Applying Finish Removers with Airless Sprayers

Although most people use brushes to apply our finish removers they can be applied with airless sprayers as long as you know what to do. Here is some information that will guide you in using airless spray equipment to apply both S-100™ and StripIt®.

Airless Spray Equipment

Most quality airless spray equipment including the Airlessco SP200, will handle our S-100. On the other hand, for applying StripIt, you will need a professional grade airless sprayer with an output of at least 0.54 gpm. In either case, there are a couple of minor modifications that have to be made before using them. The first thing is to change the tip to a 0.019 or 0.021 tip orifice. We stock universal 521 tips in case you cannot find one locally. If a smaller diameter orifice tip (<0.019) is used, it will take longer to apply the proper amount of finish remover and the tip may block up. In addition, since a small orifice produces a fine mist there is a greater chance of wind drift onto surfaces that you may not want to strip.

The second thing is to remove any sprayer strainers, screens and/or filters. Our finish removers are somewhat thick and viscous, so having to pass through screens and filters will impede the flow of product through the sprayer and may eventually block it. Once the stripping process is completed, it’s of utmost importance to replace the 0.019 or 0.021 tip with a 0.015 or 0.017 tip for applying our stain and topcoat.

S-100 and StripIt

Our S-100 Finish Remover and StripIt are formulated so that they can be applied “as is” using an airless sprayer. Their viscosity is such that they do not need to be diluted with water to be run through airless spray equipment. However, it is a good idea to thoroughly mix the S-100 with a Jiffy Mixer before spraying it. Just be careful to keep dirt and other debris out of the product.


The first step before starting to remove a finish is to take off downspouts, gutters, and lighting fixtures, and mask off or cover those areas that you don’t want to strip or they may become discolored if contacted by the product you are using. The next step is to wet down and cover any plants and shrubs. Both S-100 and StripIt are pretty gentle on plant life once they are diluted with water during the stripping process, but in their concentrated form they may present a problem. The use of perforated weed blocking film works well over plants, roofs, decks and other areas you want to protect, since it allows water to drain through it but catches lumps of concentrated remover as well as any stripping debris. This makes clean up a lot quicker and easier.

Apply the finish remover to one or two courses of logs at a time in a sweeping motion across the entire wall starting at the bottom of the wall. This will help you avoid coating the chinking or sealant joints if they are present. Be sure to only coat an area that you can finish stripping in the allotted time you have. If you coat the entire wall or too large an area the finish remover may end up drying on the wall and become difficult to remove. Always apply finish removers at the recommended thickness or coverage rate. If applied too thinly, they may not work and you will have wasted your time and money. Once the finish remover has been applied to an area, submerge the spray gun and tip in a pail of water to prevent the product from drying at the tip and possibly blocking it.

After waiting an appropriate amount of time for the stripper to soften the finish (remember the cooler it is the longer it will take), you can begin the pressure washing process. Be sure to wash off any product and wet finish debris that’s still adhering to the wall or other surfaces. If allowed to dry, you may end up having to manually scrub these surfaces clean. Once you reach the top of the wall, or if you run out of time, rinse the entire wall starting at the top before you quit. You don’t want any chemical or finish debris to remain on the surface. If you are through for the day, replace the lid on the pail of finish remover and run clean water through your airless sprayer until clear water comes out of the gun.



Last modified on Wednesday, 26 January 2022 18:54