Paint Stripping – The Easy Ways to Remove Paint

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Paint Stripping – The Easy Ways to Remove Paint

Painting is one of the best and most cost-effective ways to give your living space a big makeover. It’s also quite straightforward, and certainly much cheaper than other options. Before you can begin, there are several steps and things to consider. It’s not just products and tools.

Of course, it’s important as well – after all, you have to know whether you need a can of oil-based, latex-based, or special ceiling paint. Not to mention all the finish types. One of these steps is also getting rid of the old paint. In most cases, it’s not that complicated, but when it comes to wood surfaces – it’s just better to know a thing or two. Paint stripping, the easy ways to remove paint.


The most common way to get rid of old paint. No wonder, it gets the job done when you are trying to give your old furniture or woodwork a quick makeover. The problem is that this method is definitely on a labor-intensive side. Not to mention – a messy one. You’re also running a risk of damaging whatever you’re restoring. Achieving a perfectly even finish is also much harder. There are also some health considerations – old furniture with old paint should not be sanded at all since paint made before the 1980s is most likely to contain lead. On the brighter side, it’s quite beginner-friendly. All you need is sandpaper with a coarse grit and then work your way up to a finer one.

Guns Blazing

This is not a well-known method – especially compared to sanding. All you need is a heat gun. It’s quick and effective. Before you get all excited, there are once again some things to keep in mind. First of all, it’s yet another item to buy if you don’t already have one. That means spending more money, and you shouldn’t get the cheapest option either because it’s a safety hazard. While we’re on the subject of safety – this may not be the best option. You heat the paint, it becomes softer and starts coming off. That’s all fine. But in the process, it may release harmful vapours. You also have to go easy on the heat – after all, it’s wood. Alternatively, you could also use a special infrared paint stripper, which is a bit safer and can remove the paint of different types or even varnish.


Using heat as an alternative to brute force and more physical methods seems to be the theme here. Well, it is an effective way to get rid of old paint. Steam strippers heat up water to soften the paint and thanks to that, applying too much heat on the wooden surface to the point it catches fire is not really a big concern. But, there’s a very specific risk associated with using this solution. It creates a lot of moisture, which can also damage wood – obviously, in a different way.

Paint Stripper

Probably the most common and cost-effective solution out there. The chemical compound breaks down the paint to the point it starts bubbling. There are two choices here – either a strong stripper that will do the trick within 20 minutes or so, or an environmentally-friendly option that will take much longer, but doesn’t have such a high chemical content. That’s better for you as well, not just the planet. Anyway, once you see the paint bubbling, start scraping it off with a scraper or putty knife. Repeat the whole process until you’re satisfied with the results. Then, just clean it up with mineral spirits and a piece of cloth. For any stubborn spots, use steel wool. That should do it.


Every method has its merit and value. You should make the final decision based on the needs of your project and the available tools. Investing in some more high-end equipment is not necessary, especially if you’re not exactly a DIY enthusiast. Sometimes it makes more sense to just roll up your sleeves and do some good old-fashioned manual labour. It’s simplicity versus modernity here. Hard to tell which one’s better. But that’s the beauty of it all – it’s completely up to you.

Featured photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich by Pexels
Judith Arevalo

I am a good Mom, have two active children. I am working in a beauty and spa company but now I also decided to make its own profession. So I am here to learn and teach.

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