How To Clean Wood After Stripping

How to Clean Wood After Stripping


If you are stripping wood then you need to know that there might still be some spots in the wood that might refuse to come off. In order to handle these spots then you are able to do it with a few tricks. And that is why in this article, we will be talking about the many different ways on how you are able to clean wood after stripping.

Materials needed:

  • Fine steel wool
  • Chemical paint remover
  • Turpentine or mineral spirits
  • Sandpaper
  • Scraper
  • Electric drill with attachments

Using a steel wool

Using A Steel Wool

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If you want to remove any spot from a flat and round surface then the easiest away of you to do it is to use a steel will. It will be able to help you get into various areas easily.

  1. You can start this process by dipping some fine steel wool in a chemical paint remover.
  2. Start to scrub the remaining finish off. You can repeat the whole process with another application of the remover if you deem necessary.
  3. Once you have removed all the finish off, wash the surface with water if it is a wash away remover. If you are using a remover with wax on it then use a turpentine or mineral spirits to take it off. You can also choose to use a denatured alcohol if the remover that you are using is neither of these two. Use a new wool once the first wool will be covered with old finishes.

Using sandpaper

Using Sandpaper

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If you are not able to remove all the finishes with the use of steel wool then you can also opt to use a sandpaper. You need to be careful when using this one though as it might cause depression on the surface. You can opt to use sandpaper all through the process but you have to know that it can be time-consuming and will most likely damage the wood. No matter how fine your sandpaper is, always remember that it can still leave a scratch in the surface. The final scratches can be so tiny that it might not be visible to the naked eye. You still need to keep in mind this factor so that you are also able to avoid sanding too much.

  1. You can choose to start the work with a sanding block on a flat surface and a foam block on the curves.
  2. Start sanding gently with the paper alone. Always see to it that you will be sanding along the wood grain. Sanding against it might cause irremovable scratches on the surface.
  3. In order to remove the last remnants of the old finish then you must use a medium grit sandpaper. You then need to follow it with a fine grit sandpaper. This will help you prepare the wood for the finishing process that you will be doing. You can also choose to use a very fine grit sandpaper once you see that the surface is it smooth enough.

Using scrapers

Using Scrapers

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There are times that normal flat techniques will not be able to remove the old finish that is located in hard to reaches areas. When you have this situation then you can still remove it using a scraper. These are very effective tools although they must be used with caution. Scrapers are the ones that can easily scratch and gouge the wood. You can scrape tight spots in between gratis of sandpaper or grades of steel wool

Use a good sharp pull scraper to remove the remaining finish. This will be able to fit into corners. This tool can also be used in flat, contours and tapered surfaces. You need to use the scraper with the grain. That is why you need tools to know the direction of the surface that you are working on. Always keep the blade of the scraper shape. Sharpening them often is important since the blade of the scraper can go dull fast.

Using electric drill attachments

Using An Electric Drill Attachments

Image credit: Doc Green Woodturner

There are many different electric drill attachments that you can use. You can use a wire brush and a rotary sanding attachment. The attachments come with small strips of sandpaper and will rotate as the drill is spinning. You can use this method in hard to reach areas. Use them with caution though as they can damage the wood pretty fast.


Cleaning wood after striping ca come in various shapes and sizes. You need to know what your needs are to also choose the most effective cleaning technique there is.