Asked on Dec 11, 2019

How do I remove crackle paint from a fireplace mantel/surround?

TerriJohnavallance82Cheryl A
+5

Answered

I want to use Citristrip to remove the crackle paint finish on my fireplace mantel and surround. I want to paint it white. It has crevices and detailing see photo). Should I use the Citristrip Gel or Paste? Should I proceed in sections? Since I can’t move the mantel out into the sun to dry, should I lightly blow it dry with my blow dryer? Any other tips I should be aware of? Thank you.

My wood mantel and surround

7 answers
  • Robyn Garner
    on Dec 11, 2019

    I can't advise you regarding the gel or paste but it seems the paste would be needed as it's all vertical. Apply generously and tape plastic over it to work best. No, no blow dryer! Allow to sit many hours or overnight and scrape off with a plastic blade so you don't damage the wood. Use a scrub brush or toothbrush to get into the crevasses and when finished wash down.


    It doesn't look as though there is much paint on the surround so it shouldn't be a tough job at all!

  • William
    on Dec 11, 2019

    I agree with Robyn. The paste would work better. Once the paint starts to bubble you can scrape it off. Apply more if needed. A toothbrush or brass brush for the crevices. A green kitchen scrubby soaked in the stripper to remove any residue. When finished wash down with a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water to neutralize the stripper. Wear rubber gloves and eye protection.

  • Megan
    on Dec 11, 2019

    Soy gel is great to use when removing paint indoors! It is love VOC. And made from soybeans. It works great!


    Blue Bear Stripper

  • Johnavallance82
    on Dec 11, 2019

    Hello Susan,

    You will have to remove it with a striping gel!

    • Susan Ellsworth
      on Dec 12, 2019

      A painter who came to my house today to bid on doing some interior painting advised that I should hand sand the mantel, instead of opting for the gel stripper, so I don’t run the risk of ruining the mantel.

      A lot more labor intensive work. Not sure I’m up for that challenge at my age. The gel stripping route seems like, although messy, in the end it’s easier and the way to proceed.

  • Johnavallance82
    on Dec 12, 2019

    Hello Susan,

    You could always try to fill the cracks with spackle or Polyfilla, it would be just a fiddly to do and may not be successful. Best wishes in what ever you go for......

  • Terri
    on Dec 13, 2019

    Agree. There isn't much crackle at all. Get a hand sander. Much safer than stripping .

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