11 Best Paint Strippers For Wood 2023

Any painting project must include paint preparation, and the quality of your finished product can be greatly affected by the paint stripper you select. The surface may only need to be cleaned and sanded for a project that involves painting a previously painted surface. However, extra steps like priming and filling in flaws may be required if the surface is fresh or has never been painted. A paint stripper or a hand sander can be used to accomplish this manually, taking much less time and exertion.

Best Paint Stripper For Wood

However, not all paint strippers are appropriate for all surfaces and paint, and some contain harsh chemicals that call for extra safety measures. We assessed several paint strippers for a range of purposes to assist in clearing up any ambiguity and limit the possibilities.

Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or a professional painter, our in-depth study will assist you in selecting the best paint stripper for your requirements. We have everything you need, from gel to liquid to environmentally friendly solutions. This is the guide to finding the Best Paint Stripper for Wood, so let us jump right in.

What Is A Paint Stripper?

Simply put, a paint stripper is a product that dissolves paint or layers of varnish, enamel or glues off furniture or other surfaces made of any material, including wood, metal, and tiles. Paint strippers dissolve the paint’s chemical bonds, making removing it simpler. They may be employed by dipping, spraying, or brushing.

Paint strippers can be solvent- or water-based, frequently used in remodeling projects to restore a surface’s original look or prepare it for a fresh coat of paint. Protective gloves and working in a well-ventilated location are two safety considerations that should be observed while utilizing paint strippers.

Best Paint Stripper For Wood

Citristrip Paint & Varnish Stripping Gel

Latex, oil-based paint, varnish, lacquer, polyurethane, and shellac can all be successfully removed with the help of the wet, active paint remover Citristrip Safer Paint & Varnish Stripping Gel. It can be applied to wood, metal, and masonry surfaces like brick and concrete. The product has a light citrus aroma but isn’t NMP or methylene chloride. 

Citristrip® Paint & Varnish Stripping Gel, 1 Quart
  • CITRISTRIP Safer Paint & Varnish Stripping Gel is easy to use.
  • Stays wet and active for up to 24 hours allowing stripping of multiple layers in one step.
  • Removes dried latex and oil-based paint, varnish, lacquer, polyurethane and shellac.
  • Strips multiple layers from wood, metal and masonry surfaces.
  • No methylene chloride or NMP.

Although Citristrip doesn’t contain abrasive substances like NMP or methylene chloride, it is quite good at removing paint from surfaces. However, it is crucial to exercise patience since the substance may bubble when applied and must sit on the surface for several hours to remove the paint completely. Citristrip is perfect for removing numerous layers of paint because it stays moist for up to 24 hours.

Dumond Smart Strip Advanced Paint Remover

With just one application, the biodegradable paint stripper Dumond Smart Strip may remove up to 15 layers of paint and coatings. It works well on various materials, including wood, brick, stone, metal, marble, terra cotta, granite, terrazzo, concrete, plaster, cast iron, and more. It works well on copper, tin, enamel, slate, and other surfaces. The product doesn’t contain methylene chloride or NMP and is simple to use without chemicals. 

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Dumond 027691033322 Smart Strip by Peel Away One Sample Size’ Paint Remover, 1 Quart, White
  • REMOVES UP TO 15 LAYERS OF PAINTS & COATINGS - Strips Acrylic, Latex, Oil, and Water-Based Paints, Varnishes, Stains, and Coatings in usually a Single Application!
  • EFFECTIVE ON ALMOST EVERY SURFACE - Wood, Brick, Stone, Metal, Marble, Terra Cotta, Granite, Terrazzo, Concrete, Plaster, Cement, Copper, Tin, Enamel, Slate, Cast Iron, and More!
  • EASY TO USE WITHOUT CAUSTIC CHEMICALS - Contains NO Methylene Chloride or NMP. Apply to surface and check every 90 minutes for up to 24 hrs. Remove with scrapper or pressure washer. No fuss, no muss!
  • TRUSTED BY PAINTING PROFESSIONALS - Smart Strip has been used on restoration projects of historic buildings and landmarks, government facilities, entertainment venues, and homes worldwide!
  • THE "DO-IT-YOURSELF" CHOICE - Powerful enough for painting contractors and restorers, but user-friendly enough for all your DIY home projects. That's why we say, "Do it yourself, with Dumond!" Packaging may Vary.

