How to remove paint from wood?

Welcome to the guide on how to remove paint from wood. In this guide, we will tell you how you can scrape off the old finish from your old furniture and make it look worthwhile again.

Removing paint from old wood is a tedious job and quite a workout. It requires a great deal of patience and arm strength. But does that mean it can’t be done quickly? No! In Fact it can be a 30-minute job if done with proper technique. And that’s exactly what we are about to find out.

Tools needed:

These are the tools you will need to remove old paint from the wood. Make a list of them, Go to your nearest stores, and get equipped. You will need:

  • Sandpapers
  • Pair of Gloves
  • Paint Strippers
  • Heat Gun
  • Eye protection glasses

Before anything – Check for damages

Before putting any work on removing old paint from wood, we want you to make sure that the wood you’re about to work on is worth using at all or not. Oftentimes old wood furniture becomes useless due to overtime damage. So in order to save a lot of hard labour, better be sure about the condition of the wood.

You need to make sure that the wood isn’t rotted. Rotting is common in old wood, especially dry rot.

Dryrot On White Painted Wood Wall

You can check for dry rot by smelling the wood and see if you are getting any damp or musty smell. If yes, then the wood is worthless. Another sign of rotting is fungus on the surface of the wood, and powdered type of dust coming from beneath the furniture.

Also, you may want to look for minor or big cracks. If the wood is cracked, then it is of no utility to you.

Most importantly, if the wood is old and painted before 1978, then there is a chance of it containing lead in the paint. Test the wood with lead DIY kits. If the results are positive, call the professionals to do the job. Because Lead can be dangerous to work with or around especially if you have children or pregnant women in your family. It can cause seizures, organ malfunction, and growth issues in children.

After inspecting and confirming that the wood is in good condition, move to the first method of removing old paint from the wood. Which is…

Paint Strippers

Paint stripper is a chemical that softens the old paint to make it easier to remove. It is available in liquid, gel, spray, or paste form. If your furniture is of complex shape, the paint stripper will help you to scrape the paint away from those round angles, corners, and tight areas. These are the points where you can not use brute force to scrape the paint.

Paint Stripper For Wood Blue Paint On Wood

A paint stripper is good for making paint scraping easier but can also be harmful. Especially for your skin, eyes, and lungs. Because it contains methylene chloride that quickly evaporates once you apply the paint stripper (That’s why people get that weird and nauseous smell), and if it enters your lungs, it will cause dizziness, and lack of coordination, and in case of heavy exposure– death!

That’s why it is imperative to use the protective gears mentioned above in the tool section of this guide while using paint strippers.

Using a paint stripper is relatively easy. Just follow this process:

  • Pour a small amount of the chemical into a container and apply to the parts you wish to remove paint from, or if you have a spray paint stripper, then spray it on the surface.
  • Wait for the time mentioned on the label of your product (every brand has a different waiting time).
  • Scrap away the stripped paint.

If you don’t want to take risks with a Paint stripper, then the next method is for you.

Heat Guns

A heat gun blows hot air, which if you point on to the paint surface would make it hot and blister, and you can just scrap that away easily. It’s as simple as that.

Scrape Paint From Wood With Heat Gun

However, there’s a precaution that you need to take. Stop immediately if you see smoke coming from the paint. It contains harmful chemicals and carbon monoxide in it. Wear gloves, an inhaler mask, and eye protectors for safety.

After completion wash the wood with spirits or denatured alcohol. That’s basically it.


Sandpapers are best suited for flat surfaces. You can either use a sanding machine or you can use sandpaper and rub it with your hands. To remove old paint for the wood, you will need three kinds of sandpapers; 80 Grits, 150 Grits, and 220 Grits.

Sandpaper Paint From Wood Wall

Clean the surface thoroughly before sanding it. Wait for it to dry. Remove the hinges, knobs, and nails from the surface to avoid injury. Start rubbing with 80 Grits, then use 150 grits to remove stubborn paint spots. Finally, finish it with 220 grits.

Wear gloves, eye protectors, and inhalers to protect yourself from the dust.

Looking for a natural looking and protected finish?

There are many reasons for wanting to strip paint, including the increasing popularity of natural wood finishes, especially for outdoor furniture, sheds, etc.

proPERLA® Wood impregnator offers protection against rain and weather while maintaining the original wood finish.

Ending note

At the end of this guide, we’d advise that it is always better to let professionals handle the job. This guide is okay for when you have just a small piece of furniture to remove paint from.

But if it’s not, then you should call a team of professionals to do it. Paints have a lot of chemical substances in them and it’s never worthwhile to risk health doing it on your own. Professionals are trained to do these things and know how to do them safely, quickly, and efficiently.

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proPERLA® offers a range of exterior super hydrophobic waterproof paints & coatings designed to reduce energy costs and protect homes.

Through our official network of applicators, we provide services to end customers, ensuring the correct application of our products for your benefit.

Whether you are a professional interested in working with our products, or a customer looking for solutions, contact us for more information.

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