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Before you start a stripping project, make sure you have the products you need for the job, including:

  • Jasco® product(s) right for the task at hand (Click here for the Jasco® Product Guide)
  • Heavy-duty plastic drop cloth
  • Chemical-resistant gloves
  • Chemical splash goggles
  • Stripping brush
  • 2 empty containers, metal or glass pan
  • Plastic scraper
  • Rags for clean-up
  • Orange sticks if project has grooves and detail
  • Mineral spirits if you want to clean your brushes
  • Ventilation fan if working indoors
  • Tools for removing hardware (like a screwdriver)
  • Stripping pads

Safety Checklist

  • Wear chemical splash goggles
  • Wear chemical-resistant gloves
  • Work outdoors. If inside, open all windows and doors to ensure proper ventilation and have a fan for cross ventilation, unless you are using a flammable stripper.
  • Apply remover to a small area up to 9 sq. ft.
  • Have rags nearby for quick clean up
  • Let used rags and paper dry before throwing away
  • Clean up according to federal, state and local regulations
  • Read label & cautions thoroughly

Get Rid Of Old Stripper

Many windows and doors are finished in old paint compounds that may contain hazardous materials. Make sure you dispose of old stripper and coating in a metal container, and keep this in a well-ventilated area until you are able to dispose of it. Check your federal, state and local guidelines for proper disposal.

The Basics of Stripping Paint and Varnish

With the right supplies and a few simple tips, stripping paint and varnish is easier than it sounds. Not all strippers remove all finishes, so check the Jasco® Product Guide to make sure you have the right stripper for the job and read the product label for any additional items you will need. Be sure to read all directions before starting any stripping project. Visit our Inspiring Projects page for more specific sample projects.

1. Preparation

Remove all hardware from the piece to be stripped. Spread out a heavy plastic drop cloth to cover the work area. Work in an outdoor or well-ventilated area out of direct sun and away from strong breezes. If working indoors, open all windows and doors and maintain a cross ventilation of moving fresh air across the work area with a fan, unless you are using a flammable stripper.  In this case, do not use a fan. Mask and tape off areas not to be stripped.

2. Apply the remover

Wear chemical splash goggles and chemical-resistant gloves and apply the stripper according to package directions. This may be by brushing or spraying. For brush applied strippers, pour some of the stripper into glass or metal container. Dip brush and apply to surface, always brushing in one direction only. Apply about 1/8” thick layer of stripper. For aerosol or sprayable strippers, follow the directions on the label and use short sweeping motions to apply an even coat.

TIP: Work on small surface areas, up to 9 sq. ft. at a time.

3. Let the remover work

Read the product label to determine how long to let the remover sit. Then begin removing the softened paint just before the remover starts to dry. If you start too soon, the remover may not have time to soften the coating or penetrate through all layers.

4. Scrape it off

Scrape off the softened paint using the plastic stripping tool so as not to harm the surface. Always scrape in the direction of the wood grain. Put all the scraped finish and remover into a second container

5. Remove the residue

Use a clean abrasive stripping pad with Jasco® Mineral Spirits to loosen remaining finish and remove any residue. Surface should be completely clean and dry before refinishing.

6. Clean-up

Return unused stripper to the original container and seal it tightly for your next project. Store container in a cool place, below 90°, out of direct sunlight. Take the scrapings outdoors and allow them to dry.  Then dispose of container in accordance with federal, state and local regulations. Wash brushes, hands and arms with cold soap and water.

Need help with a project? Ask one of our professionals — call 1.800.398.3892 or e-mail us.