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Strip wood

There are different methods to strip wood. Thermal pickling, chemical pickling and sanding, the method most often used but not necessarily the most effective.

Difficulty level:


Thermal stripping.

To recommend to strip paint. However, if you want to give a piece of furniture its natural look, do not use this method which tends to scorch the wood.

Necessary tools:

A heat gun. Cotton gloves (especially not heat conductive rubber). A painter's knife.

Step 1:

Place the stripper a few inches away from the wall or object to be stripped, then move it along the surface to soften the paint.

2nd step:

Scrape the surface, pushing up and down with the painter's knife, while holding the stripper pointed at your work. During this step you must wear gloves and do not expose your hand to the radiation of the scraper, and avoid the risk of burns. If you are cutting moldings, it is advisable to use a scraper instead of the knife, which you will hold at an angle to avoid burning yourself.

Step 3:

Apply a primer and paint at your convenience

Chemical stripping.

Very effective but also practical for risk areas such as window frames, chemical etching is however a slow and expensive method. Chemical removers can be liquid or paste. It is strongly recommended to wear rubber gloves and goggles when using this type of remover. You must also open all your windows because they produce toxic fumes by evaporating.

Liquid strippers.

Step 1:

Apply the stripper with a medium sized brush. Allow about 15 minutes, be careful not to scratch the paint too early, because the stripper will not have time to act, nor too late because the stripper has had time to dry and harden.

2nd step:

On a flat surface, scratch with a painter's knife by pushing upwards. If the paint layer is too thick, do not hesitate to apply a second coat of paint. On a raised surface, use a triangle scraper and scrape up and down.

Paste removers.

Before starting your work, it is best to protect the surrounding surfaces with newspaper.

Step 1:

With a brush, apply a thick layer of cleaner to your surface. For greater efficiency, cover the stripper with a plastic film and spray a little water on it. Then let act a few hours, respecting the instructions of your product.

2nd step:

Scrape the stripper up and down with the knife, and the paint will go off with it.


With a sandpaper abrasive or an electric sander, sand the surface you want to strip.

If your painting is older than the 1960s, it is likely to contain lead. You will have to lock the garbage in a bag and contact your town hall to have them removed. You must not burn them, which will produce toxic fumes.

Video Instruction: How to Strip Stain From Wood: Furniture Repair Tips