Citristrip Paste vs Gel

Citristrip is a low-VOC paint-stripper product. Its environmentally-friendly formula makes it safer to use than other stain and paint strippers. And for what it’s worth, the product has a lovely citrus smell, which makes it pleasant to work with. 

Citristrip offers a gel and a paste-stripping compound. Although these products are similar in many ways, there are some important distinctions to take note of. 

In this post, you can discover the key differences between Citristrip Paste vs Gel to help you choose the right product for your needs.


Citristip Paste and Citristrip Gel are both used to strip paint and finish. Citristrip Paste is less messy than Citristrip Gel and is great for relatively small projects. Citristrip Gel is great for larger projects since the fluid can be brushed on large surfaces much more efficiently. Due to the gel’s fluidity, it’s also ideal for hard-to-reach grooves and corners.

citistrip paste vs gel

What is Citristrip Paste?

Citristrip Paste is a highly effective solution for removing layers of paint, varnish, and other finishes from a variety of surfaces. It works by softening the paint or varnish, allowing it to be scraped or wiped away more easily with a putty knife or similar tool. 

This enables users to easily remove finishes from furniture, cabinets, doors, and other wooden or metal surfaces. Because of the thick, cream-like consistency of the paste, the product adheres strongly to surfaces and won’t result in any drippage or runoff. 

What is Citristrip Gel?

Citristrip gel, like its paste counterpart, offers the same function of removing layers of old paint or lacquer from different surfaces. Compared to Citristrip Paste, Citristrip gel’s consistency is more fluid. 

Citristrip Gel’s composition has various advantages. Compared to liquid strippers like Klean Strip, it has a thicker and more viscous viscosity, allowing it to adhere to vertical surfaces or overhead applications without excessive leaking or running. The gel also remains active for extended periods therefore enhancing its stripping power.

Related: How to Apply Wax to Chalk Paint

When to Use Citristrip Paste vs Gel

Citristrip Gel and Paste are both usable on a wide range of surfaces, including wood, metal, concrete, and masonry. However, the size, condition, and state or the surface may impact your decision regarding using Citristrip paste or gel. 

Citristrip Paste can be great for treating relatively small areas such as table tops, and similar pieces of furniture. Compared to Citristrip Gel, the paste isn’t nearly as messy and the application process isn’t quite as involved. That being said, if you are only treating a small area, it’s much more convenient to use Citristrip Paste. 

Citristrip Gel on the other hand is great for treating relatively larger surfaces such as large pieces of furniture, or walls and ceilings. Its fluid consistency means you can spread the product with a brush over a large surface relatively efficiently. Additionally, because Cirtristrip Gel is more liquid than the paste, it’s easy to get the gel in grooves, corners, and other areas that are difficult to reach with the paste. 

Related: Sticky Residue After Paint Stripping? How to Clean it Off

How to Apply Each

Preliminary Preparation

Before applying Citristrip gel or paste, prepare the workspace:

  1. Before starting the application, ensure your safety by protecting your hands with chemical-resistant gloves and your eyes with chemical splash goggles. These safety measures are important to minimize skin contact and protect against potential eye irritation.
  2. Situate yourself in a well-ventilated space to avoid breathing in concentrated fumes emitted from these products.

Applying Citristrip Gel

  1. Apply a thick and uniform spread of Citristrip Gel to your surface with a paintbrush or chip brush. 
  2. Pay special attention to areas with numerous coats of paint or varnish, ensuring that the gel is thickly applied to fully penetrate all coats of finish. 
  3. Allow the Citristrip Gel to rest on the surface for a few hours. Depending on how many layers of finish you are stripping, it can take 30 minutes to 24 hours for the product to take its full effect. 
  4. Test a small area 30 minutes after application by lightly scraping the softened surface with a plastic scraper or putty knife. The finish is ready for removal if it simply lifts and peels away. Allow the gel to rest for a bit longer if it is still resistive.
  5. Scrape away the loose paint or varnish with a plastic scraper or putty knife. To avoid scratching or harming the surface, work along the direction of the wood grain or surface texture. If the gel has completely dried and hardened, applying another layer of Citristip can help loosen it up, making it easier to remove the Citristrip residue

Applying Citristrip Paste

  1. Apply a thick application of Citristrip Paste to the surface to be stripped with a trowel, or plastic stripping tool. Make certain that you have total coverage of the area you are working on.
  2. Spread the paste evenly and generously, ensuring a thick coating. This will guarantee optimal stripping penetration.
  3. When working on hard-to-reach spots, a toothbrush, toothpick, or brush can be used to get the paste into any nooks or grooves.
  4. Allow the Citristrip paste to rest on the surface for a few hours. Depending on how many layers of finish you are stripping, it can take 30 minutes to 24 hours for the product to take its full effect. 
  5. Scrape a small test area once the stated dwell time has expired to see if the finish is ready for removal. Using a plastic stripping tool, gently scrape in the direction of the wood grain. If the finish easily lifts up, it’s time to strip the entire surface. 
  6. Proceed to scrape the paste off your entire surface a putty knife. For tough places where the finish isn’t coming off easily, scrub these spots gently with an abrasive hand pad to aid in the stripping process. 

Difference in Price

Citristrip Gel and Citristrip Paste prices may differ based on the merchant, location, and any existing deals or discounts. However, Citristrip Gel is often slightly less expensive than Citristrip Paste. 

According to Home Depot, Citristrip Paste, with a 64 oz. container is listed at $26.97, while Citristrip Gel, is also in a 64 oz. container is priced at $25.97. Suffice it to say that Citristrip Gel is the more affordable option, but not by much. 



Leave a Comment