10 Best Varnish Removers in 2021

best varnish remover

Varnish, when applied on wood furniture or flooring, protects them from scratches and stains. But with time, the furniture tends to lose its shine. To restore the glow of the already painted wooden surfaces, you need a good and powerful varnish remover. Varnish remover helps in stripping off colour and exposes the bare body beneath. There are various types of paint or varnish removers available in the market. Finding the right varnish remover can turn out to be a challenging task. We have brought you a list of top 10 best varnish removers that meets all the requirements and gives you the best results.

We have listed down a brief comparison of the best-selling 3 Varnish removers. The major features will help you select the best product.

Disclaimer – This article may contain affiliate links, this means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for qualifying purchases.

Best Overall

Dumond Chemicals Inc.3332

Dumond Chemicals Inc.3332
  • Odor-free formula
  • Industrial-strength remover
  • Nice fragrance
  • 100% biodegradable and safe

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Best Budget

Citristrip QCSG801

Citristrip QCSG801
  • No severe fumes
  • Strips multiple layers
  • Removes dried latex and oil-based paint

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Premium Choice

Sunnyside 63432 Varnish Remover

Sunnyside 63432 Varnish Remover
  • Free from methylene chloride
  • Comfortable to work with as it comes in a gel-based formula
  • Works faster on most of the coatings

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In this article, we have listed down the best rated and reviewed Varnish removers. They work best according to your needs. Check out the features of the ten best varnish removers.

1. Dumond Chemicals Inc.3332 Advanced Varnish Remover

Dumond Chemicals Inc.3332 Advanced Varnish Remover

The best thing about Dumond smart strip paint remover is that they are completely safe and harmless to the environment. The biodegradable formula of the product makes it safe for the user. It does not contain methylene chloride. The strip paint remover is water-based, and it effectively removes 15 coats of any coatings such as acrylics, varnishes, oil-based, etc. 

The remover works great on the interior and exterior surfaces of wood, brick, stone, concrete, plaster, glass, etc. Before applying, it is recommendable to do a test patch on the surface you want to remove. The test patch will ensure compatibility, proper thickness, yield, and the required dwell time. 

Before application, remove any loose or peeling paint. You can apply the product using a brush, roller, or airless sprayer. Average dwell time can vary from 3 to 24 hours. The product is available in a 1-quart can.

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  • 100% biodegradable
  • Formulated without methylene chloride
  • The product can be easily applied by brush, roller or any conventional airless sprayer. 
  • Odour-free
  • Zero VOC
  • Non-toxic and non-caustic


  • It can potentially become stinky sometimes.
  • For better results, the surface temperature should be 50-95 degrees Fahrenheit. 

2. Citristrip QCSG801 Paint and Varnish Stripping gel

Citristrip QCSG801 Paint and Varnish Stripping gel

The citristrip Varnish stripping gel is convenient to use. The formula of the product remains wet and active for 24 hours. Hence, the stripping of multiple layers happens in one step. You can use this product to remove five layers of dried latex paint, and it will take only one hour. It is free from methylene chloride or NMP. Unlike other varnish removers, it comes with a pleasant citrus scent. 

There are few directions and precautions included when you start working with the product. First of all, wear chemical-resistant gloves and chemical splash goggles. It will help you protect your eyes and hands. Once you’ve applied with a paintbrush, leave it for 30 minutes. Start scrapping in the direction of the wood grain. You can either use a plastic stripping tool or an abrasive stripping pad dipped into the citristrip formula. It contains VOC less than 50%.

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3. Sunnyside 63432 advanced paint and Varnish Remover Gel

Sunnyside 63432 advanced paint and Varnish Remover Gel

The gel-based Varnish removal comes with a new and safer formula. The product is free from methylene chloride. The 63432 formula serves as a fast-acting remover. We all know that stripping off the paint requires patience and time. But the new Sunnyside 63432 advanced paint and varnish remover gel, you can get your work done in two minutes. 

The gel-based formula breaks down the varnish’s chemical bonds easily. It can also remove latex, oil-based paint, epoxy, shellac, and lacquer finishes in no time. You need only four steps to strip off colour using the Sunnyside 63432 varnish remover gel. The measures include poring, letting it dry, scrapping, and brushing.

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  • It not only works with horizontal surfaces but clings pretty well to vertical surfaces.
  • All you need is one application of the Sunnyside Varnish remover to remove multiple layers finish.
  • It does not cause any damage to woods or corrode metals.
  • It works magically on almost all substrates. 
  • The product takes only 2 minutes to remove the coatings.
  • The 1 QT can strip up to 100 sq. ft.


  • Sometimes you might have difficulty in removing automotive paints. 

