Scrapers are a standard and ubiquitous tool for refinishing any surface. Scrapers can be used to remove shavings, old layers of glue, lacquer, paint or polish, rust, varnish, or ground-in dirt from concrete, glass, metal, and wood. They are most efficient for surface preparation of smaller or more difficult to reach areas. Many scrapers benefit from having their steel blades sharpened before use. To prolong the life of your paint scraper, resharpen the scraper often with a small file or a grinding wheel to maintain a good cutting edge as scraping old paint quickly dulls the blade.
Putty knives range in width from one to six inches and have a beveled edge. A putty knife is used in a pushing motion going under the paint and working from an area of loose paint toward the edge where the paint is still firmly adhered and, in effect "beveling" the remaining layers so that as smooth a transition as possible is made between damaged and undamaged areas.
Paint scrapers are commonly available in 1-5/16, 2-1/2, and 3-1/2 inch widths and have replaceable blades. In addition, profiled scrapers can be made specifically for use on moldings. As opposed to the putty knife, the paint scraper is used in a pulling motion and works by raking the damaged areas of paint away.