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Strippers in the House

Strippers in the House

If my dad was with me writing this article …. he would have put the “kibosh� on the title of the article. But I like to get your attention and make you giggle. So let me tell you what I am talking about.

When I was at the National Hardware Show, I visited a booth outside. I was especially interested in paint strippers. Strippers have taken a big hit since they cannot put methylene chloride
otherwise known as ME in the formula. ME is the solvent in strippers that helped remove paint, varnish, and polyurethane. It also had a strong smell. But you used it outside, so the smell would dissipate quickly. And now strippers have a hard time doing a good job without ME. I had so many of my customers complain about how none of the strippers worked well. I always showed them the Soy Gel made by Blue Bear, but they wanted something that worked quickly. And Soy Gel does not. The originator would tell Dad, “Johnnie, put it on and then go play a round of golf. When you get back, it will be ready to be removed.� Most pros cannot wait that long. But you, as the DIYer, have more time.

So, have they come up with a better stripper? Yes, and no. I tried a lavender smelling stripper. It did a great job. I stripped off four layers of paint in about three hours. It had no bad fumes and I did this in my study that doubles as a Mad Scientist DIY lab. I tried a second stripper that is a family-owned company that did a great job also. It removed the same amount of paint in the same amount of time. Both strippers stripped down to the stain. I will have to sand, because you have to rinse off the stripper and that will raise the grain of the wood. It will just take a light sand. What I did notice, is that they didn’t leave a sticky residue that requires TSP or a strong soap. But what they both have in common is a higher price tag. They are twice as much as Soy Gel.

For my money, it’s still Soy Gel. Soy Gel NEVER had ME. It worked before that rule began. So, I feel like it is years ahead of the game. The price is great. And that’s important because you use more stripper when they are gels. You want at least an ¼� thickness in coverage. Think of it like icing. The thicker icing the better! If you put on the Soy Gel stripper too thin, it will dry out quickly and then you have to start all over. Cover your project with a clear plastic wrap, like Saran. When you take off the bulk of the stripper with a putty knife, the residue left will need a TSP or strong soap rinse. I like to use a Scotchbrite green scrubby sponge to really clean. If you have curvy pieces on the furniture, use a toothbrush to get in to all the corners. And rinse and clean outside. Don’t put any of that jellied residue down the drain. That would stop up a drain faster than pasta. You don’t want to have to explain that to the plumber!


Need a place to hang paper towels in the shop? Just take a 9-inch paint roller frame and attach it to the wall or pegboard. Slide on the paper towels. Now you have a coolest paper towel holder on the block!

Now to the email….

Question: Good morning. Just wanted to know if you still have the Shoo-Fly ant roach & spider spray.
I searched your site for it but didn’t see it.
Answer: Your right! But I have something even better. It’s made right here in Texas. I like to think they understand bugs in Texas better than anyone. The product is called Clobber. It has the same formulation as Shoo-Fly and the same residual. So, you can spray inside your home and be your own pest control. I like to quickly spray all the baseboards, windows, and doorways. It takes me about seven minutes to do all my house and then I am bug free for 60-90 days. Cost is under $12.