Paint Remover: How To Safely Remove Old Paint From Your Home’s Exterior

Have you ever looked at your home’s exterior and thought, “it’s time for a brand new cost of paint?” Are you wondering how to safely remove old paint from your home’s exterior? Paint removal is a crucial step in preparing for an exterior home painting job, but it can be a dangerous and damaging task if done improperly. That’s why it’s crucial to know the different methods of paint removal and which one is best for your situation.

In this blog post, we’ll provide an overview of the various tools and techniques you can use to safely remove old paint from your home’s exterior. By the end of this article, you should feel confident in your ability to safely remove paint from your home’s exterior.

How To Safely Remove Old Paint From Your Home’s Exterior

Tribble Painting Team Working On Exterior Of A Home

When it comes to renovating your home’s exterior, one of the most important steps is removing old paint. Not only does this allow you to start with a clean slate, but it also helps to ensure that your new paint job will look smooth and professional. And if you’re wondering what type of paint to use on your home, be sure to check out our guide to the best exterior house paints for four different siding types.

However, before we delve into the various tools and methods for removing exterior paint, we need to cover some essential health warnings.

Exterior Paint Removal Warning

Before you start removing paint from your home’s exterior, it’s important to keep in mind that this can be a hazardous task. Lead-based paint, which was used in homes before 1978, can be harmful if ingested or inhaled.

If your home was built before 1978 and you suspect that the paint on your home’s exterior may contain lead, it’s best to have a professional test for it before you start removing it. If lead is present, it’s important to follow proper safety protocols to avoid exposure.

Manual Tools for Paint Removal

When it comes to removing paint by hand, there are a few basic manual tools that can come in handy. Working with these tools may take some elbow grease, but they are reliable and don’t require any additional equipment or power sources.

They are helpful when you need to strip away small areas of paint or when there is limited access to power sources. That being said, they may not be as effective as power tools in larger-scale jobs that require more precision and speed.

Paint Scraper

Stripping old paint from the wall. Renovation and painting of walls in the apartment.

Not surprisingly, a paint scraper is probably the best manual tool you can use to remove exterior paint. A paint scraper is sturdy and very effective at removing tough-to-remove paints.

Putty Knife

Putty knife used as a paint scraper on weathered boards

Putty knives are available in a range of thicknesses. For the best results for removing paint, aim for a putty knife that has a thicker and more rigid edge.

Wire Brush

Man remove the old paint from the wooden surface with wire brush

A wire brush is an excellent tool for scrubbing off stubborn flakes of paint. However, it works best if used in conjunction with a paint scraper.

Power Tool Attachments for Removing Paint

If you prefer to use a power tool to remove paint, there are several attachments available that are designed to attach to standard power tools you may already own, such as a power drill or angle grinder.

Wire Wheel Attachment

Old metal door repairing, rust and paint cleaning

This is basically the power version of a wire brush. It works well for removing thick layers of paint quickly. Just remember to not apply too much pressure, or you will mar the underlying surface.

Sandpaper Attachment

New sanding paper attachment for handheld electric sander

A sandpaper attachment works well for more detailed work. However, since this method of paint removal immediately converts the paint into fine dust that can be inhaled, you should first make sure that you are absolutely not dealing with any lead paint.

Abrasive Flap Disc Attachment

An abrasive flap disc attachment essentially works like a sandpaper attachment. Again, you should be cautious about using this method if you suspect there is lead paint present.

Carbide Disc Attachment

Carbide disc attachments can also be used for paint removal and are often used to remove paint from metal surfaces.

Electric Sanders

If you want to go the sanding route, you may just want to go ahead and get a dedicated power tool for that purpose. Electric sanders are a great option when it comes to efficiently removing large amounts of old paint.

Electric sanders come in many different sizes and shapes, so make sure to pick one that suits your needs best–along with safety gear like protective eyewear and work gloves. If you want to quickly remove large amounts of paint, opt for a belt sander. If you are aiming for a smoother finish, try an orbital sander.


Person sandblasting metal.

