludes the use of super-toxic chemicals. 

At an affordable price, you can purchase this quick and easy alternative to sanding in a one-quart quantity from websites like Amazon.

Klean-Strip helps the paint adhere by permanently de-glossing the surface you are prepping.

This is the best price and the best quality that we found on Amazon with the highest amount of 5-star reviews.

Want To Just Skip All This Research And Hire A Decent Professional For Your Paint Job?

Click here to check out our pro painter search tool where we instantly send you free quotes from trusted (and thoroughly vetted) painters in your local area.

Process Takes About 30 Seconds

Final Thoughts On Best Paint Stripper For Metal

Safety Is First

One of the most important factors when removing paint from a metal surface is protecting yourself. 

Aside from the nasty chemicals like acetone that remove paint effectively, you also have to consider the paint itself as old paints can be toxic than modern-day formulas.

One thing is certain when removing paints from metal, and that is that you should wear gloves and also a respirator/cotton mask to prevent breathing in small paint and metal particles that can damage your health.

Not Coming Off? Use Some Heat

Getting paint off of metal can seem impossible sometimes because of the way metal heats up, and the paint bakes onto it.

Luckily, if you have a heat gun like this one you can heat the surface you are working on making the paint softer and easier to remove from the metal.

Repainting? Try a paint sprayer!

Using a paint sprayer reduces time and effort on interior/exterior paint projects, and with today's technology, the prices keep getting lower and lower for high-quality paint sprayers that get the job done. 

And while you're at it, you could try using products like Citri-strip paint and Rust-Oleum for a better experience when painting.

Here at Pro Paint Corner, we highly recommend you try at least a cheap handheld HVLP sprayer to help you on your next project. 

Questions?

We work around the clock to give you expert paint advice. If you have any questions, we'll be happy to answer them on our Pro Paint Corner home page!

Meet Your Pro Paint Corner Author

Ryan Nichols

Ryan Nichols

I first painted professionally in my late teens. I have painted everything from long military base walls to spraying cedar wood siding on cabins in the mountains of Utah. I am also an automotive technician with plenty of auto body and paint experience. In my spare time, I even enjoy artistic oil painting.

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Ryan Nichols

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I first painted professionally in my late teens. I have painted everything from long military base walls to spraying cedar wood siding on cabins in the mountains of Utah. I am also an automotive technician with plenty of auto body and paint experience. In my spare time, I even enjoy artistic oil painting.

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