...the seedy underbelly of the stripping world...

...paint stripping, that is...

Ever tried it?

This is what I used...

My husband picked this up for me at Home Depot...I've never stripped anything of it's paint before so I can't compare it with another brand, but it worked really well...and fast...and the paint really did come right off...BUT, it's not a pretty process...and it's not that much fun.

 Case in point:

This was what I had half-way through the stripping of this air register...(which, btw, will be going in my daughter's newly-almost-done-sorta-finished bedroom)

*A fairly well-stripped register (instead of buying a new register, I had to strip the old one of all it's yuck-o paint layers...as with everything else in our house, NOTHING  is standard and they don't make new registers to fit our apparently odd-shaped vents...go figure).

*One pair of gloves that are specially made for using with paint/varnish remover (mandatory)...covered with old (and now gummy) paint. Yuck.

*One plastic knife (my original plastic paint-scraper...) - this did not work well at all...in fact, I think it actually hindered the paint removal process. Gross.

*My Lifetime Fitness membership card...don't worry, the one that was sacrificed for this project is not the "real" one...I've had two cards ever since the "Great Membership Card Fiasco of 2009"...not like I use it all that often anyway...(wink).

After I snapped this photo I took the register over to the hose and sat down with my "paint scrapper/membership card" and scraped away at all the little slats...rinsing the gummy stuff away as I went (pretty sure that washing away part wasn't included in the directions, but it worked for me...it kept all the super-messiness under control)...

Next step, stripping the back...then, repainting & reattaching to the wall...

The whole process took about 30 minutes (not including the 30 minutes it takes for the Citristrip to work)...and I still have to do the other side...all in all I'd say it's worth it...but I'm really glad stripping paint is not my day-job...


  1. Those are the jobs I don't love ... messy, nitty, gritty. Glad it's working though!

  2. I striped an old dresser once. It literally took me a week (and that was before I had my kids to...um...help. Honestly, I hated it and I've never done it again. I sand everything now with my little sander. I know thats not the right way but it's what I do.

  3. Ugh! You are brave. I would have been on the search for a sandblaster. LOL. Hope the backside is easier than the front.


  4. I have never tried it but my husband uses paint stripper on old school BMX bikes (his hobby) all the time! I had to pick some up from the auto parts store last Saturday. I always feel out of my element when I enter auto parts stores but they were really nice and helpful!

  5. The title alone was enough to make my day :-) I've never stripped paint, but it doesn't look like much fun. I'm excited to see how it all turns out, though!

  6. I've only stripped once, but it was enough for me! In fact, it was back in college! (haha) I stripped multiple layers of paint off a piece that had been my dad's old record player cabinet-turned bookshelf in my room as a baby/child. I then stained it and used it as a media console in my college appartment. Since it was soooooo long ago, I don't remember what I used, only that it was indeed a very messy and not very fun project. Can't wait to see the finished results of your daughter's room!

  7. Yuck sounds like no fun at all!!! I'm sure it will look great though, and I'm excited to see your daughter's room!!

  8. Good advice Maggie! I sort of worry about all of my furniture painting right now----I might be using a lot of this stuff someday down the road!

  9. Citristrip is amazing. I used it on a server restoration earlier this year. Check out the link, the server looked nuked and the stripper took 2 layers of really old paint off very well.


  10. This is why I don't have any cute, quirky vintage pieces in my house. You'd have to do some stripping, and I can't maintain my attention on that one frustrating activity long enough to make anything look good! Good for you, though, for sticking it out!

  11. I am not a fan of stripping paint either. It is an awful job and most of the stuff you use has a horrible, headache inducing smell.

    Good luck with the back side.



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