How To Remove Latex Paint From Wood

How to Remove Latex Paint from Wood


They say that the best way to update a room is to paint it a new color. This may also apply to wooden furniture. But when it comes to painting wooden furniture, it’s not as easy as painting over wood.

You need to prepare the furniture piece so that new paint can better adhere to its surface. This guide will show you how removing latex paint from wood is done.

Latex paint removal techniques

Removing latex paint requires the use of the right tools and the best materials. Follow these steps to finally remove latex paint to start repainting your furniture

Things you will need

  • Safety equipment (gloves, goggles and face mask)
  • Chemical-based stripper
  • Mineral spirits
  • Plastic sheets
  • Wire scraper
  • Scraper
  • Putty knife
  • Rags
  • Garbage bags


1) Preparing for the project

Preparing For The Project


Use a chemical-based paint stripper. Paint strippers will adhere to old paint and dissolve it. There are many brands to choose from wooden surface. Look for a paint stripper at your local hardware store. The most popular are CitriStrip, Safest Stripper, and SoyGreen.

Use safety goggles, mask and gloves to protect yourself from chemical strippers. Even a non-toxic chemical paint stripper can be harmful once it gets in if it gets in your eyes or has come in contact with your skin.

2) Work in a well-ventilated area

Work In A Well Ventilated Area


Ventilate the room you’re working in. Even relatively safe chemical paint strippers are unhealthy to inhale. Make sure you’re working in a well-ventilated environment by opening an external door or window. If you have an electric fan, set it up to blow air from the room you’re working in out of an open window. This fan will remove dangerous fumes out of the room.

Lay down plastic sheeting on the floor, over furniture pieces and on areas that you don’t want to come in contact with chemical strippers. Keep in mind that any paint stripper that falls on flooring (hardwood flooring) could permanently stain it so be very careful.

3) Applying latex paint remover

Applying Latex Paint Remover


Brush the chemical paint stripper on the wood covered with latex paint. The paint stripper may have a runny liquid or gel-like consistency. You must follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to use the stripper. Use your paintbrush to apply a layer of stripper to the surface. Use long and smooth strokes to apply the stripper to make sure that this is applied evenly across the wooden surface of the wooden piece.

Give the paint stripper time to soak. Usually, it takes only 15 minutes for the surface to bubble which means that the stripper is starting to work. The latex paint will weaken the paint’s attachment to the wood and the small bubbles are the chemical reaction of the stripper formula with latex paint.

4) Stripping the paint

Stripping The Paint


Remove the paint by scraping it with tools. You can use a scraper if the surface is wide and smooth or a putty knife to get through angles, grooves, and different sections. Move in a smooth and gentle manner; be careful not to damage the wood.

The latex paint pieces that will come off the wood should be collected and placed in a sealable garbage bag. These are flammable and can cause fires if disposed of in an incorrect manner.

If the surface still has paint remaining, re-apply the stripper and scrape as needed. The number of times you will apply a chemical stripper will depend on how many layers of paint have been applied to the surface, you may need to repeat this process several times each you wait a considerable amount of time for the paint stripper to work.

5) Using mineral spirits

Using Mineral Spirits


To remove the final bits of paint, dip a wire brush in odorless mineral spirits and apply this on the surface. The mineral spirits will remove any lingering paint that you were not able to scrape off with the putty knife. You may either use a wire brush or a steel wool for this task.

Once the latex paint has been removed, clean off the wood with a damp rag. Let the piece dry. Dispose of used dirty rags and plastic by sealing them in a plastic bag and throwing them in the proper waste disposal bin.


Latex paint is labor-intensive and time-consuming to remove but no doubt removing this when refinishing wood furniture is important. You must be patient and remove every layer, every bit so that your repainting project will be flawless.