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I'm looking to refurbish a bench that disintegrated over the years. The bench ends are still in decent shape, but I need to clean off the remaining paint and rust.

My main concern is that I don't know what kind of paint was used. I suspect that it was baked on, and I've already chipped off most of the easy pickings. I've looked into manual and chemical solutions, but I'd like some more practiced advise.

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This is a nice how to paint strip. If you insist on not using stripper and if mechanical means aren't getting it done, consider using a heat gun or a blow torch. (mentioned in my preferred order of attack.) Tough jobs require all three methods, repeatedly. Insure that any stripper used won't eat iron.


The paint on all but the hand rails looks somewhat sound. Hit it with a wire brush and if it doesn't all start flaking, your fine. Scuff it all up and just repaint it. The hand rails need to be smoothed and all rust removed. Avoid repainting with gloss if there's chunks left all over; shininess will show them better. If you want to look like it just came out of the factory, you'd have to sand blast the whole thing.


Strippers that contain methylene chloride can do the job in about an hour, while more environmentally friendly products without the chemical may take several hours to strip the surface clean.

-Source

  • To be completely clear through, are you saying that there are some paint strippers that can corrode iron? – user25634 Sep 30 '14 at 0:55
  • I thick you want caustic stripper, not acidic. I'm not 100% on that, read the label. @user25634 – Mazura Sep 30 '14 at 1:02
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If it is latex paint, which the characteristics sound like it is, then you can just use really hot water with a little bleach in it. Get it wet a few times and a steel brush (grab an old grill brush) and you are good to go.

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