4. Dumond Chemicals Inc.3301 Advanced paint remover

Dumond Chemicals Inc.3301 Advanced paint remover

The Dumond Chemicals Inc.3301 varnish remover comes in a 1 QT tub. The product is safe for the user as well as the environment as it does not contain methylene chloride, toxic chemicals, and caustics. It is odor-free and releases zero harmful fumes to the environment. The remover is in a paste form. Hence, you easily apply using a brush, airless sprayer, or a roller. It helps in removing varnish for indoor and outdoor surfaces. 

Besides being 100% biodegradable, it contains benzyl alcohol that removes multiple layers of varnish coats. The product works well with wood, bricks, stones, rigid solids, plasters, metals, fiberglass, etc.

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  • Safer to use. It is safe to the environment, substrate as well as to the user.
  • The product is very easy to apply.
  • It helps in removing multiple layers of varnish.
  • It works excellent on carved, molded, and intricate surfaces.
  • You can use the remover to remove marine paints and lead-based paints. The good thing is it does not damage the gel coat.


  • The cleaning process is challenging.

5. Sunnyside Corporation 65664 Varnish Remover

Sunnyside Corporation 65664 Varnish Remover

As the name suggests, the Hi-speed ready-strip citrus varnish remover works quickly and effectively. It has a no-drip formula that makes it user-friendly. The product is 100% safe on surfaces like masonry, wood, metal, concrete, and brick. 

The Hi-Speed ready-strip remover does not contain methylene chloride, harsh chemicals, or other caustics. It is non-flammable and is capable of removing three layers. It starts its function in 30 minutes. 

The product comes in two different tub sizes – 32-ounce spray and ½ gallon tub. Try to keep away from surfaces that are made of rubber, plastic, or sheetrock. It does not release any harsh fumes. The colour change technology of the Sunnyside varnish remover signals you about the varnish removing status. It protects damages that can happen on the surface beneath. 

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  • It can remove three layers of coatings in one application.
  • It works quickly and effectively.
  • The product is very convenient to use.
  • It works well on both vertical and horizontal surfaces.
  • It is free of harmful ingredients.
  • This varnish remover is eco-friendly.
  • It is user-friendly.
  • Well-suited for all kinds of interior and exterior substrates.

6. Winsor & Newton Mixable Mediums Varnish Remover

Winsor & Newton Mixable Mediums Varnish Remover

The water-mixable oil colour formula helps in removing Artisan varnishes. If you want to keep your paintings looking their best, you must try out the Winsor and Newton mixable varnish remover. Take some of the removers onto a lint-free cloth. Now take the fabric and gently rub into the varnish film. 

If you start noticing that the pigment has started appearing onto the material, it is an indication that the varnish removal process is successful. The product is specifically designed for artists to remove varnish. It is suitable for artists who paint chairs and need a varnish or tint remover to remove something in a smaller amount.

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  • Easy to apply.
  • Does not require any stripping tools or brushes. All you need is a lint-free fabric.
  • It is well-suited for artists.
  • Works great only in smaller areas.


  • It is recommendable to use the product only under certain circumstances.
  • Costly.
  • Does not work as expected for larger surface areas.

7. Sunnyside multi-strip paint and varnish remover

Sunnyside multi-strip paint and varnish remover

Sunnyside multi-strip paint and varnish remover is one of the safer and professional varnish removers available. It can do away with 15 layers of varnish, paint, stain, or lacquer. It takes around 30 minutes to start working. All you need to do is apply a light coat if you want to remove only 1-4 layers. 

For pulling more than four layers of varnish, apply a heavier coat of the remover and make use of a stripping tool. You use a medium-sized nap point roller, a putty knife, or a brush to apply the coats of the varnish remover. The product is environment-friendly as it does not contain methylene chloride. The remover can also remove hard coatings such as urethanes and two-part epoxy.

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  • It is safe.
  • It clings well to vertical surfaces.
  • Non-flammable.
  • It is easy to use.
  • It can remove up to 15 layers of varnish.
  • The product easily removes varnishes that are oil or water-based without any difficulties.
  • It works on interior and exterior surfaces.


  • It is slightly on the expensive side.
  • It takes some time to start working on the surface.

8. Sunnyside 658G1A ready strip Advanced

Sunnyside 658G1A ready strip Advanced

The all-rounder Sunnyside 658G1A ready strip advanced varnish remover is capable of lifting more than just varnish. If you are looking for a multipurpose varnish stripper for wood, it serves as a good option. It is safer than a several varnish remover products. It is also free from NMP and methylene chloride. 

