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Customer reviews for 1-qt. Safer Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel

1-qt. Safer Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel

The Citristrip 1 quart. Safer Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel removes layers of paint, both latex and oil-based paint. Its also effective at removing varnish, shellac and epoxy in 1 step. The stripper has a pleasant citrus scent and is biodegradable. Most important is that its safe for indoor use.
Overall rating:
4 / 5
4.0
 / 
5
(83 reviews) 83
Open Ratings Snapshot
83%of customersrecommend this product67 of 81reviews
Rating Breakdown 83 reviews
4.0 out of 5
5
(46)
4
(18)
3
(4)
2
(3)
1
(12)
Quality 
4.1 out of 5
4.1 out of 5
Value 
4.0 out of 5
4.0 out of 5
83%of customersrecommend this product67 of 81reviews
Customer reviews for 1-qt. Safer Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel
Review 1 for 1-qt. Safer Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel
from New Jersey, USA
Gender:Female
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

A product that actually DOES work

PostedSeptember 24, 2013
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5
Quality 
5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5
Value 
4.0 out of 5
4.0 out of 5
Used product to remove God knows how many layers of paint from a 50 yr old staircase, Gel based product stays put on vertical surfaces. Product took about 5 hrs to bubble up meaning ready time. Easily scraped off multi layers of old paint with spackle knife. Used old kitchen pan scrub brush with diluted dish soap to scrub off remaining white paint residue, which allowed bare new looking wood to appear
Pros: Easy to Clean, Easy to Use, works as advertised
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+21points
21out of 21found this review helpful.
Review 2 for 1-qt. Safer Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel
from San Antonio, TX, USA
Age Range:25 to 34
,
Gender:Female
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Don't waste your time with anything else.

PostedMay 6, 2013
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5
Quality 
5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5
Value 
5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5
After trying 2 other paint stripping products that were complete failures even after 48 hours wrapped in damp towels, I was about to give up. Thank goodness I listened to the store associate who convinced me to give this product a shot. I am in awe. Multiple layers of 30 plus year old paint on wrought iron patio furniture simply bubbles up and wipes away with CitrusStrip. A bonus...It smells fantastic! No more dizzy headaches!
Pros: Durable, Easy to Use, High Quality, smells great, great vale
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+23points
23out of 23found this review helpful.
Review 3 for 1-qt. Safer Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel
from Agua Dulce, CA
Age Range:45 to 54
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Fantastic for stripping paint off fiberglass without destroying the gelcoat

PostedApril 14, 2015
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5
Quality 
5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5
Value 
5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5
we're restoring an old 1960's Greeves dirt bike and it has fiberglass tank, airbox and side panels. These had been painted with several layers of paint over the years and Citristrip did a fantastic job of removing the old paint without destroying the gelcoat underneath.
Very easy to use, wear a decent pair of gloves, paint it on with a chip brush, wait several minutes for the paint to curl and then strip it off (in our case with a plastic scraper from HD to avoid scratching the gelcoat underneath). Wash it off/neutralize it with paint thinner and a paper towel or cloth.
It took a few coats to remove several layers of paint however the fiberglass was not harmed and polished right up to close to the original factory shine or better with some 1000 & 2000 grade wet/dry paper and fiberglass boat polish after stripping.
Pros: Easy to Apply, Easy to Clean, Easy to Use, can be used with fiberglass, doesn't harm gelcoat
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0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 4 for 1-qt. Safer Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel
from Asheville
Age Range:55 to 64
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Great for what it is designed to remove!

PostedMay 21, 2015
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5
Quality 
5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5
Value 
5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5
Citrustrip is a crazy good stripper! Dreading removal of peeling factory clear coat on wheels of my corvette, I tried this due to a friend's recommendation. Worked a charm. Cleaned the wheels to remove wax and dirt or anything to block the chemical action. Applied per directions in shade, applied more to areas that appeared to dry. Begins bubbling in 10-15 minutes, tested an area, waited another 15 minutes and voila! I had to reapply to a few resistant areas, and to remoisten my steel wool I used to remove lifted goo. The odor is pleasant, it clings to surfaces well, does the job! This again, was a factory baked on urethane lacquer 23 years old, and it did not damage the aluminum at all. Remove residue with mineral spirits. To those with less than optimum results, READ DIRECTIONS. There will be coatings this will not be best for, and varnish or shellac might be one of them, just saying.
Pros: Very Adhesive, Easy Instructions, Easy to Apply, low odor
Cons: not free, does not apply itself
+1point
1out of 1found this review helpful.
Review 5 for 1-qt. Safer Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel
from New Orleans
Age Range:25 to 34
,
Gender:Female
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Like Magic!

