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How to Strip Metal Beds

Sandra Rousseau

If you have an old metal bed covered in layers of peeling paint or painted an unattractive color, you can strip the paint from the metal. While stripping paint from wood can be a long, hard job involving lots of scraping and sanding, paint strips away from metal fairly easily and cleanly because metal is nonporous. Once you've removed all the paint from your metal bed, you can repaint it to your liking or polish and restore the metal finish.

You can remove old layers of peeling paint from a metal bed.
  1. Put on safety goggles and rubber gloves, and find a suitable work area outside, as paint stripper is a harsh chemical that can give off dangerous fumes and cause skin irritation. If your only option is to work inside, open all doors and windows for ventilation. Place a drop cloth on your work area.

  2. Pour a small amount of paint stripper in a metal bowl, dip your paintbrush in the paint stripper, then apply stripper directly onto any painted surfaces of the metal bed. Use a generous amount, and brush in only one direction as opposed to using back-and-forth motions.

  3. Wait while the chemicals in the stripper begin dissolving the paint. The wait time can be five minutes to several hours, depending on the thickness and type of paint on your metal bed and the specific brand of stripper you purchased. Watch for the paint to bubble up, which means the remover is dissolving the paint.

  4. Scrape the paint up with a plastic putty knife. Wipe the waste onto old newspapers, being careful not to touch it to any painted surfaces.

  5. Apply additional paint stripper to any stubborn areas. Use a wire brush on stubborn areas and an old toothbrush on smaller areas or intricate detailing. Use care when scrubbing so that you do not splatter paint remover onto skin, clothes or painted surfaces.

  6. Wash the stripped bed with a sponge and plenty of water or use an "after-wash," which is a product specially formulated to clean residue from paint-stripping chemicals. Let the bed dry completely.