How to Remove Paint Primer

Paint primer is a useful tool for decorating a variety of surfaces. It helps to ensure that the paint you lay down on a surface will be able to go on evenly and remain on the surface for as long as possible. However, when you need to remove paint primer or clean up after a spill, it can be somewhat difficult to do this without the proper tools. Fortunately, doing so is quite easy given the right equipment. Read on for a brief guide on how to remove paint primer when you're cleaning up.

Tools and Materials

  • Drop cloth to catch any spills
  • Safety goggles, gloves, and any other protective equipment as necessary
  • Chemical paint stripper
  • Paint brush
  • Molding scraper, putty knife and steel wool
  • Basin to collect hazardous materials
  • Portable fan

Step 1 -- Prepare the Area

Before you begin, set up the fan so that it will blow any fumes from the paint stripper away from you. Open any doors and windows in the area, if possible. Put on the protective goggles, gloves and any other equipment that you'll use as well. Lay out the drop cloth on the floor in the area in which you'll be working (unless you're working on the floor itself) so that you can catch any stripper that falls.

Step 2 -- Apply the Stripper

Before you begin to apply the chemical stripper to the paint primer, you'll need to carefully read the instructions or the label for the stripper to determine how much to use and how long you'll need to leave it on the surface that you're working with. Use the paint brush to apply the recommended amount of stripper chemical to the paint primer surface and wait for the allotted time.

Step 3 -- Scrape Off the Primer

Carefully use the putty knife and the molding scraper to scrape off the paint primer and any chemical stripper that remains on the surface on which you're working. Discard all of the paint primer bits into the basin and be sure that none of the bits are left on the wall or anywhere else, as they contain hazardous chemicals that can be toxic if ingested or inhaled. If the stripper is gone but there is still primer left on the surface, use the paint brush to apply a second coat of stripper and follow steps 2 and 3 again.

Step 4 -- Get Hard-to-Reach Areas

For hard-to-reach areas that you cannot access with the scraper or putty knife, plan to use steel wool to scrape off the primer with the stripper on top of it. Dispose of these bits of primer in the same way. When you're finished, ensure that you allow all fumes in the area to dissipate before closing the windows and doors and turning off the fan. Dispose of the waste materials with the proper authorities and in accordance with the laws in your area as well.