What Is the Easiest Way to Get Rid of Old Paint From Plaster Walls?

Plaster walls offer numerous exciting decorating chances, from background to fresh paint jobs to installing interior decorative panels. Irrespective of your selection, the plaster walls have to be totally clean and stable, and oftentimes that involves removing old paint from the outside. The porous nature of plaster may make this a challenging endeavor, so begin with the simplest method and work your way through products and solutions until you find the one that works for you.


The easiest way to remove old paint, if it’s already loosened, chipped or peeling, is using a putty knife, plastic scraper or a oscillating tool with rigid scraper blade. Only work the horizontal edge of the tool across the surface of the wall to remove loosened pieces of paint. Cleanup will be easier if you lay a drop cloth under your work area to catch the small parts of paint that fall out of the wall. Simply scraping will remove the majority of loosened paint; small areas can be taken care of using fine-grit sandpaper fitted to a rotary or oscillating tool. Use only the horizontal edge of the scraper, or you could gouge the surface; should you do, fill in the damaged areas with joint compound.

Chemical Stripper

If the paint hasn’t loosened on its own over time, you have little choice except to utilize chemical paint strippers to loosen the paint to you. These strippers contain extremely strong chemicals that may discolor or mar any surface if left too long, and therefore must be applied carefully. Paint the stripper onto a small space of your wall using a paintbrush and let it sit on the outside for about five minutes, unless otherwise instructed by the product’s manufacturer instructions. When the stripper has had time to operate, scrape the loosened paint from the surface. Repeat applications as necessary before all paint is removed.

Homemade Stripper

If you do not want to utilize professional stripping products, you may create your own homemade paint stripper; this will require a bit longer, but if you’ve got all the ingredients anyway, it will save you a trip to the store. To create your own chemical stripper, combine 5 parts denatured alcohol, 3 parts mineral spirits and 1 part acetone. This mix of solvents will loosen the paint from the plaster without causing serious damage. Employ and scrape until all paint is gone.


Whether you utilize homemade or professional paint stripper, you need to wash out the plaster surface then to neutralize the compounds in the mix. These substances can seep in the plaster surface and cause discoloration swelling or even damage and lack of structural support. Wipe down the whole wall with a sponge dampened in clean cool water. Rinse out the sponge after every pass on a small section of the wall to ensure that each area is covered with clean water.

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