Remove Paint from Metals without Chemicals

You may think you have to use solvents to remove paint from metal, but you're wrong. There are less corrosive and less toxic ways to do so.
Remove Paint from Metals without Chemicals

Last update: 28 January, 2021

Remember that metal chair you painted a couple of years ago to give it a new look? It’s kind of old-fashioned looking now and you’d like to remove the paint. Of course, you’re looking for a non-toxic way to do it. So, continue reading to find out how to remove paint from metals without chemicals.

When to remove paint from metal

A paint can.

Old paint is hard to remove. There may be not one, but several layers and so the task is even more difficult.

You might just want to remove the paint entirely instead of painting again and adding yet another layer that’ll make it even thicker.

Removing paint can be somewhat cumbersome. But it’s important, especially if the surface or object you’re trying to improve is visible, such as a gate or a door.

Metal is used for the railing of country houses and people paint them without bothering to remove the old paint.

You might want to remove the paint for several reasons. The surface could be chipped or perhaps it no longer matches your decor.

Methods to remove metal paint

Perhaps you think that removing metal paint requires the use of corrosive or toxic chemicals. And while it’s true they’d make your job simpler, they’re also bad for your health — especially if you use them indoors.

Or perhaps you just don’t want to use these chemicals due to allergies and want a “homemade” alternative. So, take a look at the following ways in which you can remove metal paint without harsh chemicals.

1. Sander

A person sanding metal.

You can use an electric sander if the surface is large. However, sandpaper will do the job if it’s something small and doesn’t have too many layers of paint. But if you have to remove a lot of accumulated paint from a gate or another large object then mechanical removal is your best option.

Keep in mind that you must be very careful with the sandpaper (especially if it’s an electric sander) as it’ll remove the paint, but it could also put a dent in the metal. So, what’s the procedure? Use coarse sandpaper at the beginning and then change it to a finer version. Sand evenly and carefully. You might want to finish it by hand.

2. Wire brush

A metal wire brush can remove paint from metals.

Suppose you’d like to remove the paint from a metal or iron fence but you don’t want to buy a sander (you probably won’t need it afterward). So, do you have a drill? (This is a common tool in most homes and there are many uses for it) All you have to do is put a wire brush in it and use it as you would a sander.

Of course, you must be very careful not to scratch the metal, so remove the thicker layers with the drill and then finish it by hand, with sandpaper.

3. Torch

A torch is a great way to remove paint from metals.

This is a more professional way to remove metal paint. It isn’t common to have a torch at home though but ask around, you might be able to borrow one.

The heat will melt the paint and it’ll be easier to remove it from a surface. You can then use a spatula or a wire brush to remove the rest.

4. Olive oil

Olive oil is great for removing paint from metals.

Did you paint your house and dripped on some metal objects? Here’s a great way to remove this paint. Apply a little olive oil to the blob and then rub it with a thick brush rotating counterclockwise.

If you can’t remove it this way use a spatula — you might have to add some pressure. The slippery surface (due to the oil) will make it easier.

These solutions for removing metal paint are useful for revamping your old, cherished objects.

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