modifying consistency of paint stripper made from lye

May 2017
oakland, ca
Hello, new here, and thank you. Simply, I make my own paint stripper from pure lye, water, and cornstarch but it is too...mucousy. Can't find a better word (although I'm certain there's a chemical one!). The cornstarch of course thickens it but too much, and it gets gelatinous; too little and there's not a thick enough layer on the wall. Interestingly, heating the whole mix to boiling does something and it does come out less gelatinous and adheres better - but I'm still wondering if there is a way to get it to be more paste-like? Thank you.

May 2017
Hi Maria ... It's the lye (either sodium or potassium hydroxide) that's doing the stripping , so i think you want this as strong as possible ..

I guess the purpose of cornstarch is to make it stick onto vertical surfaces , on horizontal surfaces I would think it would work quicker without the starch....

Anyway , this is very easy , just vary the amount of corn starch till you get the right consistency , sounds like you've gone from one extreme to the other , one too sticky , the other not sticky enough ...adjust things carefully and slowly... good luck.