PostedSeptember 17, 2014
Overall rating 
4.0 out of 5
4.0 out of 5
Quality 
4.0 out of 5
4.0 out of 5
Value 
4.0 out of 5
4.0 out of 5
I bought this paint stripper because it was supposed to be lower in fumes, and I was not disappointed. I would definitely keep in mind the temperature recommendations when stripping- it suggested to wait 30 minutes between applying product and stripping paint- however in the summer heat 30 minutes was too long and it had already dried, 5-10 minutes was a perfect wait time for me
Pros: Easy to Use
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+2points
2out of 2found this review helpful.
Review 6 for 1-qt. Safer Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel

Great product

PostedApril 28, 2015
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5
I bought this to strip off an epoxy finish I had applied to a countertop in my home. It was more of a test as the thought of sanding the epoxy off was going to be a big job. I applied a generous coat of Citrus strip and was amazed after only 10 minutes how the epoxy coat came off. It reduced my work time from 2 days to 2 hours. The stripper not only does an awesome job but smells were not offensive. It's a great product.
+1point
1out of 1found this review helpful.
Review 7 for 1-qt. Safer Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel
from Los Angeles, CA
Age Range:45 to 54
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

CitrusStrip did not live up to the reviews.

PostedSeptember 18, 2014
Overall rating 
1.0 out of 5
1.0 out of 5
Quality 
1.0 out of 5
1.0 out of 5
Value 
1.0 out of 5
1.0 out of 5
No, I do not recommend this product.
I had read about Citrus Strip and how good it was so when I ran out of my furniture stripper I thought I would give it a try. It's more expensive than the brand I use which I get at Home Depot also but if it works better and saves me time then it's worth it. Well I read the instructions and applied as directed. I have been restoring furniture for over 5 years now, not my profession but i have enough knowledge in this field. I brush it on a mid century end table I was working on and it has a lot of different angles and corners so I was hoping it would strip the varnish on the piece so I would have less sanding.
It said on the bottle that once on you can wait from 1 hr. up to 24 hrs and would keep a wet look. Then all you do is scrap off the top coat. This piece only had a topcoat, no paint or stain so I thought it should be relatively easy. Well I went to work on something else while this was suppose to work to remove the varnish. I came back in a hour and what I saw was dried up crud on the piece where I had brushed it on.;
I tried to scrap it off with a plastic scraper and it didnt budge. Then I brushed on more citrusstrip over the
dried up gel and after 30 mins. it was not stripping the varnish much. I had to finally clean it all off with mineral spirits and sand it down to the bare wood. I could of done this without the stripper and not have to clean the mess it made.
I took a couple of pics of the dried up solvent and how it left the legs after I scraped it off. I spent close to another 2 hrs cleaning up the mess on the furniture. I dont mind the higher price but its more expensive, added time to work, AND doesn't work. I am going to return this to the Store and go back to my regular stripper. Yes it smells nice but I need it to work. Very dissatisfied with the product and besides time I used up a half a bottle of Mineral Spirits which isn't cheap. I am glad it worked for some of you but for me this product did not live up to the hype.
Cons: did not work in stripping varnish
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+2points
4out of 6found this review helpful.
Review 8 for 1-qt. Safer Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel
from Los Angeles, CA
Age Range:45 to 54
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Removes some paint, but not all and leave gooey residue requiring mineral spirit to finish

PostedMay 23, 2015
Overall rating 
1.0 out of 5
1.0 out of 5
No, I do not recommend this product.
I bought this product to remove paint from wood cabinet doors. I was hoping for a quicker way to strip and paint them than the time-consuming heat gun method. I applied some of this stripping gel to a first door and quickly (1/2 hr to 1 hr) saw paint peeling off (it takes a thick layer to achieve this, I found out). As it seemed to be effective, I applied it to several other cabinet doors while I scrapped it off the first door. Unfortunately, while a good portion of the paint peeled off easily, some did not and instead turned into a stick gooey mess that won't come off with scrapping or sanding. And where the paint came off well, there remains a thin gooey residue that requires mineral spirit to remove. So much for the easy, interior-safe and natural paint stripping project. The need to use mineral spirits to finish the job defeats the purpose.I will stick to the old heat gun and scrapper method for the future.
Cons: Difficult to Clean, requires another product to finish the job
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 9 for 1-qt. Safer Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel

