When most homeowners think of stripping paint, the first thing that comes to mind is the use of chemical strippers. These caustic chemicals can be hazardous to your health and are far from the only way to remove old paint from wood surfaces. Out of the many methods, three of the simplest and most accessible for the average do-it-yourselfer are sanding, water pressure and heat. Each has its own pros and cons.
Things You'll Need
- Belt sander
- 80-grit sanding belt
- Extension cord
- Edge sander
- Sanding block
- Sanding sponge
- 120-grit sandpaper
- Pressure washer
- Rubber gloves
- Heat gun
- Leather gloves
- Metal, wood-handled scraper
Install an 80-grit sandpaper belt on a belt sander. Make sure you have adequate extension cord length to safely reach the surface you will be working on and then connect the power.
Place the sander firmly against the surface of the wood, holding it in both hands, and pull the trigger to start the sander. Maintain a firm grip; as the sander comes up to speed, it can pull fiercely.
Sand with the grain. Avoid standing the sander in one place for too long, as this can cause dipping or gouging the face of the wood. Sand over the entire surface with this coarse belt to remove the bulk of the old paint.
Remove remaining paint with an edge sander, sanding block or sanding sponge. Once all paint is gone, make a second pass with a finer, 120-grit sandpaper to prepare the surface for a new finish.
Connect the water hose and turn it on. Connect the pressure washer to the power outlet and turn on the compressor. Put on goggles and heavy rubber gloves to prevent injuries. Set the pressure on a medium setting to start.
Hold the nozzle of the pressure washer 10 to 12 inches from the surface of the wood. Keep a firm grip on the sprayer handle and pull the trigger.
Work across the surface of the wood, angling the water jet to lift the old paint away. Watch for signs of damage, particularly if the wood is old. Work in rows to remove the paint, overlapping the spray slightly.
Increase the pressure slightly to remove tougher spots. Be careful not to apply too much pressure, as it can tear the grain of the wood.
Remove with a sander any paint the sprayer would not remove.
Plug the heat gun into an outlet. Wear heavy leather gloves and have a metal scraper with a wood handle ready.
Turn the heat gun on at a medium setting to start. Hold the end of the gun 8 to 10 inches from the surface of the wood and allow the hot air to blow over a small area for 10 to 15 seconds. When the paint starts to bubble, move the heat to next area and scrape the melted paint away with the scraper.
Work a small area at a time, heating and scraping. Watch for signs that the wood is darkening. It will catch fire if heated too much. Adjust the temperature as needed. Use steel wool to remove paint from corners and especially tough patches.
Sand the surface lightly to smooth the grain once the paint is removed.
- Photo Credit Old paint texture image by Yulia Podlesnova from Fotolia.com
How to Strip Paint from Wood Furniture
So you've acquired a bookcase. "This has lots of promise, and would look great in the dining room," you tell yourself. There's...
How to Remove Paint From Furniture
Restoring an old piece of furniture can be fun, and easier than you might think. With a little bit of time and...
How to Strip Paint From Your Car
Don't mess with all that tough and messy sanding - strip auto paint off with a chemical stripper in less than an...
How to Strip Paint From Wood
Stripping old paint from wooden furniture enables you to bring out the natural beauty of the wood underneath, either to refinish with...
How to Remove Spray Paint From Wood Furniture Without Damaging the Finish
When paint over-spray attaches itself to wood furniture, it can be difficult to remove without damaging the underlying finish you are attempting...
How to Remove Oil-Based Paint From Wood
Oil-based paint is difficult to remove once it has bonded to a surface. Oil paints tend to stick particularly strong to wood...