How to Remove Metal Paint Primer

Even after the paint on the metal has peeled off, there is still the metal paint primer that you will have to worry about. Paint primer's purpose is to glue itself to the surface of the metal and be the perfect surface for the paint to adhere to. With this quality of paint primer, you have to use both chemical and mechanical means when removing it.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Paint stripper
  • Paintbrush
  • Plastic putty knife
  • Rag
  • Olive oil

Step 1 - Apply Paint Stripper

Metal is non-porous. Removing old paint and primer on it is easier than when the surface is wood or natural stone, both of which are porous. Therefore, if the surface of the metal is not covered entirely with primer, you may immediately scrape it off using olive oil as lubricant. Just apply olive oil on the surface and proceed to Step 2. However, if the metal is covered with primer and the primer is of good quality, you need to put out the paint stripper and let it do its work.

To remove primer on metal with paint stripper, here is how to do it:  apply the paint stripper on the surface of the metal using a paintbrush. Ensure that no area or joint is left untouched. Allow the stripper to settle on the primer for 5 to 10 minutes. You will notice that the primer is ‘bursting’ and ‘crumpling.’ When the primer appears raised and very crumpled, it is time to scrape it off.

Step 2 - Scrape Off

Prepare your ‘cushioned’ plastic putty knife. Get a square, flat rag. Cover the edge of the plastic putty knife with rag. Extend the rag up to the holder. Tie the rag. The rag will serve as a buffer during the scraping process so as not to scratch the surface of the metal.

Scrape off the primer using the putty knife. Scrape lightly, exerting just enough force to loosen the primer. It will be easy to scrape now that the paint primer has loosened the primer’s hold on the surface. If there are remaining specks of primer on the surface, do not attempt to scrape it hard. Finish the stripping using olive oil and the putty knife.

Step 3 - Finish with Oil

Olive oil acts as a lubricant and can loosen the remaining specks of primer on the surface. Get a dry cloth or rag and dip it in olive oil. Wipe it around the metal surface. Make sure that the surface is fully covered in oil. Allow the olive oil to sit for 5 minutes.

Using the same cushioned, plastic putty knife, scrape off the surface in a smooth forward and backward or upward and downward movements. The rubbing technique will wipe away the remaining specks of primer on the surface. When the surface is free from primer, wipe it clean with a clean, dry, cloth.