It can be used on fresh and previously painted surfaces and applied with a brush, roller, or sprayer. The Dumond Smart Strip is a superior option for interior applications because it has the least odor of all the tested items. The product’s thick nature made it simple to apply a coating that was 1/8 inch thick and scabbed over throughout an extended working period without drying out.

It takes longer to properly loosen the paint in the 4- to 24-hour working range, but once enough time had passed, it cleaned just as well as any other product. Due to its minimal odor, eco-friendly components, and efficiency for various surfaces and coatings, the product is recognized as the best overall.

MAX Strip Professional Strength Paint and Varnish Stripper 

Paint, latex, polyurethane, shellac, varnish, acrylic, and oil-based coatings can all be stripped from various surfaces using this low-VOC water-soluble Max Strip Paint & Varnish stripper. It is simple to use, free of chemical additives, and does not include NMP or methylene chloride. The no-drip gel consistency is perfect for usage in cramped or tiny places because it applies effortlessly with brushes, sprays, or rollers. 

Max Strip Paint & Varnish Stripper 32oz - Paint Stripper for multiple layers of acrylic, latex, oil & water-based paints, varnishes. For wood, metal, masonry, plaster, tile, molding.
  • DESIGNED TO REMOVE PAINT AND VARNISH FROM MULTIPLE SURFACES - Remove Paint, Latex, Polyurethane, Shellac, Varish, Acrylic, Oil Based Coatings and More in usually a Single Application!
  • EASY TO USE WITHOUT CAUSTIC CHEMICALS - Contains NO Methylene Chloride or NMP. Apply to the surface and check every 15 minutes till it's ready. Remove with scraper. No fuss, no muss!
  • THE "DO-IT-YOURSELF" CHOICE - Powerful enough for painting contractors and restorers, but user-friendly enough for all your DIY home projects.
  • NO HARSH FUMES OR UNPLEASANT ODOR - Our Paint Stripper is Ideal for use in confined or small spaces.
  • THE IDEAL STRIPPING CHOICE - Not designed for removal of deck coatings, factory finished, or baked on coatings ie. vehicle paint.

The stripper is not intended to remove baked-on coatings like automobile paint, factory finishes, or deck coatings. The product works well on wood, metal, and concrete surfaces and is less expensive per ounce than other tested treatments. However, because of its thin consistency, applications went on lightly, and some places with numerous coats of paint would need a second application. While it could be a dependable, economical option for daily use, it might not be the best choice for heavy-duty applications.

Motsenbocker’s Lift-Off Paint Remover Spray

A secure and efficient method for removing latex paint, acrylic paint, latex enamel, stencil paints, and other paints from various surfaces is Motsenbocker’s Lift Off Latex Paint Remover. It is a less harmful alternative to harsh chemicals like methylene chloride because it is water-based, biodegradable, and low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This product is excellent for cleaning paint spills, splatters, spilled paint, rollers, brushes, and paint pans.

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Motsenbocker's Lift Off 41301 22-Ounce Latex Paint Remover Spray is Environmentally Friendly Safely Removes Latex Paint and Enamel and Works on Multiple Surfaces Water-Based and Biodegradable
  • SAFELY REMOVE LATEX PAINT: Motsenbocker’s Lift Off Latex Paint Remover 413-01 utilizes a patented, water-based Enviro Science formula to safely remove old and new latex paint, acrylics, latex enamels, stencil paints, and more.
  • WORKS ON MULTIPLE SURFACES: This latex paint remover works on fiberglass, tools, carpet, brick, upholstery, spray equipment, brushes, clothing, vehicles, and more.
  • SAFER ALTERNATIVE TO HARSH CHEMICALS: Using Motsenbocker’s Lift Off Latex Paint Remover is safer than using harsh chemicals like Methylene Chloride. It is water-based, biodegradable, and has low VOCs.
  • GREAT FOR PAINT CLEANUP: Chemical paint removers can damage materials. Lift Off latex paint removal product is great for paint clean-up, including cleaning paint rollers, brushes, paint splatters and spills, and paint pans.
  • MADE IN THE USA: We manufacture Motsenbocker’s Lift Off Latex Paint Remover in the United States with high standards for product quality and using superior ingredients that are .

