To reduce chemical paint remover mess:

  1. Cut a slit in the side of a cardboard box that’s a little longer than the width of the putty knife you plan to use to remove the stripper.
  2. Line the bottom of the box with newspaper or sawdust to absorb the paint stripper residue.
  3. Apply paint stripper to the furniture, and allow it to remain on the recommended time.
  4. Insert the putty knife in the box slit near the knife handle.
  5. Pull the putty knife through the slit to deposit the used stripper inside the box.
  6. Dispose of the box and paint stripper residue properly.

Watch the video above to find out more.


Joe Truini: If you’ve ever used paint stripper to refinish a piece of furniture, you know it’s an extremely messy job. Well, here’s a quick tip that can make the job a little less messy.

Take a cardboard box, and cut a slit in it with a utility knife that’s slightly longer than the width of your putty knife. Then inside you can fill it with strips of newspaper or sawdust, something to help absorb the mess that you’re going to be dropping in there.

And then, what you can do is scrape up the paint stripper. This has been sitting about 30 or 40 minutes. Scraping, you see just how easily this comes up, but it’s a pretty gooey mess. And then just take it, put the knife in the cardboard, and draw it through. And you see it just drips inside, and eventually that will puddle up on the bottom and the newspaper will absorb it so it won’t spill out of the box.

And the reason this is a nice, handy tip is that when you’re finishing a piece of furniture, you’re going to be doing this a lot. You’re going to be scraping the surface and cleaning the blade. And you should do nice, short strokes. Work quickly; you get the job done with no problem at all.

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avatar for Joe Truini

Joe Truini

Radio Show Co-Host

Joe Truini is a contractor, author, and the host of “Simple Solutions” on Today’s Homeowner TV and the weekly Today’s Homeowner radio show. He has worked on both large commercial projects and residential remodeling, and has written for national publications such as This Old House and Popular Mechanics. He has also written eight books, including three best-selling shed-building books. Joe lives in Connecticut with his family and enjoys hiking, traveling, and baseball in his spare time.

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