How to Strip Paint From Wood in An Effective Way

how to strip paint from wood

When you check the doors, windows, and furniture, you find that they are getting bad condition, and that is because of the paint applied to them. Now, you think that they need to change before it completely ruins the remaining pieces of wood. But how can you change that or how to strip paint from wood? If you are feeling tense because of this kind of question, then we will gladly share the best guide to make it easier for you. Also, we will include some exceptional choices which are pocket-friendly and good for multiple purposes. If you are curious to know about the choices, then you can check our below-mentioned section.

Which Equipment or Products Do You Require for Stripping Paint?


  • Heat Gun
  • Chemical Strippers (Paint Strippers) (Gel, Paste, and Liquid form)
  • Sanders
  • Paintbrushes
  • Cloths
  • Sandpapers or scrappers
  • Metal Putty Knife
  • Mineral Spirits
  • 80-grit, 150-grit, and 220-grit sandpaper with the power sander

Products (You Can Choose Whichever Product You Like)

  • SmartStrip
  • Citristrip
  • Peel Away

Here are Some Additional Things to Add

  • Safety glasses
  • Masks
  • Gloves

How to Strip Paint From Wood in a Useful Way

Stripping paint from wood is difficult, and it requires some types of equipment or products to remove it altogether. So, we will look at all the necessary types of equipment and products and also discuss how to do the process.

By Using Equipment or Tools

The right equipment can make your work easy. Whether it is you or your hired professional stripper, the striping is incomplete without good equipment. So, let’s check what you need the most to strip the paint from the woods. 

Heaters or Heat gun

It is good for melting paint layers. But do you know how to strip paint from wood by using heat gun? For that, you have to check out the below section for detail instructions. 

heat gun
Image Credit: MYMOVE
How to do-
  • You need to start by checking the heat level. For that, you can even use an adequate amount of heat. It means around 750 to 1120 Fahrenheit is enough.
  • After confirming the heat level, you need to use the heat gun on the respective parts of the wood where you want to remove the paint. 
  • Now, you will see the sticky and messy substance coming from the surface of the wood. Start taking them out with a scraper. 
  • Using a scraper is a must because it can reduce the amount of dust and remove a large amount of paint at one time.

Chemical Strippers (Paint Strippers)

It is a special kind of stripper that can be available in three different forms; paste, liquid, and gel. All of them collect the stubborn molecules of paint from the surface of the wood. These strippers are mainly designed for intricate details and uncommon designs on the wood, which cannot be fixed with the heater. You need to use a chemical stripper when you find that the heater does not work properly.

How to do-
  • Apply the chemical stripper on the surface of the wood. For that, you can even follow the manufacturer’s directions. But remember that the applied coat must be thicker; otherwise, it will not be able to remove the paint.
  • After that, cover the whole area with plastic wrap and wait for at least one day. 
  • Now, check the applied area again by removing the plastic wrap. 
  • If you see the bubbles on the surface of the wood, it means it is ready to take out the paint.
  • Try to scrape it through a scrapper or sandpaper.
  • Do this process before the paint, and the stripper become hardened again. Otherwise, it will become difficult to remove it easily.
  • After that, use Metal Putty Knife and remove the lower layer of paint. 
Must Know:  Take Advantage Of Smart Home - Read These 9 Tips
how to strip paint from wood
Image Credit: Old House Journal

But remember that do this process gently; otherwise, you will rip off the wood.

  • Add the layers of coat and repeat the process. 
  • The last thing is to use paint thinner, which can remove the remaining paint from the wood.


It is made with two different pieces of equipment, clapboard sanders and a power sanding disk. Both the equipment is necessary to remove paint from the woods. If you don’t have any idea where it can work best, then you can use them for flat and big surfaces. But remember that you cannot use this on the internal part of the surface. It is only good for the external part of the surface.

How to do-
  • Start with cleaning the surface of the wood by using any household cleaner such as dish soap.
  • Then let it completely dry for at least 5-10 minutes.
  • Now, use 80-grit sandpaper with a power sander.
  • Check the desired pressure and use that on the painted surface. 

But remember that the pressure should not be more than that much to remove the wood’s skin.

  • After that, change the grit to 150-grit and polish it completely.
  • Now change again with 220-grit and remove the remaining paint.