Sandblasting is another powerful and effective way of removing old layers of paint from surfaces such as wood or metal without damaging them too much in the process. However, sandblasting requires specialized equipment and should be done by professionals who have extensive experience in this area due to its hazardous nature.

Like sanding, sandblasting comes with risks related to the potential release of hazardous particles into the air, so be sure to take safety precautions when using this method on a large-scale project.

Chemical Paint Removers

Yellow Paint being removed with chemicals

Chemical paint removers work by using solvents like methylene chloride or caustic soda (or lye) mixed with water to help soften up and dissolve the existing coat of paint, allowing it to be easily scraped off afterward. Chemical paint removers may be a good option when removing paint from brick or stone facades because some of them are formulated specifically for these materials and work quickly without damaging them in any way. On the other hand, chemical paint removers are not cost-effective if you are working on a large area.

However, it should be noted that many of these types of removers can be quite toxic, so make sure to read instructions thoroughly and wear protective gear when using them. And never mix different types of chemical removers together, as this could cause dangerous fumes or even explosions!

Note: There are a few less toxic chemical paint removers available on the market now, including soy-based gel paint removers and citrus-based paint removers.

Removing Paint with Heat

If done correctly, heat is an effective way to melt away old layers of paint without causing any damage to the underlying surface material. This method can be used on wood surfaces but should not be used on metal surfaces since it could cause warping due to rapid expansion and contraction caused by sudden changes in temperature.

Caution must always be exercised when removing paint with heat since it can cause serious burns or fires if handled improperly. Heating up lead paint can also release dangerous fumes into the air.

Propane Blowtorch

Selective focus on propane gas canister with blurred nozzle and head of blowtorch in the background

This method is best used for larger projects and those that require more precision than the other two methods listed here. A propane blowtorch is an excellent tool for quickly and effectively melting away old paint from any surface.

It also allows you to control exactly where the heat is applied, making it easy to avoid damaging areas around the paint that should not be heated up as well. When using a propane blowtorch, it is important to wear protective gear such as goggles, gloves, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt in order to protect yourself from the open flame.

Electric Heat Gun

Vintage window restoration, worker using putty knife and electric heat gun to remove old paint

The electric heat gun is another great option for removing old paint from your home’s exterior surfaces. It is much safer than using a propane blowtorch since it produces less heat and does not have an open flame as the propane torch does.

This makes it ideal for smaller projects or those that require more precision than can be achieved with the propane torch. The electric heat gun also has multiple temperature settings, so you can adjust it depending on what type of surface you are working with and how much heat needs to be applied in order to remove the paint safely.

Infrared Paint Remover

An infrared paint remover is a unique tool that uses infrared radiation from special bulbs in order to melt away old layers of paint without producing any smoke or fumes at all. This makes it a great choice for anyone who wants an eco-friendly way of getting rid of old paints without having to worry about any noxious fumes being released into the air during their project.

Just like with the other methods mentioned here, it is important to make sure that you are wearing protective gear while using this tool in order to keep yourself safe while working on your project.

Power Washing to Remove Paint

Power washer removing loose paint

Power washing is a great way to give your home’s exterior a fresh new look, but it is not a great way to remove old exterior paint. It is very difficult to apply enough force to remove the peeling paint and still avoid causing any harm to wood, siding, or other underlying materials.

So while we recommend using a power washer to gently clean off the home’s exterior in preparation for painting, we don’t recommend it as a method for removing paint. Even when using a power washer to clean a home’s exterior, we advise homeowners to first try out their pressure settings in an inconspicuous place on their house.

Tribble Painting Company Are Your Paint Removal Experts

No matter which method you choose when attempting to remove old layers of paint from your home’s exterior, safety should always come first. Be sure that all necessary safety precautions have been taken before beginning any project involving hazardous materials such as chemical strippers or high temperatures like heat guns or blowtorches.

If you prefer to let the professionals handle your painting needs, don’t hesitate to reach out–just fill out our contact form today, and one of our painting professionals will reach out to you as soon as possible.

Share the Post:

Related Posts