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Safely Peel Paint Off a Porch? Ask Annie

Safely Peel Paint Off a Porch? Ask Annie

Dear Annie,
I just wanted to know if you could help me. I have wood, which is painted, and over that it has been sprayed with an aerosol can of metallic paint (it’s already flaking) was wondering if you had any ideas of completely removing these paints. I don’t really want to use paint stripper, something homemade and inexpensive would be awesome. Please get back to me. –BigBoy008, UK

Dear BigBoy008,
Yes, I have the perfect thing for you, and synchronistically, I am helping advise a friend on his porch using just this, and it is working perfectly. Cover the peeling paint with a good thick damp paste of washing soda, keeping it damp. Let the paste set as long as possible (24 hours would be ideal, keeping it wet by spraying with water from a clean spray bottle, or just flicking water around), rinse, scrubbing with a brush as you go, and za-zing, off comes the paint! Washing soda is also known as sal soda.

Wear gloves because washing soda is quite caustic as it is very alkaline, although it puts off no harmful fumes. And kudos to you for not wanting to use a toxic paint stripper! Even the so-called natural ones that I have seen are high in VOCs.

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on anniebbond.com, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

26 comments

+ add your own
2:47AM PDT on Jul 28, 2012

Good info.

7:26AM PDT on Jul 10, 2012

Thanks for the info.

12:30AM PDT on May 1, 2012

Thanks for sharing

6:49PM PDT on Mar 15, 2012

Thanks for sharing.

9:59PM PST on Jan 30, 2012

Thank you, Annie. Haven't had to do this sort of thing recently, but will file this one away too.

4:35PM PST on Nov 18, 2011

Thanks for the article.

9:11AM PDT on Nov 5, 2011

Thanks!~

9:11AM PDT on Nov 5, 2011

Thanks!~

4:39PM PDT on Sep 12, 2011

good advice

7:56AM PDT on Aug 10, 2011

Thank you

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