How to Get Rid of Latex Paint

By Subodh / November 16, 2011

Latex has been used to paint homes for the last 20 years. It is preferable to oil paint because it is more durable.
You should first take off the old paint, if you are remodeling or repainting your home. When dealing with oil paints, special care should be taken. Oil paints contain lead which is a highly toxic chemical.

What you need to know about Latex Paints

Latex paints do not actually contain rubber, as the name would suggest. The term ‘latex’ is used to refer to its resemblance to latex and other rubber compounds. When it dries it appears rubbery.

They can be classified under acrylic paints and is water based. This means you can thin latex paint with water. It is its rubbery characteristic that gives it a long lasting ability. It can contract and expand easily without cracking. This will give your paint a bond for many years. Wear and tear or remodeling is the thing that will cause you to repaint your home.

Latex paint can give you a good finish. This is due to the fact that it can produce high gloss look. But sometimes latex paint can chip, wear or peel. When this happens you need to apply a new coat over it. You can also apply a coat of oil paint over it. In fact some professionals prefer using old latex paint as a primer in their work.
How to remove Latex Paint from surfaces

  • Chemical Paint Removers: chemical strippers are made up of solvents to dissolve paint. It is used to break the bond between the paint and the surface. All you need to do is apply the remover on the surface and scrape it off with a putty knife after you notice the paint bubbling. Each solvent is used for specific paints, make sure you use one designed for latex paint. Also be careful when using it as it is highly toxic.

They are preferably used on wood because they work better as compared to drywalls.

An alternative to use is the latest gel strippers, which also work well.

  • Heat Guns or Heat Removers: Heat can also be used to peel off paint from surfaces. A heat gun may be confused for a hair dryer because of its design. A hair dryer will not give you the right amount of heat you need for this purpose.

You will also find paint removers that produce heat, but not necessarily heat guns. They have scrappers attached to them.

Once you finish scrapping off the paint, sand the wood surface. If you would like the grains to show after you finish, soak it in water a few times and sand it when it dries.

You should start off with coarse sand paper and move on to fine sand paper. You can use steel wool for a perfect finish.

  • Sand off: The more old fashioned way of removing paint. You can either use a sander or do it manually with your hands. It requires a lot of patience.