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Customer Reviews for Citristrip 1 qt. Safer Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel Non-NMP

Internet #307416109

Model #QCSG801

Store SKU #1003917283

  • Safe for indoor use
  • No harsh fumes
  • Strips multiple layers

Customer Reviews

  • 3.8
    out of 1,487 reviews
  • 64%recommend this product
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Showing 1-30 of 1,487 reviews
Used this to strip an old oil painting done on canvas
We had a 5 foot by 6 foot canvas my daughter did in Junior College and it just wasn't that great and it hung in the dining room which is open to the front of the house. Over the 15+ years since then she is a much better painter. We decided that I'd strip it and hen the family would repaint the background and my daughter would then finish the new painting in an abstract fashion. I had tried turpentine which was a complete failure but this did the trick using plastic paint scrapers of various sizes. It took the whole container for that size canvas and several days. The smell is hardly bad, and I did the work outside.
by
  • Verified Purchase
  • Recommended
It Works!
I decided against this product initially and went with the cheaper smelly chemical kind. I didn't think a citrus-smelling eco-friendly product would work on layers of old paint. I was wrong. It exceeded my expectations. Wear protective gear and cover your floor or you will be cleaning a gooey mess. Did not work on my Ashley bed. Just sat there for days. Price point is very high. Requires thick and multiple applications so you'll need several bottles.
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    • Recommended
    2 found this review helpful
    Strips ok, but doesn't work for people with ADD
    This did an OK job stripping the varnish off my old furniture when I was able to finish my project with a few hours of putting on the gel. However, there were a few times where I would apply the gel, but then wasn't able to return to the project until the next day. Even though the directions say you have 24 hours to strip, let me tell you - I paid dearly for this mistake. What could have been a simple 30-min project turned into multiple hours, requiring regular paint stripper, something called After Wash, and multiple bags of steel wool. Overall: if you plan to strip within a few hours of when you apply the gel, I think you're good. If you have ADD like me and there's a chance you won't knock out everything in one go, then I'd advise against using the product.
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    1 found this review helpful
    Works amazing
    It took off layers of cheap wall paint that was on a bathtub with ease.
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      • Recommended
      1 found this review helpful
      Eventually gets there
      Redoing some chalkboards I was gifted and realized that they were painted over anywhere from 4-6 times. It managed to take most of it off in 3 coats - however, it dried too fast (even wrapped in a plastic bag overnight it dried). It struggled to get through chalkboard paint and I ended up actually using an old wood chisel to pull up strips of paint instead of a paint scraper for the first 2 passes. Not perfect, but I mostly needed it to reset the poor painting job(s).
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        • Recommended
        2 found this review helpful
        Great results on multi-layered old window sill. Great results on dining room table.
        I've used this product on two different jobs, had great results both times. First, stripping a window sill in my 70 year old apartment. Must have had 25 layers of who knows what kinds of paint. Took 2 passes. First pass removes most of the paint and softens the remainder. 2nd pass gets you down to bare wood / metal. Also used on Dining Room table to remove manufacturer's varnish finish. This was piece of cake compared to the window sill! Got me down to bare wood in one pass. 12 hours would have been fine, but I gave it 24 hrs. Recommend ventilation as the odor gets on your nerves after a while. Recommend rough sanding before applying to give the material a head start. Recommend generous pour. You want significant amount evenly over the work. Recommend a paint brush to spread, but not a sponge brush. The stuff is stiff in texture and resists spreading. Recommend cling wrap over material to extend working time (for overnight or 24 hour treatments) Recommend green stripper pads to break up any stubborn spots Recommend afterwash or mineral spirits to remove stripper residue. For wood, I recommend plenty of dry-out time after you're done with all this. The process wets and softens the wood a bit. I would not sand or paint for 24 hours or more after you're done.
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        • Verified Purchase
        6 found this review helpful
        4 applications
        It took me quite awhile to finally get the result i wanted before primer. 4 tries. Waited day or 2 in between. Took my time. One or 2 left it gummy glue-like but 3rd and 4th took it off easier. Depends on time. If not in rush you wont feel stressed.
        by
        • Verified Purchase
        • Recommended
        Great for getting paint off bricks
        Used this for stripping layers of paint off a brick fireplace, and it worked amazingly. For best results, definitely leave on for at least 12-18 hours and you'll see thr paint just melt off.
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          • Recommended
          3 found this review helpful
          Ruined my project
          Ruined my entire project. I spent 3 days sanding already, and now will have to spend 3 more days fixing this products destruction. Lesson learned to always do a test spot. Thanks a lot citrus strip for turning my cabinets orange. Pic is after afterwash.
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            2 found this review helpful
            OMG this stuff works so easily with no toxic odor....
            OMG this stuff works so easily with no toxic odor. Was dreading stripping paint project but this made it a breeze!
            by
              Easiest stripper
              Easiest stripper I have ever used. No strong odor. Did need to sit longer than 30 minutes, and needed to periodically spray with water to keep it activated. Water based made clean up a breeze . Very happy with this product.
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                1 found this review helpful
                ...
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                  2 found this review helpful
                  Only works for certain applications
                  I have used this in the past on un sealed stain and latex paint and worked well so I thought it would work stripping a dining room table. WRONG. I glopped it on thick, covered it with plastic wrap, waited 24 hrs and barely anything came off. Waste of time and money for this type of application.
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                    1 found this review helpful