The American-made product is created to exact standards for product quality and using premium ingredients. The spray bottle makes application simple, even on objects with unusual shapes or into cracks or angles, and despite its versatility, it is not extremely expensive. It is a dependable and affordable alternative for modest projects since it contains volatile organic compounds (VOCs), but only in amounts almost half the legal VOC limit.

Sunnyside Corporation Hi-Speed Ready-Strip Citrus Paint & Varnish Remover

A fast-acting paint stripper that can remove up to three layers of oil- or water-based coating from a variety of surfaces is Sunnyside Hi-Speed Ready Strip. Its no-drip formula makes applying it convenient and simple, sticking to vertical surfaces and remaining wet for longer. It may be washed with water and begins in about 30 minutes. The product is safe for the environment because it emits little volatile organic compound (VOC) and doesn’t include harsh chemicals.

Sunnyside Corporation 65664 Hi-Speed Ready-Strip Citrus Paint & Varnish Remover Quart Trigger Spray, 1/2 Gallon, 64 Fl Oz
  • Capable of removing up to 3 layers of oil or water based coating
  • No-drip formula makes removing paint convenient and easy
  • Clings to vertical surfaces; stays wet longer
  • Starts to work in about 30 minutes
  • Easily cleaned up with water

Ready Strip is offered in quart-size spray bottles and 1-gallon containers. Using Ready Strip, test projects consistently demonstrated that single coats of paint could be removed in under an hour while multilayered paint still had residue. Its texture and moderate thickness make it excellent for vertical surfaces, and its mild and pleasant odor is also a plus. This paint remover can be a great choice for jobs within the home.

Klean Strip Premium Stripper Epoxy Polyurethane Varnish and Paint Remover

Fast-acting, non-toxic paint remover Klean Strip Premium remover breaks down built-up coatings in 15 minutes. It can be applied to surfaces with thick or old paint because it is non-toxic and does not contain methylene chloride.

Klean Strip Premium Stripper Epoxy Polyurethane Varnish and Paint Remover for Wood Metal and Masonry- Engine Paint Remover- Furniture Stripper-Available with Centaurus AZ Flexible Putty Knife-1 QT
  • ✅ Fast Acting and Non-Toxic: Klean Strip Premium Stripper contain fast-acting liquid that takes only 15 minutes to dissolve decades of built-up finishes, and does not contain methylene chloride, a patent-pending formula less toxic, and no severe working conditions for worker.
  • ✅ Toughest Paint Remover: This paint stripper is the most powerful and reliable for the toughest jobs like removing the multiple layers of both latex and oil-based paints without damaging the surface.
  • ✅ Versatile in Nature: This potent stuff not only works on latex and oil based paints, but it also remove polyurethane, epoxy, varnish, and shellac from wood, metal, and masonry surfaces.
  • ✅ Economic and Effective: Now you don’t need to buy multiple products for multiple applications because this single product does the multiple jobs effectively and give result in 15 minutes for long period of time.
  • ✅ Use with Centaurus AZ Putty Knife: Pour into a metal container and apply a thick coat on, then leave the area and let the remover to do the job for 15 minutes and scrape it off with Centaurus AZ flexible Putty Knife that we are determined to provide with this product.

This strong and dependable paint remover can easily remove multiple latex and oil-based paint layers without causing surface damage. Because of its adaptability, it can be used on latex, oil-based paints, polyurethane, epoxy, varnish, and shellac on wood, metal, and masonry surfaces.

Using the flexible Putty Knife, generously coat a metal container with Centaurus AZ Putty Knife, let it sit for 15 minutes, and then scrape off the leftover material. Drips are avoided by the strong adhesion of this thick paste to vertical surfaces. Keep it away from intense heat or flame sources because it has a strong odor, is not ideal for inside usage, and is highly combustible.

D Super Remover New Generation Stripper

The innovative paint remover D Super Remover is powerful, secure, and adaptable. It functions similarly to products containing methylene chloride but employs safer components. It is suitable for wood, metal, and concrete.

