Top 5 Best Paint Strippers (2020 Review)

Are you looking for an amazing paint stripper?

You've come to the right place!

In this ProPaintCorner.com guide, you'll learn:

  • What paint stripper is
  • How to use paint stripper safely
  • The best things to look for in a paint stripper

And much more!

Top 5 Best Paint Strippers (2020 Review)
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Dumond Chemicals, Inc. Smart Strip Advanced Paint Remover
  • Eco-friendly
  • Removes up to 15 coats of paint
  • Odor-free and water-based
  • Eco-friendly
  • Removes up to 15 coats of paint
  • Odor-free and water-based
View on Amazon

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MAX Strip Paint & Varnish Stripper
  • Non-toxic
  • Super powerful
  • Biodegradable
  • Non-toxic
  • Super powerful
  • Biodegradable
View on Amazon

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Sunnyside Multi-Strip Advanced Paint & Varnish Remover
  • Methylene chloried free
  • Removes up to 15 layers
  • Easy to clean with water
  • Methylene chloried free
  • Removes up to 15 layers
  • Easy to clean with water
View on Amazon

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Citristrip Paint & Varnish Stripping Gel
  • Removes dried latex & oil-based paints
  • No harsh fumes
  • No methylene chloride or NMP
  • Removes dried latex & oil-based paints
  • No harsh fumes
  • No methylene chloride or NMP
View on Amazon

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MAX All-Purpose Remover
  • 100% biodegradable
  • No-drip spray gel
  • Best for overspray and mess removal
  • 100% biodegradable
  • No-drip spray gel
  • Best for overspray and mess removal
View on Amazon

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

(updated 5/15/2020)

Our top pick just had to be Dumond Chemicals Smart Strip Advanced Paint Remover because this stuff is incredibly safe for the environment, on top of being an excellent paint remover.

This stuff comes in a large quart bucket and it can easily remove up to 15 layers of any paint or coating even without caustic chemicals like methylene chloride and NMP.

The Dumond paint remover is completely odor-free and water-based, which means it won't be a pain to use and it won't be a paint to clean up!

Top 5 Best Paint Strippers

In a hurry? Check out our Top 5 picks below! Keep reading to learn more about these paint stripping formulations!

What Are Paint Strippers?

Put simply, paint strippers are formulations that are created to remove layers of paints, lacquers, varnishes, and other coatings from a surface.

In the past, many of these paint strippers used caustic chemicals like methylene chloride, lye, sodium hydroxide, dimethyl sulfoxide, and other high-VOC chemicals to strip layers of paint.

However, many paint strippers on the market now are formulated to be much less harsh and also to be water-based and biodegradable.

This makes it much easier to clean up after them, but it also makes it much safer to use.

Though when using chemical-laden formulates like paint strippers or paint thinners, we do recommend using adequate safety equipment like gloves, respirators, and goggles to protect yourself from any other chemicals therein.

Read More >> How Do You Remove Paint From Brick?

Did you know: The EPA only recently banned the chemical methylene chloride in consumer products. This came on the heels of studies showing its adverse affects on human health.

How Do You Use Paint Stripper Safely?

Using paint strippers right and using them safely is an essential part of getting the best result from your project.

Whether you're a DIYer or an expert, it's important to understand the process of stripping paint and how you can do it as safely as possible.

Essential Steps for Removing Paints

First, make sure you have a safe place for the chemicals to off-gas adequately. Typically this means finding an open area outdoors or a well-ventilated area indoors where there will be plenty of airflow.

Next, you'll want to acquire your safety equipment as mentioned above, and prepare your surface for the paint to be stripped.

Then, you need to follow the directions on your selected paint stripping formula very carefully, as some of them need to soak for a while, and some of them dry quickly and don't work when dry.

Following those instructions will give you the best chance of achieving your ideal result.

However, do keep in mind that coatings that are oil-based like lacquers, latex paints, varnish, and other heavier formulations are often more difficult to remove and may require more elbow grease and a paint scraper to really get it off.

Read More >> What Are The Best Paint Sprayers for Lacquers?

Did you know: Airless paint sprayers are the fastest, most efficient way to lay down paint with as little physical toll on your body as possible.

Our Reviews Of The Best 5 Paint Strippers

The Dumond Chemicals Smart Strip Advanced Paint Remover is a fantastic all-around paint remover for pretty much any project you have on your plate.

Plus, this stuff won't leave a nasty odor behind and it's not formulated using caustic or toxic chemicals to do a good job at paint removal.

