How to Remove Enamel Paint from Your Walls

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What You'll Need
Protective eyewear
Protective gloves
Paint brush
Paint roller
Paint sponge
Putty knife
Paint scraper
Mild soap
Expendable blankets
Breathing mask
Petroleum-based paint stripper

If you're looking to repaint any of your home's walls, you may be curious about how to remove enamel paint. If so, you'll be pleased to learn that enamel paint can be removed from your walls in a timely and stress-free fashion with the aid of a few common tools.

Step 1 - Prep Your Room

Before you can begin the paint removal process, you'll need to prepare the room in which you'll be working. Begin this step by laying an absorbent tarp or a number of expendable blankets across the floor in order to protect it from paint stripper drips. Paint stripper can easily stain both carpeted and hardwood floors, so make sure your flooring is well-protected.

In addition, you'll need to make sure that the room is properly ventilated, as the paint removal products you'll be using tend to emit overpowering, potentially harmful fumes. Before removing your paint, open all the doors and windows in your work area. If you have access to a window-mounted fan, place it in one of the room's windows and set it to "exhaust" when the job is underway.

Step 2 - Protect Yourself

Now that you've taken the necessary measures to protect your flooring, you'll need to protect yourself. As the potent chemicals found in paint stripper can be very harmful to both eyes and skin, you'll need to don a pair of safety goggles or safety glasses, as well as a thick pair of protective gloves, before proceeding to remove your enamel paint. Additionally, if you have a low resistance to the fumes emitted by paint removal products, you may want to wear a breathing mask as well.

Step 3 - Apply Your Paint Stripper

Having made all your preparations, you're ready to begin moving your enamel paint. With the aid of a paintbrush, paint roller, paint sponge, or some combination thereof, apply your petroleum-based paint stripper in broad, even strokes. When performing this step, it is important to take periodic breaks to give yourself some respite from the paint stripper fumes. These breaks are best taken outdoors, as fresh air does a good job of counterbalancing the effects of the aforementioned fumes. Once the paint stripper has been successfully applied, allow it to sit for 15 to 20 minutes, at which point your enamel paint should be adequately softened.

Step 4 - Scrape Away the Paint

After your paint stripper has had ample time to set in, you're ready to begin the final step. Begin by using a putty knife or paint scraper to purge the freshly softened enamel paint. Should any paint deposits prove unyielding, you may need to reapply paint stripper to those particular areas.

Once your wall is paint free, give it a thorough cleaning with a dampened sponge and a mild soap before proceeding to repaint it.