Preparing Surfaces with Paint Strippers and Removers

Before you rejuvenate that great garage sale find, update old kitchen cabinets or restore hardwood floors with paint, wood wax and sealer products from The Real Milk Paint Company, you want to take steps to ensure the paint or finish adheres well and stays put once dry. One way to accomplish this is using products like paint strippers and paint removers to lift off any old finish or paint left on the surface. First, you need to discover the original color of the wood beneath, and a good way to do this is choosing an out-of-the-way spot on the surface and peel away the finish.

This gives you a good idea of how the rest of the surface will look unfinished, and it helps you decide whether you wish to seal it with wood wax or pure tung oil or use paint removal products to strip away everything and start with a fresh coat of milk paint. While heat paint stripping can often remove paint and varnish quickly, it tends to have a larger learning curve and be less forgiving than options like varnish remover, paste paint strippers or even sanding. With that in mind, Real Milk Paint offers the best paint stripper products geared toward do-it-yourself projects that help you easily achieve the results you desire.

Soy-Gel Professional Paint Remover

Made from 100% American-grown soybeans, Real Milk Paint’s Soy-Gel Paint Remover offers industrial-strength quality to your home improvement projects. It removes not only enamel and latex paint but also lead-based paint, pulling the lead into the gel itself instead of allowing particles to become airborne. This lets you remove the toxins and dispose of them safely for added confidence when working with older furnishings. Additionally, the no-odor formulation makes it pleasant to work with Soy-Gel both indoors and out, and it works in low temperatures for extra convenience.

Take off multiple layers with a single application of Soy-Gel thanks to its low evaporation point, and rely on it for three times the coverage of traditional paint removers. While the flexible formulation works great on a piece of furniture and fixtures, it also makes a great choice for stripping away concrete surface sealers and two-part epoxies with less than 40% solid content. This versatility means you can use it to prep old planters and outdoor furnishings for a new coat of milk paint. Since it’s made with soybeans instead of alkaline-based ingredients or methyl chloride, this means it is much safer to use. Clean up residue with just TSP and water to complete your project.

Get just the amount you need for large and small projects alike. Quart containers that cover 34 square feet of surface area work great for antique bureaus and armories, while gallon containers that cover up to 135 square feet provide an ample amount for removing paint from entire bedroom suites. For bigger projects like kitchen cabinets, choose 2.5-gallon containers that strip 337 square feet and 5-gallon containers that remove 675 square feet.

If it dulls fiberglass surfaces after use, simply polish them with a rubbing compound to bring back their original luster.

Powdered Milk Paint Remover

Strip away thick layered milk paint quickly and easily with powdered Milk Paint Remover by The Real Milk Paint Company. An economical and safest stripper alternative to solvent-based paint strippers, this powdered formulation mixes with water to create a thick cream with no toxic chemical fumes, flammable hazards or acids. Application of powdered Milk Paint remover dissolves up to eight layers of paint at once, and it eliminates the need to scrape surfaces as it simply wipes away from the surface you’re treating.

This paint removal product comes in half-gallon and gallon containers. The 1-pound container of powdered Milk Paint remover mixes with water to provide a half-gallon of remover, while the 2-pound container gives you enough powder to make a gallon of remover. The light weight makes these products simple to ship to your home or shop, and since you do all the mixing, you can make as little or as much of the remover as you need for each project. For the best results, use Milk Paint Remover in areas that are 65 degrees F and up, as it works faster the warmer the setting. Keep the remover wet with a spray bottle of water  to keep the stripping action working 

Keep in mind that when removing thin layers of modern oil paint, synthetic sealers or clear finishes like shellac, varnish or lacquer, you’ll likely need to use a solvent paint stripper instead of powdered Milk Paint Remover. Also, this product has the potential to damage soft goods like leather, linoleum, plastic, aluminum and clothing, so keep it off those surfaces and wear a smock or old clothing when applying it to your projects.

Oxalic Acid Wood Bleach

Restoring wood furniture and flooring stained by iron is simple with The Real Milk Paint Company’s Oxalic Acid Wood Bleach. It removes dark stains caused by trace metals in water and urine, making it a great choice for those who want to repair furnishings with water rings from glasses or items damaged by pets. It’s made from all-natural organic compounds found in vegetables like rhubarb, spinach and sorrel; nevertheless, Oxalic Acid Wood Bleach is very powerful and requires protective gear during use. It comes in 16-ounce containers, ensuring you have plenty for most projects.

Keep in mind that just a little bit of Oxalic Acid Wood Bleach goes a long way. Fixing small spots requires dissolving just 2 tablespoons in hot tap water, while fixing larger spots or large sections of hardwood floor requires more. Once dissolved, apply the mixture with a small artist’s brush to just the affected area. It may take multiple treatments to remove the stain, and sometimes, you’ll get a halo effect. If this happens, simply wet a rag with the acid mixture and lightly coat the surface with a paint brush to even out its tone. To neutralize Oxalic Acid Wood Bleach after you achieve the look you want, wet a rag with borax and wipe down the area you treated with the stain remover.

Tri-Sodium Phosphate

Ready surfaces for Real Milk Paint application by using Tri-Sodium Phosphate all-purpose cleaner. This powerful cleaning agent helps prepare furniture, flooring and decor for fresh color by cleaning everything from grease and grime to soot and stains. After using paint removal products to get down to the surface you wish to treat, mix 2 tablespoons of Tri-Sodium Phosphate all-purpose cleaner with a gallon of water, then wash down the surface for a residue-free finish that Real Milk Paint adheres to well.

The Real Milk Paint Company’s Tri-Sodium Phosphate all-purpose cleaner comes in 4- and 8-ounce containers, so you can select the size that best suits your project. Because you mix it up at the time of use, you typically use only the amount you need at the time. This makes it an economical choice for DIY projects and eliminates the need to have pre-mixed chemicals sitting around your work space. Additionally, it cuts through most any type of dirt, so you can use it to thoroughly clean off butcher blocks before treating them with tung oil or even to wipe down counters damage-free.

When working with Tri-Sodium Phosphate all-purpose cleaner, be sure to wear eye protection, gloves and a long-sleeved shirt. While it’s safe for most surfaces, this chemical offers heavy-duty cleaning power, so it has the potential to cause irritation and burns if it contacts sensitive bare skin area’s. Likewise, clean up splashes with care during use, and wash all clothing that touches the substance well before you use or wear them again.

Starting Your Paint Removal Project

Before you start using paint removal products from The Real Milk Company, you need to prepare your work space. Do this by laying down canvas drop cloths or 6-mil plastic sheeting to reduce damage to other furnishings in the immediate area. Extend protection out by at least 6 feet to be sure, then cover the area immediately underneath the item you’re restoring with old newspapers or contractors’ paper to prevent slippage and avoid larger spills.

Next, remove hardware and other project elements you don’t want to treat with paint removers. Either unscrew them and put them aside or cover them up completely with painter’s tape designed for resistance to solvents. If you plan on using a heat gun for any part of the project, protect elements with metal paint shield or aluminum foil tape. Additionally, cover air vents in your space to prevent dust from contaminating your work area.

While restoring furniture might seem like a tough job for do-it-yourselfers, The Real Milk Paint Company eases the stress with products suitable for every step of the process. Our paint removal products help you prep surfaces quickly and easily for application of Real Milk Paint and our variety of sealers and waxes.