How To Strip Paint From Wood In 5 Ways?

how to strip paint from wood

Are you planning to renovate your home? In that case, paints have to be cleared off the walls; kitchen tops need remodeling, and bam! You will have to strip off the paint from your wooden furniture. This is one of the toughest things to do since, after a certain point in time, the paint on the wooden furniture becomes flaky, and if you do not remove it well or try to assert force, you could end up destroying the varnish. So, how to strip paint from wood without damaging the finishing? This article will detail it for you. 

Without wasting time, then – 

What are the available products to use for stripping? 

Before figuring out how to strip paint from wood – you need to find out the products that are used for stripping. Among the most-opted alternatives, you have –

  1. Heat guns
  2. Scrapers
  3. Vinegar
  4. Pressure washers
  5. Citrus-based removers (soy gels)

In the next section, you will get to see how to use any of these products to wipe out the paint from the wooden surface. 

How to strip paint from wood by the following methods? 

Here are some of the ways that you have to follow to ensure that the paint is stripped off the wood well – 

1. If you are using a chemical paint stripper 

When you use a chemical paint stripper – be assured of getting results at the earliest! This chemical paint stripper breaks down the bonds in the paint, thereby turning it into a gooey substance. In the next step, you can remove this gooey substance by wiping it – thereby retaining the finish of the wooden furniture. 

As a matter of fact, certain paint strippers contain harmful chemicals, and you must be careful of the same. Use gloves, goggles, long-sleeved shirts, and a respirator to protect yourself. 

stripping paint from wood
Image Credit: EcoStrip

2. What if you are using a heat gun? 

You can always use a heat gun to strip off the paint from wooden surfaces. Heat guns work by making the paint bubble-like and then scraping it off the wooden surface, leaving it as new as ever. 

You will have to hold the nozzle above the painted area (around 2 inches above the area) and run the gun in a sweeping motion. Once you continue doing it, you will soon find the paint scraping off. 

However, if you are not careful, you might just get a wood burner. Use heat-resistant gloves for the same. Do not forget to keep aside a fire extinguisher. 

strip paint from wood 1
Image Credit: DIY Doctor

3. Is vinegar a viable alternative? 

Since you have heard of this technique multiple times, it is only natural that you would want to know how to strip paint from wood with vinegar. We will give you the details – 

You will have to take distilled vinegar and water in a 1:2 ratio. Heat it in a pan (you can also microwave it). Get a cotton rag (do not use any other material since the effectiveness will not be the same) and soak it up in the solution. Dab the surface well with this and leave it on for 15 minutes. Once done, scrape off the paint. 

In case this does not work in the first instance, you can always try it a second time. Give it another 15-minute timeline, and you will find the paint scraping off without harming your furniture’s finishing.

strip paint with vinegar
Image Credit: craft art

4. Ever tried using citrus-based remover? 

Though this is not a procedure that most follow to remove paint from their wooden furniture, it is a sure-shot success strategy. Let’s see how this process works – 

No doubt they are biodegradable, and unlike their toxic companions, they are safe in nature – even then, you must wear goggles and covered-up shoes before you start spraying. 

You will have to take the remover on a paintbrush and paint it over the wooden surface. If you do not have the time to spare, then let it sit for a maximum of 1 hour and then strip it off. Else, if you plan to keep it overnight, you can always paint the surface with this remover and cover the area with plastic. 

strip paint with citrus remover
Image Credit: dengarden

5. You can try using a pressure washer 

If you want to know how to strip paint from wood with the assistance of a pressure washer, for starters – you will require a washer of range (2500-3000 PSI). 

Despite the fact that it is a little more time-consuming than the tactics mentioned above, you will have to take the washer’s nozzle set at 15 degrees and from a distance of 15-20 inches (as per discussion with professionals) spray the washer in a sweeping format. 

Though it is not dangerous, you must wear close-toed shoes and goggles to carry out this process.

 These are some of the most opted techniques for stripping the paint off wooden surfaces without patching the base of the same. 

strip paint with pressure washer
Image Credit: pressurewashermaster

What you must remember before stripping the paint? 

For starters – you will have to know that as easy as it may sound – removing paint from a wooden surface is no easy job. Therefore – find out if your paint scraper has lead content in it. Breathing lead particles is injurious to your health, and you must report the same to the government-authorized Environmental Protection Agency

Additionally, know for a fact that chemical paint strippers give off fumes that are extremely toxic in nature. Therefore consult professionals before you go ahead with this technique. Always put on the cover of the paint stripper, or else it could give up fumes.

Is sanding a good alternative? 

With a good idea about how to strip paint from wood by the above-mentioned procedures, it is time for you to check out some alternatives. You might have heard about sanding wooden furniture. Is it better than stripping the paint? Let’s find out – 

  • If you have a large and flat wooden surface, sanding is a great choice. However, if you have an intricate wooden surface, sanding may not work, and you will have to opt for the stripping process. 
  • Sanding takes more effort compared to stripping. Though there is not much of a difference in terms of the result or reduction in delivery time – when it comes to tight corners and contoured surfaces, stripping is an immediate choice. 
  • When you have a large project to finish, it is best to opt for the stripping process. As easy as sanding may be – in more than a single scenario, you will find the sandpaper getting clogged and disrupting your work schedule. 

Therefore, one may consider sanding as an alternative to stripping off the paint. But in the long run, it is best that you follow the usual stripping method to remove paint from your wooden furniture without damaging the finishing of the same. 

how to strip paint from wood 2
Image Credit: FineWoodworking

Closing thoughts

It is only natural for you to try remodeling your home or renovating your space, and removing paint from wooden furniture without damaging its ultimate touch can be tasking. Now that you know how to strip paint from wood – it is only natural that you follow the steps accordingly and ensure that the furniture is not damaged in the process. Do you have any other steps in your mind apart from the ones mentioned here? Don’t forget to share the same with us. Keep following this page for more! 


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