Last updated on September 20, 2021
Painted metal looks clean when fresh but after time and age, it can become chipped, scratched, and leach corrosion.
In these cases or other scenarios, you might want some paint to be stripped or removed from a metal surface, as a call for metal to be polished, repainted, or reused with a different finish.
There are 3 major methods to be aware of when removing paint from metal.
Firstly know how to remove paint from the metals like chrome, aluminum, and steel.
How to remove paint from chrome?
Chrome is highly decorative steel mainly used in manufacturing automobiles and vehicles as well as the hardware inside buildings.
Paint stripper works best for removing paint from chrome without damaging it.
Simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions on chemical paint removers.
How to remove paint from aluminum?
Most aluminum paint is powder-based, making a plastic blast media and bead blaster the best method of removal. Apply the media and use the blaster at low pressures (13-15psi); it effectively removes paint one layer at a time and does not damage the substrate.
How to remove paint from steel?
Highly robust and versatile in terms of manufacturing, stripping paint from steel metal works best with either a chemical solvent or via buffing and grinding, depending on the type of paint used.
Most structural steel requires paint removal to be done using an angle grinder due to the immense size of the job.
More ways to remove paint from metal
How to strip paint from metal using hot water & a scraper?
Materials needed: Kettle/Teapot or Electric Kettle, Scraper/Putty Knife, Brush, Rag/Cloth, Disposable Container
This method is simple and is the most affordable option to strip paint so long as it’s done correctly for a small metal piece.
How to remove paint from metal using a paint stripper?
Materials needed: Paint Stripper, Mineral Spirits, Scraper, Rag/Cloth
Using a paint stripper is perhaps the most effective way to remove paint or spray paint from any metal surface, albeit being more costly because of the need to get specified chemical solutions.
How to remove paint from metal using baking soda?
Materials needed: Baking soda, Hot Water, Disposable Container, Scraper, Rag/Cloth
Using baking soda as opposed to just hot water can provide for a faster and more efficient paint stripping method. Works with enamel, acrylic, and oil-based paints.
How to remove paint from metal using a heat gun?
Materials needed: Heat gun, scraper, mineral spirits, Dry and damp cloth
While using a heat gun is commonly used to remove paint from wood, you can also use this tool to remove paint from metal. Just be careful not to overheat the metal to avoid warping.
How to remove paint using a wire brush attachment on an angle grinder?
Tools needed: Angle-grinder , wire brush attachment, Vise,/clamps, Rag/ cloth
A wire brush attachment on an angle grinder is good. It is also best to use for flaky and soft paint on corners and hard-to-reach areas.
Tips for removing paint from different metal surfaces
Metal window frame.
Metal window frames can be hard to reach given their placement in usually tight spots.
If you don’t know how to remove paint from metal window frames, you’d want to use a gel-based paint stripper here along with a narrow brush to remove paint with more control.
Clean the frames before applying the stripper so that it sticks better. Allow up to 24hrs for the gel to fully take effect then scrape.
If you have no idea how to remove paint from metal railings. You can go with either a dry-scrape or by using paint strippers.
For paint that’s just mildly old or still well-bonded, we recommend using a paint stripper to make it lose and viable for scraping, otherwise, just use a metal scraper or hard-bristle brush to scrape off already-peeling paint.
If you want to remove paint from metal doors keep note that metal doors can sometimes have multiple coats of paint, we suggest using a paint thinner 1st, followed by a good wash down using a pressure washer set to 80psi.
After the initial ‘strip’, use a heat gun to peel off secondary coats then scrape. Fully rinse everything off once the doors are paint-free.
Because metal hardware is often small, you can avoid using chemical paint strippers and just go with plain hot, boiling water.
You’d want to just let the pieces soak in a container filled with hot water for about 10 minutes, then manually scrape off the paint once it starts peeling.
Technically, these already count as furniture, so the process of how to remove paint from metal chairs is very similar.
Depending on the design and size, begin by cleaning your chair with a lightly dampened cloth.
Apply a paint thinner to all areas you wish to strip and allow it to set. Scrape, repeat, and rinse.
Hinges are mostly small metal pieces, even for large doors. They’re easy to work with and can be effectively stripped.
There are different methods on how to remove paint from metal door hinges: Either a heat gun, paint stripper, boiling water, or even a crockpot. You can even use a combination of methods, depending on the number of hinges you need to strip paint from.
Metal furniture can be quite intricate and will often have you hacking away at awkward angles and areas.
As a general tip on how to remove paint from metal furniture, we recommend using a paint stripper to bubble paint regardless of the metal’s shape. Scrape off any loose paint and then wash it down with mineral spirits to rinse off the chemical residue.
Metal is a very durable and lasting material.
Though painting metal is not always done, in the event that it is, it’s often for strengthening and aesthetic purposes.
It’s fully possible to reuse metal and strip off old paint in preparation for a new, fresh coat.
Removing paint from metal doesn’t need to be complicated and expensive.
In fact, you can effectively remove paint using common household items.
Hi, my name is David, and thanks for reading one of my articles.
As a construction cost estimator, and a car restoration enthusiast I share some of my skills here at Bangingtoolbox.
If you have any questions about your car restoration projects or if you have any queries about pricing a construction job, you can find out more about me here.