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TSP - The Down & Dirty

Should I use TSP to clean my furniture before painting? In the painting community there can be a fair bit of controversy surrounding TSP cleaners and their continued usage when there are so many highly regarded alternatives in today's market.


TSP stands for Trisodium Phosphate and it is a popular and commonly recommended surface preparation cleaner for painting. TSP can be purchased as a powder that you dissolve in water or as a ready to use spray. There are various trisodium phosphate cleaners available that are marketed under other names as well - these will list trisodium phosphate as one of their main ingredients.