The product comes in a one-gallon tub. Perhaps, the product is also available in a ½ gallon stub and 1 QT tub. It starts its action in 60 minutes. The remover can remove up to 7 layers of coatings in one application. The product is manufactured using colour change technology. When the remover is applied on the surface, it turns off-white. It has a low odor. Thus, you can work comfortably with remover.

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  • It comes with a safer formula.
  • It is non-flammable.
  • Besides removing varnishes, it can also remove paints, stains, lacquers, and urethanes.
  • It is environment-friendly.
  • It has a low odor.
  • The formulation can remove up to 7 layers.
  • Free from caustics
  • Low VOC


  • Difficult to clean

9. Dumond Chemicals 1005N Heavy-Duty varnish remover

Dumond Chemicals 1005N Heavy-Duty varnish remover

The Dumond Chemicals 1005 N comes in a 5-gallon tub. It has a viscosity of 26 and can cover approximately 15-20 sq. Ft. Per gallon. The white paste varnish remover can also remove 32 layers of paint in one single application. It is versatile, affordable, and a safer varnish remover option. 

The product is free from methylene chloride. It is also useful for the metallic exterior. The paste can stay wet for a longer time, thus, allowing you to strip away multiple layers in one application. The paste formulation can easily be applied using a brush or a conventional airless sprayer.

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  • It is environment-friendly.
  • No harsh smells. It has great scents.
  • It is entirely safe for both indoor and outdoor use.
  • It has long-active times and shows fast-acting results.
  • Also, it can remove latex, oil-based paints, lacquer, stains, etc.
  • It can easily penetrate multiple layers making the removal process easier.
  • It contains zero VOC.
  • Glides easily on surfaces that are carved, molded or intricate.
  • It does not release harmful fumes or odor. 


  • It is expensive and can leave a hole in your pocket.

10. Max Strip Paint and varnish stripper

Max Strip Paint and varnish stripper

The Max Strip Paint and varnish remover are one of the toughest and best-selling varnish removers available in the market. It removes paints as well as varnishes safely from a variety of surfaces.  The remover is free from methylene chloride and NMP. It is safe to skin. Besides being an environment-friendly product, it is also 100% bio-degradable. It removes varnishes from glass, laminate, fiberglass, metal, plastic, furniture, brick, granite, flooring, marble, concrete, stone, wood, porcelain, etc.

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  • Gentle on most of the substrates
  • It releases no harsh fumes.
  • It has a pleasant scent.
  • No exceptional ventilation is necessary.
  • Free from NMP and methylene chloride.
  • Comes with a formula that is skin-safe.
  • Easy to use for all kinds for home as well as professional purposes.


  • It cannot remove automotive or factory finishes paints.

Varnish Removers Buying Guide 

By the time you must be aware of that a good varnish remover should be environment-safe with skin-safe formula and should remove up to 15 layers of varnishes in one application. Many professional artisans use varnish removers to keep alive the furniture. A good stripping tool is equally important for making the varnish removal process a successful one. 

Selecting the right varnish remover can be a daunting task, and many factors go into choosing the best varnish remover. In this article, we have prepared a complete buyer’s guide with all the detailed information. 


If your product is versatile, you can use it to remove paints apart from removing varnishes. It can be usable on different varieties of workspaces. A good and versatile varnish remover works on wood, metal, bricks, and even masonry. It is always recommendable to do a small test patch on the surface to make sure it is safe. Some removers don’t go well with plastic surfaces and end up melting them.


Varnish removers can be dangerous. Some varnish removers release fumes that end up damaging your lungs when inhaled. Try to look out for the safer options that do not emit fumes. Never sacrifice your safety to remove varnish. Invest in something that is 100% safer. 


Your Varnish remover should be free from harsh and harmful chemicals such as methylene chloride and NMP. These toxic chemicals can pose serious and dangerous health hazards. Look for ingredients that are 100% biodegradable and environment-friendly. It should be non-flammable.


Your varnish remover can be termed as effective only if it removes the varnish from various surfaces in less time and lesser applications. Some of the removers such as the Sunnyside remover take 2 minutes for removing the varnish. At the same time, others remain active for a few hours before they start taking action.


For some people, the budget plays an important role in selecting a varnish remover. If you decide to invest in a good container of varnish remover, chances are they will work according to the claims the product does.


Make your life easier and remove varnish in less-time by selecting a good-quality varnish remover. All of the removers mentioned above are 100% safe, reliable, effective, and easy to use.

Written by:

Hi there! My name is Herbert Miller and I´m one of these you could call a real handyman. My hobby is to fix everything whenever it comes to cars or stuff in my garden. I created this website to share my knowledge with all the different tools I have tried through the years.