What Is The Most Effective Paint Remover Tool On The Market?

Wagner 0513040 PaintEaterWagner PaintEater

It seems like I am always removing paint off of furniture, as I change my mind with pieces I have owned for years, or want a new look with pieces that I have recently acquired.

If you have read my article about paint strippers, the chemicals and fumes are not the greatest for your health.  Instead of taking the risk of having headaches after a weekend of stripping wood, I am open to trying new products that are capable of removing most of the paint, allowing me to work with the remnants with a sander.

Does such a thing exist?  

Wagner 0513040 PaintEater

Wagner PaintEater From $60 Dollars, Replacement Disks From $11 on Amazon,

The Wagner PaintEater is one tool worth checking into. The Wagner PaintEater was designed to remove paint from wood outdoor siding, sheds and fencing.  The tool uses rotating abrasive pads to strip  the paint, and according to its manufacturer, its pads do not damage the surface of the wood under the paint. The PaintEater was designed to strip away paint in a more efficient manner than using a power sander or chemical paint remover.

What Do The Reviews Say?

Got a house with lap siding you want to repaint or need to get flaking and failing paint off relatively flat surfaces like wooden doors or furniture? Do yourself a favor, bite the bullet, and spend a few bucks on this tool, The Wagner Paint Eater. It really only does one thing, but does it very well. No joke, it will cut down your prep time drastically. Way better than sanding, the special disc blasts off the failing coatings and follows up the carnage with feathered edges. Yep, it does the scraping AND the sanding in one go  Tools We Love blog.impactist.com
The reviews for this product on Amazon are mixed.  Even the 5, or 4 star comments make a mention of the machine breaking, after two uses.  In addition, many of the comments mention that when changing the pads, the plastic that holds the abrasive pad in place, breaks, making the machine useless.  The reviews are not very good on Amazon, yet at the same time, depending on how regular you might use this tool, it might be worth buying.
One comment suggested using an angle grinder, and Norton’s stripping pad:
“It is expensive, unwieldly to use, and does an entirely mediocre job. Most heartbreaking in all this is the discovery that Norton makes a stripping pad of similar material and for a half the price. You simply attach one to a $40.00 angle grinder. It handles better, provides more power, and is perhaps twenty times more efficient”

Metabo 11,000 RPM 6.4-Amp Paint Stripper with Case $329 On Amazon

Metabo 11,000 RPM 6.4-Amp Paint Stripper with Case $329 On Amazon

On sale from $700, to $300 dollars, this tool is quite expensive, but has great reviews.

This tool was made for the sole purpose of removing paint, varnish from EVEN or flat wooden surfaces. It also provides a safer solution for removing paint than chemical stripping. The tool comes with four reversible solid tungsten carbide blades which allow a long service life. In addition, was also designed with a low vibration level, which will reduce stress on your hands.

What Do The Reviews Say? 

“The Metabo is just an awesome tool. I am a professional cabinetmaker and occasionally do restoration work that involves removing old finishes from flat surfaces (which is a job I always loathed doing) using chemical strippers and other methods that are time consuming and unhealthy to say the least. Then I bought this machine and it changed my perspective on how to remove paint or any finish in a less toxic way and fast. The first time I used it, I decided to test it on a piece of prefinished maple plywood setting the depth for a shallow cut and incredibly enough, it just removed the lacquer leaving the veneer intact!”

A Review On Amazon That Goes Into Great Detail:

We recently purchased a home that is 115yrs old and the clapboard siding has at least 5-6 layers of paint on it which was is bad shape. Got a bid from a contractor & he wanted $6000 to do the whole thing. We’ll that wasn’t going to happen so I decided to take it on myself.

Initially, I thought I’d buy a turbo nozzle for my power washer as a way to remove the old paint. This worked great but I was left with several spots of raised paint left on the siding. From there, I got some 40 grit paper for my orbital sander and started sanding away. This process took forever to get the high & low spots feathered out. So much for that idea; it would have taken me months at that pace.

I jumped online & started researching different techniques for removing chipped, alligatored paint off an old house. While looking at YouTube videos, I came across the Paint Shaver Pro. From the videos & reviews, I knew right there & then that this was the tool I needed. That is until I saw the price on their website. Sure, it’s probably the best one out there but I couldn’t justify spending $600-$700.

After more searching online I came across the Metabo LF724S priced closer to $250. There weren’t a lot of videos or reviews on it so I decided I’d take a chance. Today I finally got to try it out & it actually did better than expected.

In other reviews I read that the plastic guards are chincy and have a tendency to break off. While keeping this in mind I tried to be as careful as I could so this wouldn’t happen to me. While moving the tool from side to side I noticed there were a few times where the plastic guard caught the under side of the siding above it. It pretty much dawned on me that’s the spot where these were breaking off. I went ahead & opened all the guards. They’re spring loaded, so once opened they stay in place.I would however recommend turning the tool off first before opening them though. I nearly took the tip of my finger off. With all the guards open it definitely makes this tool very dangerous. Be conscious of where you’re grabbing when readjusting & wear very heavy leather gloves if you’d like to keep your fingertips intact.

They recommend running the tool either right or left on the siding but this takes a long time to get to the wood when you have as many layers of paint as I did. Plus the surface of the siding isn’t exactly flat either. After experimenting a little bit, I had the best luck removing the most paint by putting the tip of the tool on an angle & actually running vertical first. Then I would come back with a couple passes in the horizontal position. You will take off some wood during the process & leave swirls in it as well. No big deal; just put some 60 grit paper on your orbital sander & all the marks from the shaver buff out in no time.

Regardless how you use this tool, you will have to go back over the surface with some form of sanding. I didn’t hook up my Shop Vac right away, mostly because I didn’t have the right connections. However, it didn’t throw too much dust in the air. I would recommend buying a full face grinding shield over goggles or safety glasses. At 11,000 RPM you’ll get hit in the face with high velocity chips from time to time, plus you stay cleaner as well. I also purchased a N100 face mask as Menards which fit comfortably under the grinding shield. It’s hard saying if your paint has lead so better to be safe than sorry. Overall, this removes paint much faster than hand scraping and sanding or really any other method out there. Plus, you can’t beat the price compared to the other options……

Paint Removal Tools

Heat Guns On Amazon

Heat guns are another option for stripping paint.  I own a heat gun, after being frustrated with stripper.  It works great for stripping paint off of flat surfaces and ornate carved wood.

With my heat gun, I tend to turn it on, and let it heat up, (while holding it) for about 3 minutes.  Point the gun at the piece of furniture, while moving it slowly along the paint.  You never want to just point the gun, and let it sit in one place, as it will burn the wood under the paint, or cause the paint chips to smoke.  I find this style of putty knife works the best.

The advantages to a heat gun are they can remove 3-5 or more layers of paint, leaving you with the raw wood.  With stripper, on the other hand, I would find one application would remove one layer, especially if the paint was oil based.

The disadvantages are the fumes of the paint which are removed.  A paint respirator needs to be worn while removing paint.

If you have some techniques or tools to share, please leave a comment below.