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The Home Depot

Why is Paint Removal Important?

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Painting > Why is Paint Removal Important?
Why is Paint Removal Important?

A big painting project is quite an undertaking. And if you decide to brush on a fresh coat, it’s recommended that you first get rid of the previous layer of paint. Removing that old paint is vital if you want to ensure that the new coat will stick to the wall or surface.


Failure to take the right steps from the start means you’ll be doing the same job over-and-over. You’ll not only end up with more work, but you’ll also empty your wallet purchasing more paint.


It’s just common sense that if you see flaking or peeling on the wall you’re about to cover, strip it first.

  1. 1.Sandblasting

    It’s just common sense that if you see flaking or peeling on the wall you’re about to cover, strip it first.

    Taking off the old to prepare for putting on the new depends on two things: The type of paint that was used and the composition of the surface it was brushed upon. You could go heavy-duty and sandblast the area. Just make sure that the surface is made of something that can stand-up to the blast. Hard surfaces like concrete or metal are ideal candidates for this type of stripping. Drywall or wood are not made to withstand such rough treatment.


    You can take a less-drastic route to remove paint from aluminum, sheet steel, plastics, magnesium and fiberglass. Low abrasion techniques like particle blasting will do the trick without warping or unintentionally marking-up the surface. Before you take on any approach, find a corner of the area you are about to strip and test out the method. This will keep you from creating any serious problems before you even begin.

  2. 2.Power Washers

    Your project is to paint the outside of your house. You might want to look into renting a power washer. Unlike sandblasting, the output of the device is just water. Using a power washer is a little challenging at first. The water spits from the nozzle at a very high pressure. This, however, is a bit gentler than sandblasting the area to remove paint from stone and concrete.


    Be aware that the high pressure that comes from a power washer can be really strong. Hold on tight and begin with a wide nozzle spray. Hit the areas that are less likely to sustain damage first – concrete and other masonry. Once you get the hang of things, move over to more sensitive surfaces, like wood.

  4. 3.Paint Stripping

    If you find yourself with a surface that won’t accept the strength of a power washer, you’ll have to take a more delicate approach. For example, you’d like to restore the natural wood on your deck. The only way to do justice to these surfaces means you’re going to need to buy some type of chemicals. Be forewarned, these materials are powerful. You want to make sure you know what you’re doing before considering taking this path.


    You’re going to want to protect yourself. Basically, we’re talking about full body armor.


    When you’ve finished, leave the protective clothing outside and take a shower immediately. You don’t want to break-out in a rash.


    After the stripper has done its job, you can power wash away the residue. Make sure that the run-off is collected and disposed of properly. Don’t want to use a power washer? Try scraping it off. Remember, test a small area of the surface you’re about to strip before applying the chemicals.

  5. 4.Safety

    Always wear the right clothes for the job. You might need more than a protective suit. You may need a respirator, goggles and heavy gloves too boot.


    Be aware of the paint you’re removing, too. Older paint probably is lead-based. Concerned with the dangers of paint removal? Look into hiring a paint contractor. They’ve got all of the tools and experience needed to make a project like this easy and safe.

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