Review of the 6 Best Varnish Removers

Review of the 6 Best Varnish Removers

Varnish remover comes in handy when you are renovating or restoring something old. It is a fantastic solution that strips down varnish, paint, and stains from the material’s surface. The best varnish remover will reduce the time spent on the removal of stubborn layers.

A good varnish remover can help in removing multiple old layers that do not look appealing anymore. Whether it is a wall or a door or an old vehicle, varnish remover works well on plenty of surfaces. It will unveil the bare surface to work on it again with a fresh approach.

Best Varnish Remover

In this buying guide, we have included the six best varnish removers that will help you with household projects and renovation work. These work ideally on all the surfaces and liquids by dissolving it for easy scraping off. You can choose from different dispensing mechanisms and solutions.

1. Sunnyside Corporation Hi-Speed Ready-Strip Citrus Paint & Varnish Remover

The varnish remover from Sunnyside Corporation is a Hi-Speed strip variant that starts working quickly. It has a no-drip formula for an easy and mess-free application. The formula works well with paints, lacquers, enamels, latex, and stains.

You can use this on various surfaces, including masonry, metal, brick, wood, and concrete. It works both for interior and exterior applications making the removal less labor-intensive. This varnish remover has a special blend that is free from harsh chemicals.

It does not contain Methylene-Chloride that is known to be harmful and washes away with water. Besides, it can hold on well on both vertical and horizontal surfaces. You can remove up to three layers of paint and varnish with just one application.


  • Weight – 4.1 pounds
  • Size – 7.75 x 5.25 x 12 inches
  • Formula– Hi-Speed Ready Strip


  • This varnish remover is free from toxic chemicals.
  • There will be no overpowering odor while applying the varnish.
  • This is a non-flammable variant of varnish.
  • The varnish will stay wet for a long time to remove paint and varnish.


  • It needs a generous application to work.
  • The varnish dries out white and needs a lot of work to remove.
  • It requires reapplication to remove more than three layers.

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2. Dumond Chemicals Smart Strip Advanced Paint Remover

This varnish remover from Dumond has a smart strip solution that can remove varnish and paint coats from stone, masonry, and wood. It can work on old constructions and stubborn graffiti for an easy clean-up. This solution is specially formulated to be safe for the environment.

It contains biodegradable paint strippers that have a water-based formulation. Even though it does not contain harsh chemicals, it is still effective. You can remove multiple layers in just one layer application.

The formula works on wood, plaster, stone, fiberglass, and plastics without affecting the underneath surface. Moreover, it has an odor-free base that will not cause any irritation. This base makes it fit to use for interior varnish removal in closed spaces.


  • Weight – 4 pounds
  • Size – 7.8 x 7.4 x 7.5 inches
  • Formula – White Biodegradable


  • The product has environmentally friendly ingredients.
  • It has an odor-free water-based formulation.
  • This varnish remover can remove up to fifteen coats.
  • It can be effectively used on wood, stone, masonry, and plastic.


  • You may require a lot of amounts to cover any considerable area.
  • It may cause eye irritation to some users.
  • The varnish remover is not entirely odorless.

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3. Centaurus AZ Klean Strip Paint & Varnish Stripper Aerosol

If you are trying to search for an effective and easy-to-use varnish remover, the Centaurus aerosol stripper is the best varnish remover. It has a strong aerosol formula that is easy to use with the spray mechanism. You do not need any tools for application; just shake the container and spray it on the intended surface.

This aerosol solution begins to show progress within fifteen minutes of application. It can remove the strongest adhering varnish and paint layers. We recommend you use the product in a well-ventilated area as aerosol may generate heavy fumes.

The aerosol will loosen the varnish and create a sludge over the surface. It comes with a chemical resistant putty scraper that helps in the sludge removal. This can be wiped off with a rough cloth to unveil the varnish free material.


  • Weight – 1.6 pounds
  • Size – 9.7 x 4.8 x 2.7 inches
  • Formula– Aerosol Spray


  • The varnish remover has a convenient aerosol form.
  • It comes with a putty knife for easy removal.
  • The formula can remove up to five layers of stubborn latex paint.
  • It is wood friendly and will not raise the grains.


  • The quantity offered is less to cover a large area.
  • Its aerosol dispensing mechanism may cause suffocation in a less ventilated area.
  • The solution may not work with adhesive paints.

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4. Dumond Chemicals Peel Away1 Heavy-Duty Paint Remover

The Dumond varnish remover is a heavy-duty solution for large renovation works. It comes in a large variant of five gallons, making it ideal from the price point of view. The coverage of the solution is around twenty square feet in just one gallon.

It does not contain any harmful toxic chemicals that can harm the surface while using it. Moreover, it reduces the lead dust that may be present in lead paints and varnishes. This variant does not have any VOC and claims to be odor-free.

It can successfully remove up to 32 layers in a single application. You can easily remove varnish from old surfaces without fearing about the damage to the surface. It can be easily wiped down or removed using water.


  • Weight – 55 pounds
  • Size – 15 x 15 x 17 inches
  • Formula– Water-Based


  • It comes in a large quantity.
  • The remover is effective in removing up to 32 layers in one application.
  • It is ideal for larger products that require too much time.
  • The product is affordable and easy to use.


  • There is a slight difference in overall consistency.
  • The paste dries too quickly that limits the workability.
  • It does not come with clear instructions.