Note that do not forget to clean the wood with a brush when you change the grit.

sanders for removing paint
Image Credit: Pintor PRO
  • Now, repeat this process until it entirely takes out all the paint from the wood surface.
  • After that, clean the wood by using a rag. Do it until it takes out the dust.

By Using Products

Do you know how to strip paint from wood in an effective way? In this section, you will learn about three useful choices that can help to remove paint from wood.


SmartStrip is a special kind of paste that comes in an ice-like texture. The good part about this paste is you can even make them rolled, brushed, and sprayed on the wood. So, it is a good option for flat walls or surfaces, especially which have clean sides instead of dirty sides.

How to do-
  • Start with the testing of the product on the surface of the wood. 
  • If you find it non-toxic, then use it on the painted surface.
  • Then leave it at least for one day.
  • Now, check the surface of the wood and strip it by using sandpaper or a pressure washer.
  • After that, wash the wood’s surface by using a liquid such as water.
how to strip paint from wood
Image Credit: This Old House

Some important things to consider –

  • The ingredient used in the paste is Benzyl alcohol.
  • It can help to take out up to 15 layers in one coat. 
  • It is quite good, especially with the price range of $65 per gallon. 
  • The cost is pocket friendly, which means you can afford it without any problem.


Do you know that Citristrip is the best choice to give you a solution for how to strip paint from wood? Citristrip usually comes in gel form, and the color of the get and the cover of the box is orange. That is good to apply easily on the surface without much work. And it works well with fine detailing types of furniture and straight or plane sides of the surface. However, you cannot use it on large or rough surfaces because the gel is thin in texture.

Must Know:  Top 3 Things Homeowners Must Know Before Hiring A Professional Painter
How to do-
  • Begin with covering the wood’s painted area by using some old newspaper or plastic drop cloth.
  • Now, use the product on the surface by using a paintbrush.
  • Repeat this process until it completely covers the surface. 
  • Then leave it for at least half an hour. If in case, the wood surface has more than one layer, then leave the product for more than half an hour. 
  • Now, check the wood’s surface again, and if you find any sticky or gooey substance, try to remove it. Generally, this is the paint stripped from the surface of the wood in the form of a substance.
  • For stripping purposes, you can use a plastic putty knife. This helps to clean the surface without any damage.
  • After that, use the mineral spirits on the cleaned surface to take out all the remaining paint.
  • Now let it dry for at least half an hour. 
Image Credit: Pro Wood Finishes

Some important things to consider –

  • The ingredients used in Citristrip are N-Methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP).
  • It can help to take out around 7 layers with just ⅛ inch of a coat. 
  • If we look into the number of layers with not even one inch of the coat is quite impressive.
  • It costs only $20 per half a gallon.

Peel Away

Peel Away is another choice as a paste for stripping the paint from the wood. The way it works is quite different from the other two options. It works best if you cover the paste with paper, which can help to regulate the evaporation process.

The paste is a good option for masonry and lead paint and can show awesome results with minimum effort. However, it is not good for furniture wood because it can leave stain marks.

How to do-
  • Begin with checking the non-toxic behavior of the product on some sample materials.
  • Then use the product by applying it on the surface. 

Note that if the wood surface has more than two painted layers, then use the paste of range 6mm and if it has one or two painted layers, then use the paste of range 1mm.

  • Now, take a sheet and place it on the applied surface.
  • After that, try to take out all the bubbles from the wood by piercing them.
  • Then leave it for at least two days. Sometimes you need to leave for more than two days, especially when the layers of paint are in multiple numbers.
how to strip paint from wood
Image Credit: Ardec
  • Now check the surface and strip that out with the scrapper.
  • Then clean the surface with water or mineral spirits.


Removing paint from wood cannot be done easily. It requires some kind of tools or products which work perfectly against the stubborn paint. So, keeping this thing in mind, we have mentioned all the tools and products which are good to use.

Apart from that, we also included the instructions for each tool and product in detail. If you follow all the instructions, you will get a clear image of how to strip paint from wood in an effective way. 

Moreover, try to follow all the steps and use the tool or product which is more suitable for your wood. But do not forget to consider the quality of the products and the reaction time as a paste, gel, or even liquid.

Leave a Reply