This Smart Strip Paint Remover will remove layers upon layers of paint with ease, so even if you're into DIY projects and you're not familiar with paint removers, this stuff will be simple to use.

Unlike those toxic chemical paint strippers that are loaded with methylene chloride, this eco-friendly formulation is totally biodegradable and will wash away with water for easy clean up!

Pros

  • 100% biodegradable and pH neutral
  • Water-based and odor-free
  • No need to neutralize surfaces

Cons

  • Needs to set for 3 to 24 hours
  • Not great for removing paint off MDF
  • Some customers prefer the Multi-Strip version

If you're looking for a more budget-friendly version of a relatively eco-friendly paint stripper, this is it!

The MAX Strip Paint & Varnish Stripper is a fantastic formula for stripping any coating off a surface, including metal surfaces.

It's a great formula for removing old paint and latex paints as well.

Plus, since it's a no-drip gel it can be used on vertical surfaces, too.

This stuff is also biodegradable and easy to clean up with water but it's still a fast-acting stripper for whatever project you're working on.

Pros

  • Works on multiple types of paints and coatings
  • No-drip formulation
  • Non-toxic formula

Cons

  • Some consumers say it dries quickly (and doesn't work when dried)
  • Some users struggled with removing very old/vintage paints

This Sunnyside Multi-Strip Advanced Paint remover is a fantastic, heavy-duty formula for removing layers upon layers of paints.

Not only that, but it's formulated without caustics, methylene chloride, and it's sprayable if you have an adequate paint sprayer!

Unlike caustic paint strippers, the active ingredients in this product are still gentle (though not entirely eco-friendly).

This multi-strip formula will peel away layers of paint from metal surfaces and wood surfaces quite easily with a paint scraper.

Pros

  • Removes varnishes, lacquers, and urethanes too
  • The fast-acting formula starts working in 30 minutes
  • Clings to vertical surfaces

Cons

  • Some consumers complained of receiving an old batch on Amazon
  • Some users say it's not as strong on difficult projects

This Citristrip Paint & Varnish Stripping Gel is one of our top picks because not only does it strip paint, but it smells lovely!

Joking aside, this stuff is an amazing formulation that doesn't use any caustic materials and still manages to remove dried latex paint and oil-based coatings too.

That makes this formula ideal for indoor use because it doesn't contain the toxic stuff that other types of paint strippers do.

Plus, it can be used on wood surfaces and metal surfaces too while also stripping away multiple layers at the same time if it's left on the surface for 24 hours.

Pros

  • Smells great
  • Long active times (24 hours or more)
  • Strips multiple types of coatings on various surfaces

Cons

  • Some users complained that they might have received a knock-off from Amazon
  • Some consumers say it doesn't work on much older paints and coatings

If you're looking for a gentler formulation that you can spray on, look no further!

This MAX All-Purpose remover is fantastic for removing overspray and little paint messes here and there, but perhaps not the best for bigger projects.

However, it's still 100% biodegradable and non-toxic. Plus it's a no-drip formula so you can use it on walls and other vertical surfaces as well!

So, if you love to DIY but hate cleaning the mess up, look no further than this handy paint remover!

Pros

  • Tough, heavy-duty formula
  • Biodegradable
  • Non-toxic

Cons

  • Not great for getting paint off concrete or porous surfaces like brick

Our top overall pick is still this amazing Dumond Chemicals formula, simply because this stuff works so well in a variety of situations.

Its eco-friendly formulation is well above its competitors in terms of using gentle chemicals but still getting the job done!

So, if you're looking for a budget-friendly, eco-friendly, and heavy-duty formula to remove paint, this is the best around. Check out the low price on Amazon now!

Meet Your Pro Paint Corner Author

Madison Rude

Madison Rude

I’m kind of a painting nerd. My mom taught me how to paint when I was nine, and since then I’ve painted rooms, furniture...you name it. I’ve written technical advice for Wagner sprayers, and I’ve spent a lot of time DIYing my own home. I’m no expert, but I love to learn. And here at ProPaintCorner, I learn more about painting every time I work with one of our painting pros to bring you the best product reviews and How To advice available. Together, let’s make your next painting project the best it can be!

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Madison Rude

Madison Rude

I’m kind of a painting nerd. My mom taught me how to paint when I was nine, and since then I’ve painted rooms, furniture...you name it. I’ve written technical advice for Wagner sprayers, and I’ve spent a lot of time DIYing my own home. I’m no expert, but I love to learn. And here at ProPaintCorner, I learn more about painting every time I work with one of our painting pros to bring you the best product reviews and How To advice available. Together, let’s make your next painting project the best it can be!

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