How to Properly Remove Spray Paint From a Metal Surface

Spray paint is typically one of the most difficult things to remove from a metal surface, as it tends to adhere very well once dry. So, how do you do it properly? Handyman Connection® of Jeffersonville explains.

Tools and Materials Required

Before you begin, have the following materials ready:


-eye protection

-an old toothbrush

-a respirator


-a couple of paint brushes

-plastic gloves

-lint-free rags

-a plastic scraper


Safety is important when removing spray paint from a metal surface. The bits and pieces of paint can easily get into your eyes or mouth so you need to make sure that you have proper protection.

Stripping the Spray Paint From the Metal Surface

Begin by applying a layer of acetone as prep for the Citristrip. Wait a few minutes, then apply the Citristrip over the metal piece using a paintbrush. Apply it generously over the surface and let it set for approximately 30 minutes. Test if you’re ready to start scraping it off by looking for paint bubbles. When the paint starts to bubble, you’re ready to remove the paint.

Gently use the plastic scraper on the bubbled paint. Make sure not to scrape too deeply to avoid damaging the metal surface. Remove the excess paint with a lint-free rag and use the toothbrush to remove the paint in smaller areas. If needed, reapply the Citristrip and repeat the process.

Final Steps

Wipe the surface clean to get rid of leftover Citristrip. For a surface with many crevices, try shining a light over it so you can see if there are bits and pieces of paint that you may have missed.

Finally, if you are cleaning a large metal surface, we recommend having a professional do the paint stripping – especially if you’re planning to repaint it in the future. Handyman Connection of Jeffersonville is the leading choice for home maintenance and home remodeling projects. Fill out our form or give us a call to learn more about our services. You can also ask for a free estimate.

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*Services may change and vary by Handyman Connection location.