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Removing Old Paint From Wood

How do you remove old paint from wood surface?

Kathleen from West Hartford, CT


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By guest (Guest Post)
August 6, 20080 found this helpful

Go to a home center and buy a paint remover. There are several types all liquid. Some water soluable some not and follow direction on can. Be careful as some old paints may have lead in them although no lead has been put in paint manufactured in this country since 1978. Or you could just sand the wood wearing a dust mask so you don't breath in the dust.

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August 6, 20080 found this helpful

For paint, I prefer to use the nonliquid gummy type that doesn't run and you just scrape it off after so many minutes. If there's a lot of paint thickness, you may have to repeat procedure.


I like the liquid remover for varnished finishes. Place a leg or part of the furniture piece in a large pan and you can reuse until all varnish is gone; then add new remover over the piece to clean it up good before wiping down.

The difference in the two types is shaking the can and you can tell the liquid is splashing while the gummy type doesn't.

WalMart also sells these two types. Use a steelwool pad after wood is wiped down and this will smooth the surface from where the wood raised a bit and helps to clean out any left over paint in wood grain. Then wipe down again with old tee shirt or flannel cloth to remove dust.

A fine grain sandpaper will help smooth, but stay with the grain; don't rub in opposite directions. Wipe with cloth before applying new finish.

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August 7, 20080 found this helpful

Try a product called "Circa 1850" works great, will take off all layers of paint, then just wipe with mild soap and water to clean the surface

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By guest (Guest Post)
September 28, 20080 found this helpful

There are generally two types of paint strippers, fast and flammable or slow and safe. This article will show you how to use both.

http://www.how2  t_and_Stain.html

You can also scrape the paint off the surface if you don't have to worry about damaging the wood. You can always patch and paint if you do any damage scraping, good luck.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 30, 2011

How should I remove layers of old paint from wood before I repaint it?

By June W.


Answer Was this helpful? Yes
June 30, 20110 found this helpful

Stores have all kinds of products to strip paint off. No matter what you use, there is a certain amount of hard work involved.

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July 1, 20110 found this helpful

Two choices. Use a paint stripper or sand old paint off with power tool. Either way use safety protection.

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July 2, 20110 found this helpful

First you have to be careful if the painting was done when it still had lead in it. Especially be careful of sanding and especially if there are small children in your family. You can use paint stripper but it is best to do that outside. I know from experience. I tried to strip a piano in the house and even though I had a fan going, it was not enough. I started feeling kind of woozy and broke out in giant hives all over my body. Then, I wanted to sleep practically 20 hours a day for 3 days. I went on a antihistamine and that helped with the hives and the sleeping but after that my mind was screwed up. I was out of body for several days after, took a whole month to feel normal again. To make a long story short, I will never refinish anything inside again.

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July 5, 20110 found this helpful

If using paint stripper cover in cling wrap after applying. Leave for about 20 minutes then peel away. This helped me remove 12 layers of paint. Know this because each one was a different color.

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