Its a STRIP off!
{14 jan 2007}

Get your minds out of the gutter people. This is a renovation blog.
Im talking about paint strippers of course.

In the right corner, weighing 32 ounces is Kleanstrip's KS3 stripper. As per the packagings propaganda, its "America's #1 Stripper". I don't know when that survey was distributed but I never got my copy. Anywho, Mr. Limestone anticipated my desire to start a messy project of my own (as he was ripping the precious tiles from the walls down the hall) and picked this product up for me. Guess what convinced him to buy this one over the other options? I'll give you one guess. Marketing at its finest.

In the left corner, also weighing in at a quart but seemingly much heavier when you pick up (Mr. Limestone will have to explain that one to me at a later date) is Peel Away 6. Don't ask me how I remember this but this product was mentioned to me a year or more ago and stuck in my head for just such an occassion. Another trip to local diy home improvement store and we had all the makings for a stripper rumble.

I applied to short sides of two doors in the same room. Figure that was as good as a test case as any and they would have the same # of paint layers.

Peel Away comes right out and say is takes much longer (anywhere from 2 hours to 48 hours depending upon the # of paint layers) so that was a bit of a bummer to the instant gratification desire in me. Kleanstrip indicates it needs about 15 minutes to work. Kleanstrip: 1 pt, Peel Away 0.

The consistency of Kleanstrip is a bit like clear snot. Not as sticky as would be ideal for a vertical surface and its colorlessness makes it a bit difficult to see where you have applied vs where you have missed. Peel Away is more like a loose frosting. Very easy to see and nice and thick. Peel Away: 1 pt; Kleanstrip: 1 pt.

As soon as I managed to pry open the child safe top of Kleanstrip, the smell was THERE in full force. To be expected with anything that can burn thru a hundred years of paint, no? So no surprise. But Peel Away is odorless (or as odorless as something that I wont actually put my nose in to smell is). No child proof cap either which is nice for a klutz like me but probably a negative if you have a child who might eat some of this odorless frosting looking substance that can burn a whole in your stomach. Anyway, no smell is a point for Peel Away from me. Peel Away: 2pts, KleanStrip: 1 pt.

And here is the money shot. I wait 15 minutes, both surfaces seem to be bubbling the multiple coats of paint under there. So far, both on equal footing. I wait 15 minutes and try to scrape the Kleanstrip off. Not so good. It sort of comes off but I have really scrape. Its only a few square inches and Im already exhausted. Not a good sign. I reapply and leave it on for about an hour figuring if it took 100 years to get this many layers, I can wait an hour, right? An hour later..still sucks. About this time I figure I'll give the Peel Away a try. Slides right off. So long Kleanstrip, Peel Away's in town. Bing, bing, bing - Peel Away wins by knockout.
So we have a winner....not much of a fight really.

On to a real test...


  1. Did the Peel Away take the paint off, exposing the bare wood? Can't quite tell by the pic if you're pointing out the jamb, or the panels where it looks like the bubbling is happening.

  2. Yes, it did expose down to the wood. In my next post Im show photos of stripping the bannister. I took better photos of the wood close up so you can see how well it does for yourself.

  3. I can't tell you the number of layers of Jasco we used to try to strip the doors in our 1914 craftsman, only to give up. We've now realized we need to find somewhere to do it for us, or cough up the cash to buy something in good shape from the restorers around here.

    Good luck with the endeavors! It truly is a beautiful house. I can see why you guys decided to take the plunge.

  4. SWEET! When you're done there, can you stop over here? Anything without a smell is NUMBER 1 on my list with the children. Can't wait to see doors all stripped!

    I will of course need a complete time report as well.


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