Paint Stripper (Quart - 32oz) Super Remover New Generation - Safe for Wood, Metal, Concrete & All Type of Paints
  • STRONG: The strongest paint remover available without methylene chloride, NMP, or any other highly toxic chemicals.
  • SAFER: This revolutionary, patent pending, new stripper works similar to products containing methylene chloride, but uses only safer ingredients. Safe for wood, metal and concrete. Brings a natural finish to your furniture. Gentle on antiques. Water cleanable.
  • FAST: Ultra fast action. Works in 15 minutes for most stripping projects. Removes multiple layers in one application (up to 5 layers).
  • VERSATILE: Removes oil paints, latex paints, varnishes, epoxies, shellacs, lacquers and polyurethanes. As effective as an industrial stripper, and is ideal for heavy-duty projects, finishing work, or any other stripping job.
  • EXPERTISE: Super Remover has been manufacturing high quality paint stripping products for over 40 years.

This patent-pending stripper can remove numerous layers in a single application, is safe for antiques, and is water-cleanable. It is adaptable and efficient for heavy-duty projects, finishing tasks, and other stripping activities. Super Remover is a great option for stripping antique furniture because it has produced high-quality paint-stripping products for over 40 years. 

Within 15 minutes of application, the paint stripper removes the top five layers of paint. It comes in 1-quart or 1-gallon cans, and because of its capacity to penetrate deeply into pattern work, remove finish rapidly, and won’t gum up the surface, it is appropriate for detailed woodwork. Before opening the container, ensure sufficient ventilation because the odor is potent.

Smart ‘n Easy Citrus Paint & Varnish Remover Gel

With only one application, Smart ‘n Easy’s potent, user-friendly formula may successfully remove up to 15 paint, coatings, and varnish layers. It works well on various materials, including wood, brick, stone, metal, marble, terra cotta, granite, terrazzo, concrete, plaster, cast iron, and more. It works well on copper, tin, enamel, slate, and other surfaces. The product is simple to use, free of chemicals, and neither Methylene Chloride nor NMP is present. 

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Smart 'n Easy Paint & Varnish Remover Gel - Do It Yourself Friendly Paint Remover - Strips Multiple Layers of Acrylic, Latex, Oil, & Water-Based Paints & Varnishes - Orange Citrus Scent - 32oz.
  • REMOVES MULTIPLE LAYERS - Strips acrylic, latex, oil, and water-based paints, varnishes, stains, and coatings, usually in one application! Always perform a small compatibility test before full use.
  • COMPATIBLE WITH MOST SURFACES - Wood, brick, stone, metal, marble, terracotta, granite, terrazzo, concrete, plaster, cement, copper, tin, enamel, slate, cast iron, and many more!
  • NO CAUSTIC CHEMICALS! - This water-based paint remover was made WITHOUT harmful caustic chemicals like methylene chloride or NMP commonly found in other paint removers.
  • EASY TO APPLY, EASY TO REMOVE - Pair with Dumond Laminated Paper (sold separately, see BUNDLES below) to speed up the removal process and make clean-up a snap! Apply, Wait, & Remove… No fuss, no muss!
  • THE "DO-IT-YOURSELF" CHOICE - Powerful enough for painting contractors but user-friendly for all your DIY home projects like furniture and cabinets. Do it Yourself with Dumond! Packaging may vary.

It is created in the USA using premium ingredients acquired worldwide for DIY home projects like cabinets and furniture. Because it is made exclusively for Do-It-Yourself homeowners, the Smart ‘n Easy Citrus Paint & Varnish Remover Gel is simple to use and incredibly efficient.

It functions indoors and outdoors and is especially effective on paints and varnishes created after 1980. It is also harmless for the environment. The gel formulation, water-based and non-drip, adheres to surfaces and smells of sweet oranges.

Jasco Professional Strength Premium Paint and Epoxy Remover

Paint, varnish, lacquer, shellac, epoxy, urethane, latex, and synthetic coatings can all be successfully removed using Jasco Premium Paint & Epoxy Remover, a potent non-methylene chloride compound. It can remove many layers of wood, metal, concrete, and masonry in 15 minutes.

