Paint Stripper Application Instructions

Lightning Strip Paint & Mastic Remover is a powerful and unique stripper. Do not use it like other strippers! Please follow these Instructions!

Preparation and Precautions

Demonstration Video:

View the Lightning Strip application video. (Although it demonstrates stripping furniture, the procedure on concete or masonry is the same.)

When stripping outdoors, do not apply Lightning strip to hot surfaces in direct sunlight but work on shaded areas. Do not strip in wind.

The paint surface should be dry. The stripper performs best in temperatures between 45 and 90 ºF but it also works at lower temperatures although slower. It will not freeze.

  • Use in a well-ventilated area. When working in a basement, open all windows and doors. Use fan to increase ventilation to the outdoors.
  • Extinguish all open flames in the area. In a basement, turn off furnace and extinguish pilot flame in hot water heater.
  • Wear rubber gloves. If applying overhead, use eye protection.

Mask items that could be harmed by the stripper: Linoleum, Tile, Asphalt, Rubber, Plastic.

Items needed:

  • Wide-Mouth or Channel-Lock Pliers
  • Small Funnel
  • Wide Putty Knife
  • Stiff Bristle or Wire Brush
  • Paper Towels
  • Water
  • Optional: TSP (Trisodium Phosphate)

What Makes Lightning Strip so Different?

paint stripper case

Lightning Strip is a non-aerosol spray-on paint remover. It removes multiple layers of paint at once instead of removing one layer at a time like brush-on strippers.

Re-spraying reactivates the stripper and makes it penetrate deeper.


We recommend that you first test-strip a small area to check how long it takes, how many sprays will be needed, and if a cleanup with TSP will be needed.

Fill the Sprayer

Shake the can thoroughly. Using pliers, unscrew cap.

Fill the spray bottle (included) using a small funnel. Attach the spray head and turn the nozzle to ON.

Hand-pump garden sprayer can be used for larger projects. It is important to replace the rubber hose and with an anhydrous hose, which is available at farm supply stores.

If you stop for the day, empty the sprayer back into the can and clean it thoroughly with water. Spray clean water through the sprayer.

Apply the Stripper

using paint sprayer

On difficult paints, you can help the stripper work faster by scrubbing the dry paint first with a stiff bristle or wire brush.

MOST IMPORTANT: When applying the stripper, hold the nozzle only ONE INCH FROM THE SURFACE. The spray pressure helps the stripper penetrate. If you hold it too far back, the stripper will not work!

Deposit a continuous heavy coat of Lightning Strip on the paint. Use a sweeping motion, as in spray painting. Pull the trigger firmly each time. (Squirt, squirt, squirt is not the proper technique.)

When stripping walls, start at the top.

Let the Stripper Do the Work

Depending on the paint and number of layers, the stripper may take 10 minutes or over half an hour to loosen all the paint.

Do not rush it! Have patience! Let the stripper do the work.

CHECK PERIODICALLY WITH A PUTTY KNIFE how deep has the stripper penetrated. (The reaction may not be visible on the surface.) Simply pull the paint back with a putty knife to check if all the paint is loose.

Keep the Surface Wet!

Lightning Strip is designed to penetrate multiple layers of paint, to stay wet, and to reactivate when re-sprayed.

Every spray will go through 2 to 3 layers of paint. Multiple layers will require repeated re-spraying.

The stripper works only while wet. If the surface is appears to be getting dry, re-spray!

Remove the Paint

If the paint takes only 10 minutes to strip down to the concrete with only 2 sprays, re-spray it before removing the paint.  (Never try to strip paint with only 1 spray because there will be dry spots and it will not come off evenly.)

Check with a putty knife and when all layers are loose, scrape paint off with putty knife.  Discard paint in a box lined with a trash bag and allow the stripper to evaporate.

If you have a powerful enough pressure washer, it will remove the paint, clean the surface, and neutralize the stripper in one step.

Clean Up and Neutralize

After removing the paint, RE-SPRAY THE STRIPPER ON THE AREA FOR CLEAN UP. This step is very important! If you do not spray on the stripper before washing the surface with water, it will not come clean.

Clean the surface with water and scrub hard with a wire brush or stiff bristle broom. This will also neutralize the stripper.

TSP Cleanup (Optional)

When stripping a test area, you may find that the cleanup leaves a hazy film or residue inside the pores of very rough surfaces. In that case, use a TSP solution for the cleanup instead of water.

TSP or  “green” TSP Substitute is a heavy-duty detergent sold in hardware stores. Mix one cup of TSP to one gallon of HOT water and stir until dissolved. Wait until the solution is COLD! Prepare the solution before starting the stripping job to allow it to cool down.

If the surface is not clean enough, re-spray the area with Lightning Strip and let set for 5 minutes. Dip a stiff bristle brush in the TSP solution and scrub the surface.

When clean, rinse the surface with clean cold water and let dry.

Stripping Heavy Black Mastic

Holding the sprayer ONE INCH from surface, put on a heavy coat of Lightning Strip. It must be saturated with the stripper. Do not spray farther than you can reach. (Do not walk on the stripper – it is slippery.)

Let set for about 10 minutes and re-spray over loosened mastic to ensure it will penetrate completely. Mastic will turn to liquid. Check with a putty knife if all the mastic is loose. If not, re-spray. When it is ready, scrape offthe mastic with a putty knife or use old rags to wipe up the mastic. Discard into a box lined with a trash bag and allow to dry.

To clean up the surface, re-spray it with the stripper once more. Using a wire brush, coarse steel wool, or a stiff bristle broom, dip in cold water and scrub off the paint and stripper residue. As the final step, mop the floor with soap and water and let dry.