If you remember, last week I had the random hankering to get my months old fireplace mantle project started, so I picked up a jug of paint stripper from Home Depot after work and gave it a shot…

Wanna know how it turned out?  (and again sorry for the terribly blurry pictures…)


some progress...

Not so well, as you can see…

i see some white paint!

i can see white paint!

Not so good, huh?  I used a product called Citristrip.  Here’s what I ran into:

  • Nowhere on the bottle did it say to glop it on thickly: 1/8″ at least, according to the website (which I checked the next day).
  • The places where I put on a thinner layer dried up by the time I got around to scraping it ~ 18 hours later the following evening it was all dried up.
  • The places that were still scrape-able made an awful mess and barely got 2-3 layers of paint (and there are probably 15 layers on this mantle).
  • Although it said it had a “pleasant citrus scent”, it stunk to high heaven for at least four days like citrus masking chemicals.  I definitely had the well windows open with a fan blowing the odor out!


making a little scraping progress

I guess the lesson learned is to not apply it at 10PM and expect it to be wet the next night! – it needs eyes on it until prime scrape-ability.

Anyway, my co-worker who previously recommended Peel Away 7 and sparked my motivation to do this mantle brought in a leftover tub of it to work for me yesterday.  Isn’t that nice?!

He told me it was an odor-less, highly effective, and easy-to-clean-up paint stripper.   The unique thing about this product is that it comes with sheets of a fibrous paper (kind of like parchment paper) that you cover the goop with and then peel and scrape off so it all sticks to the paper for quick clean-up.


round 2 of paint stripping!

There was only enough left in the tub for me to do one half of the mantle, but I think it is a good test to see if I’m willing to buy the $68 mack-daddy gallon of it at Home Depot for this and future projects.

So I painted it on (1/8-1/4″ is what was recommended)…



And covered it with the special paper…


just like decoupage!

…making sure to get all the air bubbles out and all painted areas covered…


in all the nooks and crannies

And it seriously had no odor.  How is that possible?!  Brilliant!

I’ll be sure to let you know how this attempt goes!

Have you ever tried to strip a gazillion layers of paint off of wood?  Any recommended products?

{I have not been compensated to write about either paint stripper, just trying to share my experiences!}