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How Do I Know I Have the Right Product?

If you know what the paint/coating is that you are trying to remove and from what substrate, it should be possible to select the correct product by using our Product Selector. In some instances there may be more than one product suggestion. We always recommend that you carry out a test first.

Our trial packs are intended for this purpose

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How Much Product Will I Need?

The thickness of the paint/coating layer you are trying to remove, and the particular product used to remove it, will determine how thickly or how many applications you may need to apply. For more information, please refer to the individual Usage Data sheets.

By carrying out a test with a Trial Pack you will be able to determine more accurately the quantity required to complete the job.

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Is There Any Paint That Can't Be Removed?

Virtually any coating can be removed from virtually any surface. See I want to remove. Notable exceptions are limewash and cement based paints (e.g. "Snowcem"). Limewash (not to be confused with whitewash) is, once cured, a thin layer of limestone. Like cement mortars, it can be very slowly dissolved with an acidic cleaner but the process is extremely time-consuming, as the product has to be continually re-applied. Removal is therefore only practicable if the limewash is very thin. There is no straightforward solution, as any form of air-abrasive (blasting) or mechanical system will be destructive to the substrate.

On brickwork, try ACICLEAN liberally applied, brushed over every two or three minutes and pressure-washed off every fifteen minutes. Wet the surface thoroughly before you start to minimize the penetration of the product into the brickwork. If you use the pressure washer to do this, it will blow off any loose areas of limewash at the same time. Where limewash is revealed after removing an overlying paint layer, the options are generally:

  1. If the limewash layer is thin and patchy, consider attempting removal by the method described above.
  2. Leave it to weather away naturally.
  3. Apply limewash or lime paint over the top. These are very vapour-permeable finishes which will not inhibit the essential breathing characteristics of solid wall buildings. For more information regarding limewash and other lime products visit anglialime.com

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Do I Need a Pressure Washer?

Whilst a hot water pressure water is undoubtedly the quickest and easiest way to wash off the residue it is not always practical. If this is the case, then use a bucket of water, a scrubbing brush or Scotchbrite™ or similar and a sponge (- hot soapy water for solvent-based strippers, warm water, not soapy, for alkali-based strippers). This will usually give good results on reasonably smooth substrates, but be aware that a jet of water is much more effective than the bristles of a brush for removing the dissolved paint from rough or porous surfaces.

Our VACWASH pressure-washer/vacuum cleaner attachment makes it possible to use a pressure-washer in areas where the spray and runoff from a normal pressure-washer lance would be unacceptable.

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Can I Use the Products Indoors?

All alkali-based products may be used without special ventilation.

All solvent based products (Solvistrip, Resin Buster 410, Resin Buster 610 and Adhesive Remover 510) must only be used with good through draft ventilation and only small areas should be coated with these products at any one time to minimise the volume of any evaporation.

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Why Can't I Just Sandblast the Paint Off?

Air-abrasive systems, in their various wet or dry, high or low pressure forms, regardless of the type of abrasive, cannot distinguish between the coating to be removed and the substrate.

Coatings are also often harder or more resistant to the propelled abrasive than the substrate which is to be exposed, so that once the abrasive penetrates a small area of the paint, it rapidly erodes the substrate before removing adjacent areas of paint. Brickwork looking like dried sponge, carved stonework with its detail all but obliterated and woodwork with the appearance of sea-eroded driftwood are common examples of air-abrasive systems having provided a quick and easy but otherwise unsatisfactory solution.

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Can I Re-Paint the Substrate Afterwards?

Providing that the dissolved paint residues have been completely washed off and the substrate has been given at least two weeks to thoroughly dry, then it is possible to re-paint.

In some cases it is advisable to neutralise the surface with Neutraliser N-20 before painting.

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I Need 25 Litres, Why Do I Have to Buy 5 X 5 Litre Packs Instead of 1 X 25 Litre Pack?

Due to regulations regarding the carriage of goods, any of our products weighing over 10kg has to be despatched on a pallet. The delivery cost of a pallet is considerably more than despatching five individual parcels via a parcel carrier. It is also generally more convenient for the customer to receive the goods this way. For quantities over 30 litres a pallet delivery can be more cost effective. We will always calculate the most cost effective way to despatch your goods to you. For large quantities please contact us.

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How Do I Apply the Products?

Please see individual product data sheets for full details. Essentially our solvent or gel products should be applied by brush or spreader. For solvent-based strippers, do NOT use a brush with plastic bristles. For alkali-based strippers, ONLY use a brush with plastic bristles. Poultice strippers should be applied using a gauging trowel or other spreading tool.

For large areas, suitable airless spraying equipment may be used; please contact us for details.

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I Am Not Sure of the Paint/Coating I Am Trying to Remove.

Our Trial Packs are a quick and easy way to determine the most effective product if you are unsure what type of paint or coating you are trying to remove. Alternatively send us a sample of the full paint layer and we will do tests on it free of charge and advise you which product(s) should be most effective for the job. Simply post a sample of your paint or coating to us along with your contact details.


Samples should be as large as possible - certainly no smaller than a 50p piece. Make sure your sample is the full thickness of the paint layer.

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How Long Do the Products Take to Work?

This is dependant on the thickness of the paint/coating layer and which product is used. Some of our products need only be left on for 90 minutes whereas others benefit from being left overnight or longer.

For comprehensive instructions on dwell times for each product, see individual product usage data sheets that can be found on our Products page.

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What Is the Shelf Life of the Products?

The shelf-life of each of our products varies.

Please refer to the individual Usage Data Sheet for each product for specific information.

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Will the Products Damage Other Surfaces?

We always recommend masking any areas you are not working on with polythene (which will not be affected by any of our products). However please see individual product usage data sheets for information relevant to each product.

Please also ensure that you check for any adverse reaction with particular substrates, surfaces and materials that could come into contact with the products.

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Do I Need to Wear Protective Clothing?

Suitable protective clothing is recommended when using any of our products.

Specific information for each product can be found in its usage data sheet.

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Do You Have a Supplier in My Area?

Our products are only available directly from our website or by collection from our premises.

Thus you have a direct line of communication with us, ensuring that you can easily obtain answers to your queries about paint removal and the use of our products.

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Does It Work?

Providing you select the correct product(s) for the right coating(s) and substrate - yes!

If it doesn't, first check the usage data sheet. Make sure you have:

  • applied the product thickly enough
  • left it long enough to work (dwell time)
  • actually tried to wash off the residue

If you are still not obtaining the hoped-for results, contact us and we will try to help you rectify the problem.

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Can You Remove Wax?

Floor waxes and sealers can usually be removed with Solvistrip.

Wax and polish on wood surfaces (e.g. panelling) can often be removed with this product.

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Do You Have Any Recommended Contractors?

Yes. Email us with an outline of the job you want done, and we will give you names of appropriate contractors in your area.

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