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5. LA’s Totally Awesome All-Purpose Cleaner

The varnish and stain remover from LA’s Totally is an all-purpose solution that can fix many surfaces. It comes with a spray bottle, which is easy to use and store. The solution is free from bleach, ammonia, and other toxic chemicals. This solution makes it non-flammable and safe.

This varnish can be used on several surfaces for an easy cleaning solution. Without the presence of any harmful chemicals, it does not react on the surface and cause any abrasions. The natural ingredients make it safe for indoor use.

The varnish may not be a heavy-duty remover, but it works effectively against paint, varnish, and dye stains. Moreover, you can dilute the solution for touch-up cleaning.


  • Weight – 5.1 pounds
  • Size – 10.3 x 8.7 x 2.9 inches
  • Formula– Spray-On Cleaner


  • It comes in a three-pack spray container.
  • The spray dispersion makes it easy to use.
  • It is made from natural ingredients.


  • It is not a heavy-duty formulation.
  • The liquid may take some time to work on varnish.
  • Its spray nozzle may cause dysfunction with use.

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6. Sunnyside 2-Minute Remover Advanced Paint & Varnish Remover Gel

Consider this varnish removal from Sunnyside that starts working within just two minutes of application. It is a safe methylene chloride-free formula that works on all surfaces with no damage to the surface. You can easily apply this over vertical as well as horizontal surfaces without any mess.

The gel formulation of this varnish remover makes it workable for a longer duration as it does not form dry clumps. It is effective on most surfaces, including masonry, cement, and wood. Besides, it offers a high coverage of the surface, requiring less volume in each use.

Even after the rigorous stain and varnish removal, the formula does not corrode the metal or cause wood to chip. Its quick attacking formula adheres to the layers of varnish and paints for convenient removal.


  • Weight – 2.25 pounds
  • Size – 2.39 x 4.59 x 7.44 inches
  • Formula– Gel


  • This varnish remover starts working in just two minutes.
  • The gel formulation is easy to work with.
  • It does not harm the wood while removing varnish.
  • The varnish remover can be used on different wood and metal surfaces.


  • It is on the pricier side.
  • The varnish remover takes time to work on multiple layers.
  • It does not work on all kinds of paints.

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Buyers Guide

Now that you know about the best available varnish removers, here is a buyer’s guide for further assistance. Renovations can be time and labor-consuming, so such products prove to be reliable and convenient. They make the work easy and help save some time while working on large projects.

Chemical Composition– Varnish removers often contain harsh chemicals like methylene chloride and lead, which are not good for health. Even with masks and protection, your body may react after the inhalation of fumes. So, it is important to pick a varnish remover that is odorless and free from any chemicals.

You can find several variants containing natural ingredients or biodegradable ones that are good for the environment too. These constituents make the varnish stripper skin-friendly and less toxic in case you come in contact with it. It is essential to keep your health and effects of chemicals in mind while considering DIY works.

Effective Results– A lot of products claim to work in the least possible time and one layer application. However, the results may depend upon the surface application and the number of old layers. Choose a product that has an easy application and covers a large area.

Moreover, see that the product leaves a removable layer without hardening on the surface. It is easier to work with a damp layer than a thick solid one after it dries. You can choose from variants that work in 2-15 minutes and others that take hours to work through the varnish.

The quick variants are ideal for a spot cleaning purpose with fewer layers, whereas the slow working ones will strip more layers in one application.

Surface Application– Pick a varnish remover that is all-purpose for the majority of surfaces. You will find variants that work on wood, concrete, stone, metal, plastic, and fiberglass. Pick the ones that have a non-abrasive formula for both metallic and wooden surfaces.

Look for the label of safe for all materials as some of the varnish removers are only for specific use and may damage other surfaces. Besides, it is mentioned to use a foam or a silicone brush to apply the varnish remover evenly on the surface. This will make the remover work effectively with the even soaking action of one layer.

Duration and Workability– The surface type and age play a role in deciding the workability of the varnish. A minor clean-up can be done with quick-acting varnish removers. They have a quick dispensing nozzle with reactive chemicals.

If you are removing varnish or paint from an old surface that has too many layers, you will need a remover that stays workable for a more extended period. This will keep the area wet and easy to work through for hours. You can reduce your workload by choosing the one that is suitable for your project.

The quick hardening varnish removers will be challenging to remove and may cause uneven surface removal. You can find variants that stay workable for 24-48 hours.

Prep and Cleaning– Even with the use of skin-friendly formulas with no harsh chemicals, you will still need to prepare the gear. It is suggested to use gloves and masks when working with fuming substances. Also, keep cleaning supplies close in case you come I direct contact with the varnish removers. Furthermore, wear overalls and use cover-up for your head.

Pick products that are easy to remove with a cloth or water after taking off the varnish and paint. There are varnish removers that have a water-based formulation, which is easy to wipe and remove with water.

Consistency- You can choose from a gel, liquid, and aerosol consistency according to the surface requirements. The gel consistency has a no-drip formula that is easy to work with. If you want a more substantial area covered, use the liquid variants that spread evenly faster. The aerosol and spray varnish removers are ideal for quick small touch-ups.


We hope this article helped you pick the best varnish remover for your next at-home renovation project. When using professional-grade tools and solutions, ensure that you use proper gear and take the advised precautions. This will make the work mess-free and less time consuming for you while saving you some cash.