The Best Paint Stripper For Wood & Metal

Although there are many ways to remove paint from wood, metal or other substrates, the most effective method is to use a paint stripper. They are available as pastes or gels that can be used to clear a variety of different paint types.

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Best Paint Stripper
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A paint stripper make light work of removing paint by breaking the bond between the paint and surface. Rather than spending hours sanding the wood or metal, paint strippers can be applied in minutes and get to work straightaway.

The best paint stripper is Rustins Strypit, which is a non-caustic gel formulation that removes a range of paint types and can be used on wood, metal, glass, plaster and stone.

Paint Stripper Comparison

Paint StripperTypeCoverage Per Litre
Rustins StrypitGel5 m2
Nitomors RemoverGel2.5 m2
Kling Strip Peel-It-OffPaste0.3 m2
Polycell Maximum StrengthPaste1.6 m2
Biostrip 20Gel6 m2
Paint Panther RemoverGel6 m2

Due to EU regulations, some paint strippers are no longer as effective as they once were. The main chemical that has been reduced in most formulas is dichloromethane (DCM), which is due to safety concerns. However, this means that many manufacturers have revisited their formulas to make them safer and more environmentally friendly.

Below is a list of the best paint strippers that are a paste or gel and effectively remove multiple layers of paint.

The Best Paint Stripper

1. Rustins Strypit Varnish and Paint Stripper

Rustins Strypit
Rustins Strypit formula is a highly effective paint stripper that is suitable for wood, metal, glass, plaster and stone surfaces. It’s a non caustic dichlormethane free gel formulation that is safe to use but still performs to high expectations.

In terms of its stripping capabilities, Rustins state it will strip paint, varnish, polyurethane, emulsion, polish and lacquer.

Other features of the Rustins Strypit include:

  • Non caustic dichlormethane free gel
  • Suitable for wood, glass, stone, plaster and masonry
  • Removes a range of tough paint types
  • Works well alongside of a heat gun
  • 500 ml container but available in other sizes

Compared to many of the alternatives, the Rustins Strypit offers the best value for the money and provides highly effective stripping power. The only drawback is that it does require a generous amount of the product to remove thick layers of paint. However, it’s far cheaper than other formulas and is suitable for multiple surfaces.
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2. Nitomors Paint & Varnish Remover

Nitromors All Purpose Paint and Varnish Remover
The Nitomoros formula is by far the most popular paint stripper for wood, metal or masonry. It’s a green coloured non-drip gel that has a unique capability of changing colour once it’s ready to be removed from the surface.

In terms of the performance, the brand states that it can safely remove up to 15 layers in just 2-3 applications.

Other features of the Nitomors Paint & Varnish Remover include:

  • 2.5 square metre coverage per litre
  • Fast cutting formula
  • Non-drip and ideal for vertical surfaces
  • Available in 350, 750 or 2,000 ml bottles
  • Green coloured gel that acts as an indicator
  • Suitable for wood, metal and masonry
  • Dichloromethane free and less volatile than other strippers

To ensure that the paint stripper is safer to use, Nitomor has made changes to the formula over the years. This has resulted in less stripping power but it’s still a quality paint and varnish remover that is suitable for multiple surfaces.
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3. Kling Strip Peel-It-Off Paint Stripper

Kling-Strip - The Original Peel-It-Off Paint Stripper
The Kling Strip brand have been manufacturing their formula in the UK since 1974, which mean they know a thing or two about paint strippers. Their new and improved paint stripper is a “no scrape” remover that is ideal for multiple thick layers of tough paint.

In terms of the substrates it can be used on, the brand state its suitable for woodwork, beams, fibrous plaster cornices, cast iron and much more.

Other features of the Kling Strip Peel-It-Off include:

  • Highly effective paste
  • Removes paint in one application
  • Doesn’t require any scraping
  • Suitable for multiple substrates
  • Coverage of 3 to 6 litres per square metre
  • Used by professionals across the UK

Although expensive, the Kling Strip paint stripper is highly effective that is far better than a regular paint stripper. However, it’s not suitable for those that are looking to quickly remove paint as it needs to be left for up to 48 hours.
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4. Polycell Maximum Strength Paint Stripper

Polycell Maximum Strength Paint Stripper
Polycell are a highly reputable brand in the UK and their maximum strength paint stripper is suitable for paint or varnish removal. It comes as a non-drip paste formulation, which the brand states gets to work in just 20 minutes.

In terms of the application of the paste, simply use a spatula to apply it to the painted surface and wait at least 20 minutes. You are then able to remove the paste, which will also remove the paint.

Other features of the Polycell Paint Stripper include:

  • Strips up to 12 coats of paint in one application
  • Water washable
  • Easy to apply and remove
  • Non-drip paste
  • 500 ml container
  • Doesn’t require any scraping
  • Suitable for most type of paint or varnish

The Polycell paint stripper is an excellent all-round option that is suitable for both wood and metal. The only main drawback is that it’s relatively expensive per 500 ml container of the paste.
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5. Biostrip Water Based Paint Stripper

Biostrip 20 Paint Stripper
The water based paint stripped by the Biostrip brand is another popular option that is also affordable. It’s also been recently improved by thickening the formula, which reduces wastage of the product and dripping.

In terms of its performance, per 500 ml of the paint stripper, it will remove 2 to 3 square metres of paint.

Other features of the Biostrip Paint Stripper include:

  • Environmentally friendly to use
  • Available in a tub or spray on formula
  • Rub on clear gel formulation
  • Suitable for wood, stone, brick, metal, uPVC and glass
  • Removes water and oil based paints (as well as varnish and primer)
  • Produces a mild odour

The Biostrip paint stripper is a safe to use formula that provides great results for a range of paint types. It’s not as aggressive as some of the other strippers but this makes it more environmentally friendly to use.
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6. Paint Panther Paint & Varnish Remover

Paint Panther - Paint & Varnish Remover
The Paint Panther is an affordable paint and varnish remover that is easy to apply and fast acting. It’s a methylene chloride free and non-drip gel that easily clears through multiple layers of paint.

Other features of the Paint Panther Remover include:

  • Large 2.5 litre container
  • Easy to apply and remove
  • Non-caustic
  • Virtually odourless
  • Methylene chloride free
  • Non-drip gel formula

Overall, the Paint Panther formula is a cheap paint stripper that is suitable for a wide variety of paint types and surfaces. Compared to similar priced (by the litre) paint removers, it offers far more superior performance.
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Rather than spending hours sanding or rubbing down paint, you can opt for a quality paint stripper. They are designed to completely clear multiple layers of paint without the need of manual labour.

All of the recommendations within this article are suitable for a range of paint types and surfaces. To avoid disappointment, we advise that you analyze the type of surfaces that the paint stripper is suitable for. Some may be better on wood than they are at stripping paint from metal.

The Author Who Worked On This Article

author dan darimo

Dan Morgan

As a keen DIY’er, gardener and somebody that loves the latest tech, Dan is someone that brings years of experience in multiple trades. Since buying his first house, he has been obsessed with renovating properties and filling it with the latest products. This has led him down the road of testing hundreds of products and creating in-depth “how-to” and informative guides that offer his first-hand experience. Other interests include working on cars, keeping fit through sports or his home gym, caravanning and drinking great coffee.

If you would like to read more about Darimo and the authors, you can visit our about page. This goes into great detail regarding how we test products, create our guides and everything else.

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