                    Doesn't work
                    I had an old bottle that I had not used, so I got another since this was safe to use indoors. I was stripping my dining room table top. There were many spots that it did not remove, and they remained sticky, and a few could not be sanded out. I had taped the edges and center opening, but since this product was so bad, I used another product that is safe for indoor use and washes with water. Those sections came out totally cleaned off. The image shows the center line that was done with the other product (Klean Strip green).
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                      3 found this review helpful
                      It Only removed yellow paint but not white primer.
                      Guys, I had an old cedar trunk to refinish. This product was recommended by someone on Twitter. It removed yellow paint from the trunk about 98%. There was white primer underneath and it was not removed. In fact, it smeared back and forth. I covered it with plastic for overnight and will check it again in the morning. So far 3/5 stars.
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                        1 found this review helpful
                        Formula change is not good
                        Beware! The good reviews are about the old formula. It used to work great. The new formula is crap. I was stripping my dining table. Did half with the old formula and ran out. Next bottle i bought was the new formula. The stain just isnt coming off and I’ve tried 3 different times. So disappointing.
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                          29 found this review helpful
                          Don't make my mistake!
                          I suppose this would be fine to use on small piece of furniture with simple lines, but I got way in over my head and have a huge mess on my hands. I have two antique spindly bed frames that I needed to strip. I slopped this stuff all over both beds and let them sit overnight. By the next morning some of it had already dried on and it took SO long to scrape the gloppy mess off all the intricate details that the rest dried on over the course of the next 2 days. Now I'm on round 3 of applying and scrapping and I just don't know what to do. Bottom line: this stuff is possibly NOT as affective as it claims to be. I've read MANY accounts from ppl who say the formula has been changed in recent years and it is not as powerful as it used to be! BUT it may work just fine for you if you do small, manageable areas at a time and just know it'll prob take a couple applications to work (which can be time consuming and get expensive!). Whatever you do, DON'T let it dry on your piece!
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                            12 found this review helpful
                            Bike frame magic!
                            I used this to strip the original paint off a 10 year old bike. It worked like magic. After only one hour the paint was literally falling off the frame. SOO much easier than sanding. To be clear there were small patches here and there that I either need to hit a second time or scrape off by hand. But over all, what could have been an all day, or multiple day, project ended up taking just a couple hours. The attached picture is after one hour and I hadn't even started pulling the paint off my self yet.
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                              • Recommended
                              7 found this review helpful
                              Single coat per application
                              While this product is up to current EPA standards and works to strip paint I find it far less effective than banned Methylene Chloride stripper. I used to get 2-3 coats off per application and this stuff will only take off a single coat per application and usually requires 2 applications when using on oil based paints. Application isn’t easy because it doesn’t flow well, requires allot of pushing around to coat evenly. I will continue to use because there really are no good alternatives but I’m far from satisfied with it having used far more effective products in the past. Apply stripper, wrap with plastic wrap, repeat.
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                                • Recommended
                                10 found this review helpful
                                Wash it off.
                                I used this on a porch swing. It worked pretty well to take the old stain off. Still needed a good palm sanding, however. Nice that it has no toluene and doesn't smell bad and you really don't need a mask so I could use in my shop in the basement. Wrap with Saran wrap to keep it wet. I recommend, however that you wash well if you get any on you. Here's why. I applied it with a new three inch foam brush. When i was done, i dropped the brush on newspaper on my work bench. I came back about a week later and found what you see in the photo. It basically ate the foam off the holder. :-)
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                                  • Recommended
                                  3 found this review helpful
                                  Very good product and plesent smelling. I found some helpful hints on YouTube how to enhance its ...
                                  Very good product and plesent smelling. I found some helpful hints on YouTube how to enhance its effects. Lay down a good coating of Citristrip and then cover it with plastic, I bought a cheap paint brush, plastic scrapers and plastic tarp at Home Depot for this. Make sure the plastic is in full contact with the CitriStrip. I let it sit a few hours, on the touch panels I left it overnight. Remove the plastic and scrap with a plastic scraper. In my case the varnish came off easy. Some sanding and the original wood came through.
                                  by
                                  • Verified Purchase
                                  • Recommended
                                  6 found this review helpful
                                  I bought this as well as the the liquid version, its safe for my wife who is an asthmatic and has...
                                  I bought this as well as the the liquid version, its safe for my wife who is an asthmatic and has great results. I used both with great results.
                                  by
                                  • Verified Purchase
                                  • Recommended
                                  3 found this review helpful
                                  Outstanding product plus its mostly natural which is a bonus, my wife has sever asthma and this p...
                                  Outstanding product plus its mostly natural which is a bonus, my wife has sever asthma and this product does not effect her breathing at all.
                                  by
                                  • Verified Purchase
                                  • Recommended
