How to Remove Paint From Wood


Removing paint from wood with a chemical paint stripper is an effective process that takes some patience and careful preparation. It is incredibly important to perform this procedure outside and to wear appropriate protective gear, including a respirator mask and gloves. Safety goggles may also be necessary. As long as you pay careful attention to the instructions, this is a safe way to remove paint from wood.

Things You'll Need

  • Drop cloth
  • Respirator mask
  • Gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Paint stripper
  • Paint brush
  • Paint scraper
  • Paint thinner
  • Cloth
  • Sandpaper
  • Spread a drop cloth on a concrete surface outside, such as a driveway. It's important to use paint stripper outside as the strong fumes can be toxic. Place the wooden object on top of the cloth.

  • Put on a respirator mask, gloves and a pair of goggles before opening the paint stripper. The stripper can irritate the eyes, airways and skin, so it pays to be extra careful. Make sure to consult the paint stripper's packaging before opening it to ensure that additional safety steps aren't recommended, and that the material of the gloves is compatible with the stripper.

  • Apply the paint stripper to the wood with a paintbrush, according to the instructions. Allow the stripper to soak in for the amount of time advised by the packaging (usually somewhere between 15 and 30 minutes).

  • Scrape the paint away from the wood with a paint scraper. Be sure to be gentle, as applying too much pressure can damage the wood. Reapply the stripper if necessary until all paint has been removed from the wood.

  • Wipe away the paint stripper with paint thinner and a soft cloth. However, before doing this, check the packaging to make sure that the paint stripper manufacturer hasn't recommended a different method of removing the paint stripper from the wood.

  • Allow the wood to dry for about two days. Then, sand it until it is smooth.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always follow the instructions on the paint stripper. Always apply paint stripper outside in a well-ventilated area away from children, animals, elderly people and those with respiratory issues.

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