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Removing Exterior Paint or Stain

When it is time for your home to have a new look, there are multiple ways to remove existing exterior paint or stain. Before you have painters redo your home exterior, find out which method they use to remove existing pigment. Each has its own benefits and suits different situations and home materials.

Chemical Solvents


If your previous exterior painting project used oil-based or latex paint, then a chemical solvent works great to remove it. The only tools needed are a low-quality brush and a putty knife. Extra layers of stripper may be needed if the color does not come off in one application. These chemicals are toxic, so keep pets and children away during the process.


High-Speed Abrasion


Sanding is a great way to smooth your existing surface and remove thin or old layers of paint or stain. One great benefits it that the tools for sanding can also be used on interior painting projects. Wood and steel are the best base materials for sanding, but do not sand aluminum, plastic or masonry. Painters need to be safe during this process and wear gloves, goggles and a protective mask.


Cleansing Water


Old homes with pealing or chipped paint can usually be power washed to remove the rest of the existing color. Two rules of thumb to follow are to remain six or 8 inches from the wall and to angle the high-pressure sprayer down or horizontally. Hardwoods handle this treatment well, but softwoods, like cedar and redwood, should be stripped with other methods.


Removing old paint and stain from the exterior of your home is an important step in painting. Local painters should know the correct method to use on your home, so ask in advance what the plan is. When you know safe ways to remove paint and stain from your home, you can be protected from damage.