How to Neutralize Paint Stripper

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Things You'll Need

  • Rag

  • Steel wool (optional)

  • Turpentine

  • Vinegar

  • Mineral spirits

  • Commercial paint neutralizer


Some biodegradable paint strippers recommend simply washing them off with water when you are finished.


Protect yourself by wearing gloves and working in a well-ventilated area.

Household vinegar will neutralize some paint strippers.
See More Photos

Paint stripper is a strong chemical that dissolves paint, allowing you to remove paint from a wall or other surface. However, once the paint is gone the stripper needs to be neutralized or it will stay on the surface and any further paint won't bond and will peel off. Paint strippers come with recommendations for how to neutralize them, and they will vary depending on the type of stripper you choose. Many products are available, and they range from household items to commercial preparations. Always apply neutralizers with a cloth or steel wool as soon as you finish removing the paint and before the wood dries.


Video of the Day

Step 1

Soak a rag or a steel wool in turpentine until it is saturated, and rub it over the surface to neutralize the paint. Wait until the turpentine is dry before repainting the item.

Step 2

Mix vinegar and water together in equal proportions, and rub it on the surface to neutralize caustic paint removers.


Step 3

Rub mineral spirits on solvent paint strippers to neutralize the remover.

Step 4

Apply a commercial paint neutralizer according to the manufacturer's instructions. These are an added cost but have the right balance of acids and bases to efficiently neutralize the stripper.