Peel Away

Category: Materials


A respected product we've found appropriate for some (but not all) situations.

Our Review

While we originally hoped to avoid any use of chemical strippers in our bungalow renovation (through the magic of the Silent Paint Remover), eventually the realization set in that we needed different solutions for different situations. Even though we'd heard good things about Peel Away, Jeannie did a lot of research since we were still skeptical about both the health and environmental impacts of chemical solutions. Since there are actually quite a few types of Peel Away, Jeannie's research included calling the manufacturer, Dumond Chemicals, to discuss our needs for our first floor bathroom.

Our bathroom was indoors and not a particuarly heavy duty job, so the manufacturer suggested one of thier less aggressive products: Peel Away 7. Their website suggests it for "an environmentally safe paint remover used to remove oil and latex paint." This fit the bill for our bathroom, which only had 2-3 layers of paint to remove.

In practice it did work pretty well. After removing the top layer with the Silent Paint Remover, there was still a layer of two of very tough paint and residue. The Peel Away 7 took it off in one coat, as promised. We left it on for over 24 hours (longer than recommended, actually), and in some cases wished we hadn't since that let the chemicals dry out. We tried to reduce that by covering the application with saranwrap. More heavy duty versions of Peel Away actually come with a laminated paper for this purpose. We wish they'd include the same thing with all their products.

For other more heavy-duty situations, Peel Away I is probably also worth considering. The manufacturer claims it will remove up to 32 layers of existing paint and is particularly well suited for lead paint removal typical in older buildings. Per their website:

PEEL AWAY I is especially suited for the removal of lead based paint and restoration of old historical buildings.


1) By applying the PEEL AWAY paper over the paste, the paint is kept in a wet or damp state preventing hazardous lead particles from getting into the air or onto the surrounding area.

2) When the stripping job is finished and the PEEL AWAY paper is removed, the bulk of the paste and lead paint comes off intact onto the PEEL AWAY paper for easy collection of the waste and proper disposal.

3) The PEEL AWAY I product contains lime which starts to stabilize the lead paint being removed and there is a good chance that the solid waste (PEEL AWAY and paint) will be under 5ppm leachable lead taking it out of a hazardous category in terms of disposal. A TCLP test is done to make this determination.

We're still awaiting a situation where we can test it out for ourselves, but we'll be sure to update this entry when we do!

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Unbiased reviews of tools and resources based on our experiences restoring an old home.

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