Chemical strippers are painted on to the surface and allowed to work for a specified time. They soften the paint film enough to allow it to be scraped off the surface.
Read the instructions carefully. Some products need special processes – some require that the surface be covered with plastic to stop the stripper drying out while it acts. Others require that the surface be neutralised afterwards. Failing to do this can result in the new paint stripping itself! Check out the types of stripper available. There are different products for different jobs.
Wear suitable protective gear including goggles and gloves. These chemicals may burn.
Avoid breathing in the vapours. Check the label on the tin, and if required, wear a suitable mask designed to filter out the vapours.
Technique for stripping
Always protect the floor with a suitably resistant material.
The paint is removed with a variety of tools. The two most common being the stripping knife and the shave hook. Before applying heat or chemicals, scrape away loose paint.
For broad, flat areas the stripping knife is used in the same way as for removing wallpaper and is probably the most effective method.
For smaller shapes and mouldings, use the hook. The combination tool, with different profiles for work on different shapes, is the most versatile. Unlike the knife, this tool is used by scraping it along the surface towards you rather than away from you.
The cleaner you remove the paint, the less preparation work you will have later.
When burning off, use both hands – one to strip, the other to heat the next section. This will speed up the work.
Always guard against fire. Place a non-combustible container or board below your work.