In this section:

Items You’ll Need

  • Citristrip® Paint & Varnish Stripping Gel
  • Chemical splash goggles
  • 2-3 pairs of chemical-resistant gloves
  • Plastic stripping tool
  • Abrasive stripping pad
  • Stripping brush (for working small areas)
  • Wooden orange sticks (for working detailed areas)
  • 2" or 3" natural-bristle paintbrushes
  • Metal container, clean and empty
  • Heavy plastic drop cloths (6 mil recommended)
  • Soft cotton rags for cleanup
  • Citristrip® Paint Stripper After Wash
  • A fan to ventilate the work area

Before You Start

1. Read The Instructions
Always read all cautions and directions on the product label before beginning a project. You should understand all aspects of the projects before you begin.

2. Prepare The Work Area
For best results, use chemicals in temperatures between 65° and 85°F. Open all windows and doors and use a fan to maintain a cross ventilation of moving fresh air across the work area. Protect surrounding areas with a heavy plastic drop cloth. Tape off painted areas around the wood you’re stripping.

3. Ready To Begin
When you are ready to get started, put on your chemical splash goggles and solvent-resistant gloves. Make sure you have soft rags within easy reach for cleanup during the project.

For Nooks And Crannies

If the wood you are working on has a lot of intricate detail, pointed wooden orange sticks make great tools for detail. Available at drugstores, they allow you to scrape stain and varnish out of detailed recesses in sculpted areas of wood.

Removing Paint In Small Spaces

If the medicine cabinet in your powder room needs a touch-up, don't worry. With the right ventilation, a few safety precautions and a non-caustic stripper, it's a doable job. And the new paint will give your bathroom a fresh makeover.


Working In An Enclosed Space

Step 1

Step 1: Set Up
Pour the Citristrip® Paint & Varnish Stripping Gel into the metal container.

If you are working with a piece of furniture or other object that has removable pieces of hardware, such as handles or other ornaments, remove these first and set them aside.

Step 2

Step 2: Lay It On Thick
Brush an even, liberal coat of stripper gel, at least 1/8" thick, to a small area (up to 9 sq. ft.) Use short strokes in one direction only. Make sure to use the tips of your brush to work the stripper gel into the recesses of the wood.

Step 3

Step 3: Check Progress
After 30 minutes, you should start to see the chemical reaction happening. The paint will start to bubble up and swell, and this will show that the finish is separating itself from the surface. Scrape a small test area to see if the finish is softened and ready for removal. If not, wait an additional 30 minutes and check again. Citristrip® remains workable for up to 24 hours, so take your time.

Step 4

Step 4: Remove Finish And Citristrip®
Remove loosened finish by gently scraping in direction of wood grain with the plastic stripping tool. Use the orange stick or stripping brush to scrape out old finish buried in recesses. Continue to alternately scrape and wipe with cloths as you progress.

Step 5

Step 5: Wipe Away Residue
By now, you should be seeing the fresh, clean surface emerging from beneath all that old finish. Use a clean abrasive pad dipped in Citristrip® Paint Stripper After Wash or Klean-Strip® Odorless Mineral Spirits to loosen remaining stubborn bits of paint. When the wood looks clear of all finish, clean the surface of all residue with soft cloths dipped in Citristrip® Paint Stripper After Wash. The surface should be completely clean and dry before refinishing.

After each work session, place all rags, applicators, and old-finish residue in a well-ventilated area. Allow liquid to evaporate and residue to dry outdoors before disposal in accordance with federal, state and local regulations.

If you need assistance, please contact a technical services representative at 800-398-3892, or email us at