Many homeowners simply apply a fresh coat of paint over an old one. This is fine if the wall doesn’t have a lot of paint already on it and if the old layer of paint is in good condition. If it is peeling or bubbling, however, the new coat of paint will not stay on the wall for very long. If this is the case, you should work to remove the paint. You can use the same process for acrylic paint as you would for latex paint on the walls.
Brush the walls with a wire brush to remove paint that is beginning to loosen from the walls.
Lay a drop cloth on the floor to catch the paint as it falls from the walls.
Sand the walls with medium-grit to fine-grit sandpaper to remove the rest of the paint. Alternately, use an oscillating tool with a sanding accessory, which is particularly useful for corners and edges. Work in a vertical direction until all of the paint is gone.
Clean up the area with a shop vacuum that can handle small particles.
Lay a drop cloth to protect the floor from the paint stripper.
Dip a paintbrush unto a can of paint stripping gel. Use gel rather than liquid stripper because they won’t drip on the floor. Choose a stripper that will work for acrylic or latex paint.
Cover the entire wall with a layer of the gel. Let it sit according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Scrape the paint off with a paint scraper or an oscillating tool with scraping accessory and dispose of it.
Tips & Warnings
- Don’t attempt to sand paint off the walls if you suspect the paint is old and that it might be lead-based. Lead-based paint was used before 1978 and it can be toxic if you sand it.
- Work in a well-ventilated area.
- Don’t incinerate paint scrapings because they are extremely flammable.
Things You'll Need:
- Wire brush
- Drop cloths
- Paint scraper
- Oscillating tool
- Scraping accessories
- Sanding accessories
- Shop vacuum
- Paint stripping gel
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