House Grail is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

How to Remove Paint from Wood the Right Way

how to remove paint from wood the right way

Hoping to repaint a wooden surface? Before you can get to the fun part, you first need to make sure that you get off all of the old paint.

This task isn’t particularly hard, but there are some steps involved. The aim for today is to demystify the process of removing paint from wood so that you can start enjoying a nice fresh coat.

divider 1

Step One: Safety First:

This isn’t an extremely dangerous task, but there is room for some mild injury, especially when you don’t take the risks that do exist seriously.

That being the case, you are going to want to secure yourself a pair of safety goggles and gloves.

While you are preparing for the task, you should also get the room ready. Just like laying paint, stripping it can also be a big mess. Setting out sheets, or canvas will help a lot with the clean up.

Also be sure to open some doors and windows for ventilation. The process involves some chemicals that you won’t want to breath in.

Image credit: Airman 1st Class Tammie Ramsouer, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson

Step Two: Start By Sanding:

Once you have prepared yourself, and the area, you can begin by sanding the paint that you will be working on. You aren’t trying to remove the paint here—just to free it up a little bit so that it will be more vulnerable to the paint and varnish remover.

sanding wood
Image Credit: Staff Sgt. Tabitha Kuykendall, U.S. Air Force

Step Three: The Paint Remover:

Now it is time to apply some maximum-strength paint remover to the surface. Feel free to apply generously to the region—the more paint remover you use, the better the results that you can expect to see.

Once the remover has been robustly applied, it is time to play the waiting game. In about four hours, or whenever you begin to see the paint chip and peel, you can feel free to proceed to our next step.

Step Four: Scrape the Paint Off:

Now that the paint is peeling from the walls, it is time to finish the job. Using a paint-scraping knife, scrape up and down the surface until the paint and varnish is removed.

And that is all there is to it. Keep in mind that sometimes one round is not enough. If you are dealing with some stubborn paint, you may have to reapply the paint remover one or two more times before you see the results that you are looking for.

divider 4


So, as you have seen, this process doesn’t have to be a challenge. If you remember your safety steps, and follow the instructions in this guide, you will have a nice, risk-free time.

Getting paint and varnish off of wood isn’t most people’s favorite chore, but sometimes it is necessary. When those situations arise, tackling the situation with the right information is the difference between a job well done, and a true disaster.

Now that you have read our guide, you shouldn’t have any problem at all removing paint and varnish from any wooden surface.

Related Reads:


Related posts

OUR categories

Project ideas

Hand & power tools