The bomb

PostedMarch 10, 2015
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5
This stuff is the bomb. It works quickly and removes completely if you use the product as instructed. If you skimp on the first application you will regret not having applied more the first go around.
Would be nice if somehow the manufacturer could include a metal container to pour the contents in (as the instructions direct) and/or a brush to apply it with. I don't normally have a metal container lying around and I've gone through many paintbrushes, having to discard after each project I apply Citristrip.
Just some constructive criticism; nothing that won't keep me from buying it again and again, as it gets the job done.
0points
1out of 2found this review helpful.
Review 10 for 1-qt. Safer Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel
from Shoreview, MN
Age Range:55 to 64
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Great Product without the toxic smell

PostedMay 12, 2015
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5
Quality 
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5.0 out of 5
Value 
5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5
This product removes old paint and stain in 30 minutes with out the strong smell.
Pros: Easy to Use, Easy to Apply, Easy to Clean
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 11 for 1-qt. Safer Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel
from Centennial, CO, USA
Age Range:45 to 54
,
Gender:Female

I love this stuff!

PostedJune 19, 2012
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5
Quality 
5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5
Value 
5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5
Whenever I need to strip paint or varnish off a piece of furniture I am refinishing I ALWAYS use Citristrip. You can layer it on, strip off and even move some of the strip/paint glop onto another section of your wood and it will still work. The fumes are not as noxious as some other stripping products. It will even work if it's diluted slightly. To get the last of the product, I will add some water and shake the container around, pouring the diluted mix onto a piece of wood. Still works! And it is thick enough it doesn't cause a river of mess down the piece you are working on.
+14points
14out of 14found this review helpful.
Review 12 for 1-qt. Safer Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel
Age Range:45 to 54
,
Gender:Female
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Great product but pricey

PostedJanuary 14, 2014
Overall rating 
4.0 out of 5
4.0 out of 5
I love how effective this product is, but part of the reason I refinish furniture is to save money. Citristrip seems to be more effective when you use a generous amount & the containers come in small, kind of costly quantities. I have used it on a vanity (one of those from the 1920s or so) that was very, very dark. The almost black varnish/stain was pulled out of the wood within minutes, revealing a beautiful wood grain.
I've also used this on a bookcase that has at least 3 layers of paint and one very black stain. With one application I removed the first few layers of paint. It will require 1 more to remove the stain, I think. The cost has kept me from purchasing any more. Yet, having asthma (plus kids) the non-toxic qualities are a big plus.
Pros: Easy to Clean, Easy to Use, smells good
Cons: expensive
+8points
8out of 8found this review helpful.
Review 13 for 1-qt. Safer Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel
from Boston, MA, USA
Age Range:25 to 34
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

I'm in love with Citrustrip. This is the most amazing product!

PostedJuly 29, 2012
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5
Quality 
5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5
Value 
5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5
I started off with making a huge mistake on grouting by not being careful enough with epoxy grout. Anyone with experience with epoxy grout will know that once you make a mess it is insanely hard to remove. I tried laquer/paint thinner, acetone...you name it and I tried it. Nothing worked and the fumes were horrible. Then I stumbled upon this at Home Depot and as a last resort I purchased it. I brushed the entire floor with the Citrustrip and left it for 24hrs. Went back to the tiles and the epoxy had flaked up and it was just a matter of scraping the excess off. Also used it to remove layers of paint on window trims. Not only is this product amazing, it also exceeds what is advertised and also smells really nice. I have never taken the time to write a review on anything online before and am taking the time to write about this product because it really is that good.
Pros: Easy to Clean, Easy to Use, High Quality
+21points
21out of 21found this review helpful.
Review 14 for 1-qt. Safer Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel
from NY
Age Range:25 to 34
,
Gender:Female
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Good with paint, meh with varnish

PostedApril 17, 2015
Overall rating 
4.0 out of 5
4.0 out of 5
I decided to try this for 2 projects: a wood side table i was refinishing and painted baseboards I wanted to strip and varnish.
Side Table:
This stripper says it works for paint and varnish, but was only ok with removing varnish. I was not able to scrape the old varnish off as instructed. However, when I started cleaning the stripping gel off with paper towels soaked in paint thinner, the majority of the old varnish came off too. It was a big pain, but when combined with using a polyurethane varnish, the table came out beautiful.
Baseboards:
I've only done a test on a small section so far, but the results were vastly different with paint than they were with varnish. I applied the stripping gel and let it sit for around an hour. When I went back, the 1st layer of paint had bubbled up and scraped right off. I applied another layer and scraped the second layer off. Unfortunately, it was late and I was tired, so I didn't clean the remnants off with paint thinner, like I was supposed to, until the next night. I was able to clean most of it off with paint thinner, and the rest I sanded off. I'm not sure if the stripping gel caused the raised grain pattern, but hopefully a little sanding with a sander and/or cleaning the remnants off immediately will fix this. Otherwise, it's not a big deal, I like wood grain. I cleaned the test area, applied a wood conditioner, and stained the test area. The wood accepted the stain with no problem and looks great. I'm pretty satisfied and am planning to use it to strip the paint from all of the painted woodwork upstairs. Why someone painted over that gorgeous old woodwork I'll never know, but at least now I have a way to fairly easily restore it to its original glory.
Pros: Easy to Apply, Easy Instructions
Cons: only ok with varnish
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 15 for 1-qt. Safer Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel
from Cleveland Hts, OH