The semi-paste mixture adheres to vertical surfaces and begins to act in 15 minutes or less. This paint remover is dangerous, combustible, and ideal for indoor and outdoor applications. It can be used on concrete, masonry, metal, and wood and is water rinsable. To ensure safe and efficient use, please follow the instructions.

Krud Kutter Latex Paint Remover

The Krud Kutter Latex Paint Remover is a biodegradable, low-VOC remover that works well on various surfaces, including carpet, tile, laminate, glass, linen, brick, and more. It is effective on both fresh and dried latex paint. It can be used on carpet, wood, cloth, brick, laminate, concrete, tile, vinyl, and more since it quickly penetrates paint and destroys it in minutes.

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Krud Kutter 336249 Latex Paint Remover, 24 Fl Oz
  • Effective for the removal of fresh or dried latex paint from interior and exterior surfaces
  • Biodegradable, low VOC formula soaks into paint and begins to loosen it within minutes
  • Can be use on carpet, wood, fabric, brick, laminate, concrete, tile, vinyl and more
  • Capable of handling even fully cured latex paint spills and splatters
  • Not recommended for use on leather

Even spills and splatters of fully cured latex paint are no match. The usage of leather is not advised, nevertheless. To help you live better while cleaning less, Krud Kutter offers a wide range of effective cleaning products. Their formulations are made to battle krud, resulting in cleaner homes and healthier cleaning procedures.

SaverSystems #1 Deck Wood Stain Stripper

This deck stain remover eliminates semi-transparent, weathered stains and sealants from wood siding, fences, and decks. It maintains the natural appearance of wood decks and strengthens the adhesion of wood stains.

#1 Deck Wood Stain Stripper - 1 Gallon - Ready to Use, Wood Stain Remover Strips Weathered, Water-Based and Oil-Based Finishes
  • Removes existing, weathered, semi-transparent stains and sealers
  • Ready to use, fast and effective - covers 100-150 sq. ft. per gallon
  • Deck stain remover strips worn finishes off decks, fences, and wood siding
  • Improves adhesion of wood stains & restores the natural look of wood decks
  • For best results, rinse with a pressure washer. Note: This product will not remove paint.

The product covers 100–150 square feet per gallon and works quickly. Rinse with a pressure washer for optimal results. It is not meant to remove paint, solid stains, or finishes that form a film. The deck wood stain stripper weakens and loosens tarnished coatings, but it is not meant to remove any finish that forms a film, such as paint or solid color stains.

How to use a paint stripper?

Use the procedures below to efficiently apply a paint stripper without harming the surface:

  • Use a suitable brush to apply the stripper, remove any extra material, and spread it in thick layers.
  • Permit the stripper to work for 10 to 20 minutes, forming a simple thin film to remove with a brush, scraper, or spatula.
  • To remove any remaining stripping material, scrub the surface with a brush, water, or turpentine.
  • Give the surface 24 to 48 hours to dry to remove moisture and residue.
  • Refresh the surface with fresh paint, enamel, varnish, or a protective coating.

Buying Guide 

A buying guide is useful for helping consumers choose items and services with knowledge. It offers reliable and unbiased information, which helps save time and money. Consider your needs and tastes, budget, and customer evaluations when looking for a good guide. Making options that match your needs and stay within your budget should be made easier with the guide provided below.

How to use a paint stripper?

Type

Solvent, caustic, biochemical, and zero-VOC are the four primary categories of paint strippers. When selecting the best paint stripper to remove paint, epoxy, or polyurethane, it is essential to comprehend the distinctions between each type because each has advantages and disadvantages. 

Solvent

The most effective kind is solvent, which weakens the connection that holds paint to the surface. On wood, stone, and metal surfaces, they are efficient at removing paint, epoxy, and polyurethane. Although alcohols can replace these products’ more harmful methylene chloride, they may still contain chemicals like methylene chloride with high VOC levels.

Caustic

The link between the paint and the target surface is loosened with caustic paint strippers, which interact chemically with the paint. After using these alkaline paint removers, neutralize the surface with a water-and-vinegar solution to restore the pH balance to 7. However, epoxy and polyurethane cannot be applied to them; only brick surfaces may.

Biochemical

Biochemical paint strippers, produced using a blend of plant-based solvents and N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP), are less abrasive than solvent and caustic paint strippers. They are appropriate for water- and oil-based paints on brick, metal, and wooden surfaces. On the other hand, they may negatively affect the reproductive and respiratory systems.

