In our search for an easy and relatively painless way to strip the paint from the wood trim and brick fireplace, we stumbled upon Dumond’s Peel Away paint remover. We were dubious about Peel Away’s purported ability to remove up to 30 coats of paint in one application, so we ordered a sample from the company and gave it a try. We tested the product on our brick fireplace as well as on woodwork and had mixed results…
The brick fireplace has been painted at least twice in the past 40 years. We’re dying to restore the brick fireplace back to its original appearance so we started there with our first Peel Away test. Following the instructions, we liberally applied the thick paste to the brick and then placed the included paper covering on top of the stripper. And then we waited 24 long, tortuous hours to see if it would work.
The next day we removed the paper and were slightly disappointed to see that Peel Away wasn’t the magic solution we were hoping for. While the product did remove some of the paint, there was still quite a lot left behind. Reading the instructions again, I realized that I should have used a steel brush to apply the stripper to the brick. I used a small wire brush to apply another thick coat of stripper, placed the paper on top and waited another 24 hours.
Using the wire brush did indeed make the stripper more effective. This time, even more of the paint came off! And surprise of all surprises – the brick underneath the layers of paint is dark gray. Still, the paint did not peel away from the fireplace brick quite like we were hoping.
Verdict: The stripper worked better than others that we’ve used on the brick but still wasn’t quite as easy as we were hoping.
Next up, we tested Peel Away on the wood trim.
We applied a thick layer of Peel Away on the trim, placed the paper on top of it and waited. While we waited a full 24 hours for the stripper to work on the brick, we waited just 12 hours on the woodwork.
To our delight, the stripper worked as promised: the multiple layers of paint that were covering the wood peeled away with the paper. At first it looked like the stripper had left behind a lot of remaining paint. Ugh, I thought, that’s really no better than the other strippers we’ve tried! Then I remembered that the instructions suggested washing the wood after removing the stripper. I filled a bucket with warm water, slipped on some rubber gloves and used a rag to wash the wood.
With every swipe of the water soaked rag, more and more paint washed away. As you can see, the wood is now almost completely free of paint.
Verdict: Peel away works really well on wood surfaces. It cleared away multiple layers of paint without damaging the wood.
Other notes: The thing we like best about Dumond’s Peel Away is that it’s virtually odorless. Many chemical strippers are super duper smelly. Even using a heat gun to remove paint can cause major fumes. With Peel Away, there was no discernible odor.
With the samples completed, we can safely say that we’re sold on the product. We’re looking forward to using the product to strip all of the wood trim in the house.
Images: This American House
We were not compensated by Dumond for this post. The opinions expressed in this review of the product are solely our own. But, hey, if anyone wants to send us a big supply of Peel Away, we wouldn’t turn it away!
What did you end up using to strip the paint off the brick?
We found that Citristrip was the best for our stripping job. It took a few coats and lots of scraping, but we’re happy with the results.
Any suggestions for using this on crown mounding? Did that cover sheet in the photo come with it? Wonder if that would prevent drips.
Yes, the cover sheet came with it. It’s actually part of the process. First, you spread on the stripper and then place the paper over it and let it sit. You’re then supposed to be able to pull the paper and stripper off in one fell swoop. We had mixed results with that. We ended up switching to Citristrip and finishing out our project with that brand.