When you are preparing to paint a surface, failing to prep it right can be a critical mistake. You’ll have to remove the paint, sand the area down, and start over from square one. With that in mind, what is considered the best wax and grease remover before paint jobs?
Denatured alcohol works really well for this, as can plan old dishwasher soap and water, provided that your water is warm and you don’t mind a little scrubbing. Finally, you can microwave a micro cloth and it really works well for getting wax and grease off of wood.
Today I’ll tell you how to do all these things, let’s start off with the basics and we’ll build up from there!
Can I use wax and grease remover before painting?
Yes, you can, and it is ideal to use a wax and grease remover before painting to get the best results. If you don’t mind spending the extra time to be thorough in this manner, then I recommend wiping down the surface with a clean cloth that you’ve dampened with your remover.
While there are ‘spray-on’ varieties out there, going at it with a cloth helps to ensure that you are getting even coverage, as spraying the coating on can produce uneven coverage if you aren’t used to using this method.
You can also combine the two, giving short, quick sprays of your remover and then distributing it with your cloth, just make sure that you get the surface evenly coated and once you are satisfied that it is, just go after it to remove the dust, wax residue, and grease with a nice, clean, and lint-free cloth.
Denatured alcohol works a treat if you are cleaning metal, though you are going to need a lot of it and some patience with the process. While small amounts don’t make much of a dent, soaking up a good amount in a sponge and applying it to the surface to let it sit for a while can clean up the area quite nicely.
While most of it will evaporate, you can give the area another cleaning just to get up any residue if you aren’t certain that the alcohol is pure and then you should be ready to go.
Alternately, you can use a mix of dish soap and warm water and as long as you give the area a good scrubbing, this can also get the job done. I prefer going with the alcohol myself, as this is the strongest of the two options, but if you don’t want to use it then the dish soap can still do what you need without resorting to more chemically-inclined solutions.
Can you use wax and grease remover on wood?
You can if you go with wax and grease remover that is specifically geared towards wood, but as an alternative there is a nifty little trick that I’ll share with you that just requires some micro cloth, water, and a microwave.
Simply get your micro cloth nice and damp and stick it in the microwave for 20 – 30 seconds to heat it up. Using gloves, take your heated micro cloth and wipe at the grease or wax. Grease comes right up and wax can soften this way if you are dealing with small patches and hold the cloth in place for a minute or two.
After you’ve wiped away what you can, simply give the wood a good cleaning with some wood soap and water and then thoroughly dry the areas which you have just cleaned.
I recommend going with a very mild wood soap, so that your final cleanup is easier and so that the area just get a nice, safe, and mild cleaning. You may need to rinse and reheat your micro cloth a few times, but I’ve found that this little trick works a treat and keeps me from having to use expensive chemical mixes when I just want to do a little cleaning in a pinch.
In closing: Wax and grease cleaning is indeed a good idea if you want to do things right
In this article I’ve given you some advice on the best wax and grease remover before paint jobs and it’s generally going to be something mild like denatured alcohol or warm water and dish soap. A microwaved micro cloth also works a treat if you need to clean a little wood, just be sure to go after it with a mild wood soap and water mix and wipe it dry afterwards.
Ford trucks has a nice little article on what you can use to wipe a surface down before painting and you can find it here if you’d like to take a look.
Otherwise, just stick to the tips that we’ve discussed today and you’ll be just fine. Wax and grease tend to come off quite quickly, it just takes a little focus and work!