How to Remove Paint From Metal

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Things You'll Need

  • Chemical stripper

  • Sandpaper

  • Sandblaster


Wear a quality respirator or mask to filter out unwanted dust and debris.

How to Remove Paint From Metal. Removing paint from metal surfaces is a task tackled many different ways depending on the type of metal and paint. Old ironwork and ornate pieces require more finesse and elbow grease than a simple flat, easy-to-access pieces. The decision to use chemical strippers, sandpaper or wire brushes is entirely up to the person undertaking the project.


Step 1

Clean the entire piece of metal with a damp or tacky cloth before trying to remove any paint. Wipe away any loose rust or flaking metal.

Step 2

Use a wire brush to remove any more difficult areas of rust. Use a firm back and forth action to strip away stubborn areas of loose debris and dirt.

Step 3

Strip away the paint from the metal by applying a chemical paint stripper. Apply chemical strippers with brushes, then hose off.

Step 4

Sand away the paint with commercial metal 80-grit sandpaper followed by a light sanding with 120-grit sandpaper. Work the sandpaper into difficult to reach areas of the metal piece.


Step 5

Sandblast away paint from metal using a sandblaster if needed. These machines rent by the day, yet are available for sale at home improvement or hardware stores. Blowing sand onto the metal piece under great pressure strips all of the unwanted paint from the metal work.

Step 6

Wipe down the entire piece of metal after paint removal for a clean surface.