Silent Paint Remover, Remove Paint Like A Ninja

The Silent Paint Remover, aka infrared paint stripper, might be your ideal solution for assassinating old paint. Let’s face it, stripping old paint is a hassle. You could use methyl chloride stripper, but then you’d risk it eating your flesh off, and there’s the potential carcinogen issue. Heat guns are effective, but carry a high risk of lighting your house on fire or risking lead poisoning. I have now tested a Silent Paint Remover on a couple projects and have found it to be one of the better paint stripping options out there. The tool works fairly quickly (10-60 seconds per section, depending on the paint you’re working with), and it bubbles and softens the paint nicely and cleanly. You just heat a section, and then use a high quality pull scraper to strip the paint.
The lower temperature on the tool is designed to prevent dangerous vaporization of lead paint. However, because this is a dry stripping process that involves scraping, I think there is still a likely risk of causing paint dust to become airborne. Before you strip any older paint, I would highly encourage having lead testing done. If you do plan to work with lead-based paint despite the risks, carefully observe lead safe work practices, or hire a reputable lead abatement company. The Silent Paint Remover is available for under $450 through Amazon courtesy of Viking Sales.


  1. I was lead poisoned while using the silent paint remover. The lead damaged my liver.

    • Very sorry to hear about your lead poisoning Bill. Would you be willing to share more information with us? The Silent Paint Remover claims to be a “Lead Safe” product, but I would imagine it’s still possible to get lead exposure during it’s use (eg. if you scrape dust into the air, or do any sanding after using the Silent Paint Remover). Can you share how you used the tool and how specifically you believe you were exposed to the lead?

  2. You can also DIY construct these things for far less money.

    The IPRs in this article use the equivalent of a toaster-oven’s element to do the heating, and so home-brewed IPRs can be built from anything that uses a quartz heating element.

  3. Can the Speedheater be used on dry wall?
    I need to remove only the surface layer of some bad, smelly paint that was used 6 months ago, so I don’t need to get down to the bare dry wall. I think it’s latex paint, flat finish, but for some reason it still smells after 6 months, and it’s giving me chemical allergies.

    • Hi Nancy. Thanks for the comment, and sorry to hear about the smelly paint! Using the Speedheater on drywall, especially to try to selectively remove a specific layer of paint sounds like a pretty dicey proposition. I think you’d wind up removing more than just one layer, and since drywall essentially uses paper, I’m not so sure heating that paper is a good plan either. I’d recommend you talk to the folks at Speedheater direct and see what they say, but I’d carefully consider your options before stripping paint off drywall.

      An alternative plan might be to use an eco-friendly primer and paint, and just seal in the smellies. Some primers/paints are better than others at this, so definitely talk to your local paint pros to get their recommendations for the situation. If the smell is really bad, it’s possible it will leach through the primer and paint too. But if it’ were me, I’d opt for a cover-up strategy before I tried to selectively strip paint layers, or even before trying to strip any paint off drywall. Hope that helps! Good luck, and let us know how it goes!

  4. Soren Eriksson says:

    The Silent Paint Remover and Speedheater are both copied from the original infrared paint removing system invented by Hans Allback (Sweden) in the early 1980. The Silent Paint Remover has all UL listed components and is made for the North American electrical system. Speedheater simply rewire the 220 Volt units to work on 115 Volt. The wires in the Speedheater tool are too small for running more electric, therefore the Silent Paint Remover utilizes heavier wire that will generate significantly less heat. The Silent Paint Remover is a heavier duty tool. Now also available with a heavy duty stainless steel reflector that will not degrade over time. Speedheaters bulbs are suspended in a complicated spring system that simply falls apart after just a few years.

  5. I purchased the Silent Paint Remover this summer (2009) and was quite pleased with it. I then ordered the hands free attachment which, I was told, would make my job much easier and much faster. I was extremely disappointed with it. The design is very poor and it is very time intensive and difficult to setup and move. I tried to return the unit beyond the 30-day “trail period” and was told they would not take it back and I should consider selling it on EBay.

  6. Thanks for the additional info Catherine!

  7. Keep in mind that the Silent Paint Remover is now a copy of the original Speedheater Infrared Paint Remover invented and still manufactured in Sweden. The Speedheater has passed Underwriters Laboratory rigorous safety testing to be UL Certified. To pass, the design was improved by adding shock absorbers to the infrared bulbs to reduce the risk of damage when the tool is dropped. Documented testing of the Speedheater verifies the user safety of the tool in not producing lead vapors during the low temperature heating and in effectively removing lead-based paint.

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