How To Remove Dried Paint From Wood 1

How to Remove Dried Paint from Wood


You want the paint to dry so you can use your wood furniture and hang photos on your wooden wall. But what if you want new paint on? Do you just dab away and cover old paint? Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it may look. You need to remove dried paint from wood before you can start painting a new coat. This guide will help you remove dried paint from wood like a pro.

Dried paint removal technique

To remove dried paint you need to start peeling from the top and down to the wood grain. Expect to do a lot of peeling and scraping but not to the point that you will be removing the surface of the wood. Work steadily but don’t hurry because removing very dry, old paint really takes time.

Things you will need

  • Protective equipment (gloves, goggles, mask)
  • Heat gun
  • Scraper
  • Sandpaper (different grits/grades)
  • Paint stripper
  • Brush


Removing paint with heat

Removing Paint With Heat 1


Wear protective gear before removing dried paint on wood. Use an electric heat gun. Power it on and place it near the dried paint you want to remove. Position the heat gun 6 to 8 inches above the painted wooden surface. A blowtorch can provide good heat but offers a huge risk of scorching or setting the wood on the fire, therefore, this is not recommended.

Slowly move the heat gun over the dried painted surface. Continue moving it side-to-side and up-and-down. Do not let the heat gun stay in one spot for a prolonged period because this can immediately set the painted surface on fire.

Slowly Move The Heat Gun Over The Dried Painted Surface 1


Scrape the paint as soon as you see wrinkling. Once the paint begins to wrinkle, immediately scrape the paint using a broad paint scraper. Continue to heat the paint with the heat gun as you scrape up wrinkling paint. Chances are you will be able to remove dried paint especially a single layer of dried paint.

Removing paint with force

Removing Paint With Force 1


Sand the dried paint away using coarse, open-coat sandpaper. Sand with the grain of the wood instead of against it. You may reduce to a medium grit paper once you can see the grain of the wood through the paint. For larger sanding jobs, use a mechanical sander. Choose between a mechanical hand sander and a power sander. A hand sander is easier to handle and is lighter while a power sander will finish the job faster but is heavier.

Just like sanding by sandpaper, sand with the grain of the wood rather than against it to reduce the amount of damage to the wood. Switch to a fine grain sandpaper once most of the dried paint has been removed.

Using chemical strippers

Using Chemical Strippers 2


You can choose from a liquid or gel-type chemical strippers. Read the instructions thoroughly before using. While the application is the same for most products you must still check instructions from the manufacturer.
Brush the stripper with a broad flat paint brush. This way, you will be able to apply this thickly and evenly over the surface of the painted wood.

Always brush the paint stripper in one direction. Let the paint stripper sit for 20 to 30 minutes. You will see bubbling and warping of the paint and this is a sign that the paint is starting to come off the wood.

How to use a chemical stripper

How To Use A Chemical Stripper 1


Rub the blade of a paint scraper in a circular motion. Once the scraper has cut into the paint, it is ready to be removed. Scrape the paint off with a metal scraper and glide it beneath the softened paint to remove it completely. Remove as much paint as you can with the first few passes of the scraper.

Use stripper- soaked steel wool to remove any paint that still remains. Soak medium-grade steel wool in a small amount of paint remover and remove paint from nooks, crannies and hard to reach the area. You may also use old rags or abrasive scouring pads.


Removing dried paint to refinish or refurbish furniture and walls is an important step. You must completely and carefully remove paint so that you can create a smooth and flawless surface. This task is difficult because the dried paint is often stuck deeply into the wood. You need to be very patient and remove every bit and these techniques will surely help.