                                  Great for indoor paint removal
                                  If you want a safe paint stripper for indoors, CitriStrip does a good job. The new formula is not as efficient as the older formula, and it does not seem to spread as well, it is very jelly like, on gloss paint it really has a hard time sticking to the project. I had about 4 layers of old oil base gloss paint, and it took three applications. I do not goob CitriStrip on like some of the videos show. A layer of CitriStrip goes on and then 3-4 hours later it is scrapped off. I also use wax paper to cover the project to keep the stripper from drying out. A metal scrapper is a must. Then another coat and another scrapping event. Everything is scrubbed with soapy water after it is done. I might try another brand, but working inside a house really limits what can be used.
                                  by
                                    • Recommended
                                    5 found this review helpful
                                    Hard to clean
                                    So my husband and I were preparing our kitchen cabinets for painting and after spending $12 per can on another brand, decided to save $3 per can by buying this brand. First, it works, you just need to spray the surface and then let it sit for at least 5 minutes (no problem there). My problem was when trying to clean it off to then sand and paint, HUGE problem there because it would NOT come off and the surface was EXTREMELY sticky. Making our work more difficult and tedious.
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                                      9 found this review helpful
                                      Horrible Product for stripping layers of old paint from weathered wood
                                      I've used citristrip before for refinishing antique furniture. The product works wonderful on oil based stains and smooth surfaces. However, this is not a paint stripper, else they wouldn't be recommending Mineral spirits for clean up. I tried Citristrip on my deck, which is weathered. I tried the product as directed. I don't think it removed much of the paint at all. Rather, it left a sticky, messy residue behind that just isn't worth dealing with. I am not a beginning painter by any means. I've painted my whole life. I've painted commercial buildings, residential homes, even murals. And I have to say this is the worst paint stripper I've ever used. It's a mess. An absolute mess. It cost $20 bucks for the citristrip. Another $10 for the after wash, and it still doesn't strip. It denatured the wood. It thins a first layer so that when washed, it blends in to make it look like it's stripped the wood, when it really hasn't done much of anything. Now, I'm just hoping I can get enough of this residue removed and looking smooth enough to just paint over it. It didn't strip, and frankly I'm tired of fooling with it. It's useless for paint. I won't be using this as a paint stripper ever again. Lesson learned.
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                                        9 found this review helpful
                                        Fantastic
                                        No unpleasant smell. Works like a charm. I left it on for about 1 hour, item had several coats of paint with stain and varnish over it. The bulk of it came off the first time. I reapplied for another hour and the rest came off save for some small bits of paint which I sanded off. The gel is nice and thick so no dripping. Wish I took a "before" picture but take my word for it, 3 layers of paint, with a layer of stain and varnish on top.
                                        by
                                          • Recommended
                                          2 found this review helpful
                                          Used inside an apartment and the smell did not overwhelm at all. Works great if you let sit for a...
                                          Used inside an apartment and the smell did not overwhelm at all. Works great if you let sit for about an hour and then scraped with a razor. Didn't burn or damage my skin.
                                          by
                                          • Verified Purchase
                                          • Recommended
                                          5 found this review helpful
                                          I was pleasantly surprised with this product. I waffle d...
                                          I was pleasantly surprised with this product. I waffle d between building a new mirror frame or stripping and refinishing an old one. I did not want a messy application and clean up. I was able to get off most of the old finish in one application. Some hot spots took a second application. I used a stiff bristle brush and clear water for removing the residue. This mirror frame was actually a cabinet door in its previous life so I added a frame around the door frame for accent and to fill the door recess. The original color was dark walnut. I converted it to Sedona Red with black trim.
                                          by
                                          • Verified Purchase
                                          Works, just not great
                                          Pros: Smells better than the other stuff, Less harsh on your skin if you accidentally break a glove or get some on your arm (Still use gloves), a little cheaper than the other stuff. Cons: Takes way longer before you can start scraping, Takes multiple passes to get the result, you end up using way more of it per sq ft. My Take: It probably depends on what you need to strip, what kind of paint it is, and how many layers. I tried to use this while stripping a dining room table that I got for free and am bringing back from the dead. I started using more potent and "toxic" stripers that worked well. After I ran out, I figured I would give this a try as it seemed a little less harsh. I followed the instructions to the T, however, it took me 4x as long to strip a smaller area than the other brands, and I had to do it multiple times over the same area to get the paint and varnish off. Even then, I am going to have to spend more time sanding before I start re-staining. While the better smell and thick consistency are nice, expect to take way more time and use way more of it to get the result you want. I would assume that it would work much better on a water-based paint or something with only a couple of layers, but definitely not what I needed for this table. I wouldn't say don't buy it, just make sure you evaluate the job and the amount of time you are willing to spend to get your results. Some of the other stuff is way more toxic, but it gets the job done a whole lot better (and faster). My opinion, spend the money on PPE, use a more powerful stripper, and get on with the job.
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                                            3 found this review helpful
                                            Showing 1-30 of 1,487 reviews