Sweet Stripper

PostedJune 9, 2009
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5
I am not a professional painter but have learned the hard way how hard it was to use other paint strippers on in-house projects.
I purchased my first jug of CitriStrip around January '09 and have nothing but high praise for your product...on my way to The Home Depot to buy my third jug today. It is so safe, easy and FAST. At first, I was reluctant…thinking that the citrus product could never hold its own with the name brand chemical companies.
Keep up the good work and I hope this bit is useful to others before they too resort to other strippers.
wtc101
Cleveland Hts, OH
+9points
9out of 9found this review helpful.
Review 16 for 1-qt. Safer Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel
from Maine
Age Range:55 to 64
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

No stink paint remover!

PostedMarch 26, 2015
Overall rating 
4.0 out of 5
4.0 out of 5
This paint remover was easy to use and had very little smell. It was used on old house woodworking. It removed the paint that was on the wood, but did not work well on the base layer of old time shellac. I would certainly use it again if I knew there was only paint on the wood.
Pros: Easy to Clean, Easy to Use
Cons: does not remove shellac
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 17 for 1-qt. Safer Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel

Stripping gel

PostedMarch 24, 2015
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5
This is a great product. I have used it for several years.
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 18 for 1-qt. Safer Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel
from Wadsworth ohio

Not the best, but it works

PostedAugust 31, 2010
Overall rating 
4.0 out of 5
4.0 out of 5
After reading several dozen reviews on paint stripper and the like i decided to go with Citristrip because of the fresh clean smell the product says it offered.
I bought this product to remove paint from a bike frame that i am using to build a fresh new bike.
Pro's
- first things first. the product does work.
- once the paint wrinkles up on whatever the goop is on, it will just wipe off, a plastic scrapper is advised though
- you really dont have to wear gloves and if you get it on your hands or clothing, with soap and water it washes off.
- it says wait atleast 30 minutes. by the time i had it on the entire bike frame, the paint on the first applied section was already wrinkling, maybe 5 minutes.
Con's
- make sure you either arent living in the house youre working at or you take the project outside. its an orange smell alright. not a good one, though
- if you leave the product on "up to 24" on the item youre working with, you'll probably need a beltsander to remove the caked on goo
- it has an extremely hard time washing off of cement
- if the coat you applied isnt even, when you scape off the goo when the time comes, most will come off and the rest will smear. and then its time for a second coat.
All in all, the product did what it was supposed to. id buy it again for the fact that i didnt have to wear an airpack when i was using it.
+13points
13out of 13found this review helpful.
Review 19 for 1-qt. Safer Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel

I wish they made soap

PostedJanuary 3, 2013
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5
Quality 
5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5
Value 
5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5
Stuff is amazing. First the smell is great. Citrus but not overpowering. Much better than the chemical smells from the others. Second - effective. Slather some on your item and let it work for a couple of hours (longer if the paint is old and/or many layers). I've used it on only wood items thus far (steps, railing, bookcases) and it's worked every time. I tried using an orbital sander with 60 grit on a step and it took forever. I did the next step with this first, let it sit, then stripper with a stripper blade, came right up and made the orbital work a breeze. Came out looking better than the first step. Easy clean up too. Highly recommend.
Pros: Easy to Use, Durable, Easy to Clean, Lots of Features, High Quality
+4points
4out of 4found this review helpful.
Review 20 for 1-qt. Safer Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel
from Cuyahoga Falls, Oh
Age Range:25 to 34
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Amazing!

PostedJune 8, 2014
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5
Quality 
5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5
Value 
5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5
I recently decided to refinish a shotgun that I have had for many years. As a younger man, I was swept up in the "camo/tactical" fad and had spray painted the firearm several times including a spray on truck bed liner. For weeks, I have been taking the layers off until I decided to try this stuff. In 30 minutes, I took about 4 layers and several camo patterns off! I am amazed, it was well worth the money and as my man cave is small it did not create any adverse fumes! I dont have any way to say how awesome this stuff is! Definately will be keeping some on hand for a rainy day!
Pros: Easy to Clean, Easy to Use, High Quality
+2points
2out of 2found this review helpful.
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