Message from Health Canada – Use paint strippers safely

Want to tackle home renovations? Use paint strippers safely

When it comes to removing old paint, paint strippers are fast acting, versatile and easy to use. Compared to sanding (which creates a lot of dust), paint strippers are one of the best and least harmful ways to remove lead-based paint. But paint strippers contain chemicals that can harm your health if not used properly.


Safety tips

  • Read the label. Read and follow all safety instructions on the product label.
  • Work outside. Using paint strippers indoors will contaminate the air, putting people inside at risk. Move the object you are stripping outdoors if possible.
  • Ventilate. Make sure your work area is well ventilated. Open windows in the room where you are working. Place an electric fan by an open window to blow the fumes outside.
  • Protect yourself. Always wear goggles, mask, gloves and protective clothing. If you are removing lead-based paint, find a pair of coveralls and work shoes to wear only in the work area and wash all work clothes separately from other clothing.



If you develop breathing problems, dizziness, nausea or headaches while working with paint strippers, get some fresh air right away. Better yet, work for ten minutes at a time and then take a fresh air break.


For more safety tips, click here