DIY: How-To Take Paint Off of Wood

by | Mar 31, 2022 | Miscellaneous

Ever wondered how to remove paint off of wood? Taking off the top layers of paint from old dressers, doors, and other wooden items can give them a new look.

Read more to learn how to DIY and give your wooden surfaces an updated look.

Sanding vs. stripping paint – which is better?

The good news is that you don’t have to be a carpenter to pull off this project on your own. With a bit of elbow grease, it’s an easy DIY.

Before you start, you’ll want to know whether sanding or stripping is better for your project.

If you’re planning to paint over the surface anyway, sanding is fine.

In this case, the goal of sanding isn’t to remove all the paint, it’s just to get the surface scuffed up enough that new paint will adhere.

However, if you need every last speck of paint removed, stripping is the way to go.

DIY Paint removal from sanding

Materials you’ll need:

  • 180-grit sandpaper
  • 80-grit sandpaper
  • Small handheld sander or sanding block

Start by prepping the wood with soap and water and cleaning off the surface. Now – start sanding!

Once the shiny top layer of paint is gone, wipe away all the dust. If you keep the surface rough instead of smooth, you’re good to go.

DIY Paint removal from stripping

Materials you’ll need:

  • Thick rubber gloves
  • Face mask
  • Paint stripper
  • Steel wool
  • Mineral spirits
  • Paintbrush
  • Small bowl
  • Plastic or metal scraper

Most strippers are in liquid form. But if your project is vertical, try using a stripper in gel or paste form.

Regardless of which form you choose, start by reading the instructions. Most chemical paint strippers are similar, but the directions will vary slightly.

Now, it’s time to gear up. Put on those safety masks and gloves, fill a bowl with the paint stripper, grab a brush, and begin applying the stripper to the old paint.

It’s simple. Just apply it like you would regular paint. Work on small sections at a time and spread evenly.

Once completed, it’s time to wait. Allow the paint stripper to sit until the paint beneath begins to crack and bubble.

Once it has started bubbling, grab your scraper and begin scraping away. Once you scraped away as much as you can, apply another coat of stripper and repeat the process.

If you’re not up for all the work that comes with a DIY sanding and stripping to take paint off of wood, there are always alternatives.

Consult with a professional to see the best process for your specific project and if they can do it for you!