Zero-VOC

If worried about the negative impacts of other varieties, low- or zero-VOC paint strippers are the safest choice. Instead of harsher chemicals like NMP or methylene chloride, they are produced using naturally occurring solvents like benzyl alcohol.

To completely remove paint, modern strippers need more time, applications, and scraping than earlier, more hazardous formulas. They work well with paint applied to masonry or metal surfaces and are water- or oil-based. Although low- and zero-VOC strippers can be used on wood surfaces, the outcomes will depend on the kind of wood, enamel, varnish, or other protective treatment used.

low- or zero-VOC paint strippers

Surface Material

For various surfaces, there are many paint strippers to choose from. Paint, epoxy, and polyurethane can be removed from metal, stone, and wood with solvent strippers safely and without leaving any stains. Oil-based paint on brick surfaces can be removed using caustic strippers, but they are useless on epoxy and polyurethane.

Wood bleach can be used to eliminate them, even though they can corrode aluminum and darken hardwoods. Removing water- or oil-based paint from stone, metal, and wood is possible with biochemical strippers, but they are useless on epoxy and polyurethane. While epoxy and polyurethane are more difficult to remove from metal, masonry, and wood, zero-VOC strippers are more effective in breaking down paint resins.

Application

The way different types of paint strippers are applied differs. When applying paint to wooden surfaces, disposable paintbrushes should be used. The grain should always be followed, and short strokes should be made in a single direction. After 10-15 minutes, the solvent layer can be scraped off using a paint scraper. Solvents should be applied in a thin coating no thicker than 1/8-inch.

Caustic strippers need a thicker coating and must remain on the surface for 30 minutes before removing the paint. Biochemical strippers should be placed in a thick layer (between 1/8″ and 1/4″) and left on the surface for three to four hours before removal. Low-VOC paint strippers can be applied in layers ranging from 1/8″ to 1/4″, then washed off with water. Before scraping the paint off, give the paint stripper three to twenty-four hours to dry.

paint stripper for wood

Safety

When utilizing paint removers, put your safety first. Use paint thinners in well-ventilated spaces, and safeguard your eyes and lungs by using protective gear. Block off the area to stop children or dogs from touching or breathing in the fumes.

When stripping paint indoors, think about purchasing a biochemical or low-VOC product. Dress appropriately by donning long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, chemical-resistant gloves, a respirator, and safety eyewear. Considering that any paint stripper can go wrong, be cautious.

FAQs | Best Paint Stripper For Wood

What are the two most popular techniques for removing paint?

Heat removal and sanding removal are the two most popular ways to remove paint, partly because they don’t involve any chemicals. If you’re removing numerous coats of old paint off large surfaces, these techniques might not be sufficient.

Is stripping or sanding off paint from wood preferable?

Almost always, stripping is preferable to sanding. To begin with, sanding takes much more time than using a paint-and-varnish remover to strip a surface unless the old finish flocks off.

How should wood be prepped for painting following stripping?

After stripping, vigorous sanding leaves bare wood surfaces. Sanding should always be done with the grain of the wood. To obtain a smooth finish, use fine-grit sandpaper after removing the majority of the paint with coarse-grit paper in the beginning. Use a tack cloth to clean up to draw out dust and other particles.

What is the most effective method for painting hardwood?

Combine lemon juice and isopropyl alcohol. To remove the loose paint, clean the area with a moist towel. If the paint is still stubborn, soak a small nylon-bristled scrub brush in the solution and scrub the paint off. Finish by wiping the area with a rag dampened with clean water and wrung off.

Closure | Best Paint Stripper For Wood

When sanding and scraping fail, a decent paint stripper can help simplify removing old paint. Picking a paint remover suitable for the kind of surface and taking all necessary safety precautions are essential. Any leftover paint may need to be removed with a scraper, brush, or many coats of stripper.

A smooth, spotless surface ready for a new coat of paint or stain can be created with time and effort. For a cleaning process to go smoothly and effectively, selecting the correct paint stripper is essential. We hope the information provided has helped you decide on a paint stripper that will suit your needs. 

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