How to Strip Paint from Cedar or Vinyl Siding

What You'll Need
Plastic Putty Knife
Paint Stripper
Paint Brush or Roller
Paint Pan
Scouring Pad

It is necessary to strip paint off cedar or vinyl siding when the paint is showing signs of getting loose. Paint peeling can be caused by a variety of reasons. One of the most common is exposure to the changing weather. When moisture and heat come and go, the paint loses its sealing qualities and eventually cracks. Before the cedar or vinyl siding can be repainted again, the old paint needs to be stripped off. Here is how to strip paint off cedar and vinyl siding.

Step 1 – Scrape off the Loose Paint

Before applying paint stripper onto the surface of the siding, it is important to remove paint that is already loose to save paint stripper. To do this, simply use the edge of the plastic putty knife as a tool. Do not use a metal putty knife as it may destroy or harm the vinyl or wood underneath. Continue in this manner until all loose paint comes off of the surface.

Step 2 – Prep the Painted Surfaces

Paint stripper needs to be applied to clean surfaces in order to maximize its effects. To do this, simply wet a sponge and go over every surface until they are clean. When dealing with a wide area, make use of a sponge that is mounted on a long handle. This will make the work a lot easier. Allow the surfaces to dry for a bit.

Step 3 – Apply Paint Stripper

The paint stripper can be applied in different ways. If the product comes in a spray can, simply spray the contents of the can evenly on the painted surface. If the product comes in a bottle, pour some of the contents in a container or a paint pan. Use a roller or a paintbrush to apply it on the paint. When dealing with these chemicals, make sure to wear gloves to protect your hands as the stripper may burn the skin. Allow the paint stripper to sit on the paint for the time recommended by the manufacturer. It may take anywhere from 15 minutes to about 24 hours.

Step 4 – Strip off Loose Paint

When the paint starts to come loose, use the plastic putty knife to scrape the paint off the surfaces. Do this until all loosened paint is removed. If there is still a lot of paint left on the siding, reapply the paint stripper and repeat the scraping procedure.

Step 5 – Remove Leftover Paint

To remove the paint left on the cedar or vinyl paint, use a scouring pad or a mild abrasive cleaner such as a rough sponge. This will remove the excess paint with ease.


Before using paint stripper on vinyl siding, test the product on a small area first to check that it does not harm the materials. Make sure not to scrape or rub the paint heavily as well to avoid damaging the material underneath.