How to remove paint from wooden furniture to make it look like new

Painted wood furniture can be beautiful and elegant, adding more character or a focal point to a room in your home. However, painted wood furniture doesn’t look as good once the paint begins to peel and peel. If you have one or two pieces of furniture like this and want to give them new life, the first step is to remove the old paint.

The process is very user-friendly, but it is important to complete the process carefully to get the best results. Check out the steps below on how to remove paint from wooden furniture.

Revitalize your old furniture

Whether you have an old table in your basement or bought some promising chairs for a used theft, reviving wooden furniture isn’t as difficult as you might think. If you follow these steps and take the necessary precautions, you will be able to remove the old paint from your wooden furniture, give it a fresh coat and make it look brand new.

Step 1: Led paint test.

The US government banned the sale of lead paint to consumers in 1978. If you have furniture that was made before that date, chances are it has this dangerous paint. Lead can cause serious health problems, especially in children. If there is any chance that your furniture has lead paint, test it before beginning the removal process.

Use a DIY lead paint test kit that has been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. This kit should include 3M LeadCheck and D-Lead. The test kit should also provide instructions on how to remove a paint sample, how much to remove, and how to test it. You can also send paint scrapings to a lab for testing. If you discover that your furniture has lead paint, do not scrape or sand it. Instead, hire a professional to remove it safely.

2nd step: Protect anything that is not painted.

Remove all hinges, knobs and handles from the part you intend to paint and store them somewhere so they don’t get damaged or misplaced. If the furniture has areas you don’t need to remove paint from, such as upholstery, cover those sections with heavy plastic sheets so they won’t be damaged by chemicals and sanding .

Step 3: Peel off the finish.

Before removing paint from furniture, you must first remove the finish. If the part has a lacquer finish, remove it with lacquer thinner and shellac with denatured alcohol. If the finish is a combination of lacquer and shellac, use a mixture of half lacquer thinner and half denatured alcohol.

When using chemicals, wear rubber gloves, goggles and a respirator. Be sure to work in a well-ventilated area or outdoors.

Step 4: Remove the paint.

There are several ways to remove paint from your wood furniture. A single method will probably not be enough to remove all the paint; you will most likely need to use a combination of these strategies.

heat gun

A heat gun looks like a hair dryer and blows air hot enough to melt the paint. This can remove varnish and multiple layers of paint and minimize the amount of dust generated. Beware, however, that it can release dangerous fumes.

If you decide to use a heat gun, read the instructions and follow them carefully so you don’t start a fire. Turn the heat gun to its lowest setting, hold it a safe distance from furniture, and move it slowly in circles. The paint will soften and curl, then you can scrape it off.

The heat gun will most likely get rid of some or most of the paint, but not all of it. Then use a paint stripper.

Paint stripper

Paint strippers come in liquid, gel or paste form. This product allows you to access nooks and crannies inaccessible with a heat gun.

Caustic paint strippers contain lye, which turns old paint into a soapy film. Solvents also separate the paint from the wood, but they release fumes that can be dangerous. Biochemical paint strippers take longer to work than other types, and you may have to spend more time scraping, but they release less toxic fumes. A citrus-based stripper is non-toxic and non-corrosive and may even leave a pleasant smell.

Before using a stripper, lightly sand the surface to allow the product to penetrate deeper into the paint. Follow the instructions carefully and allow sufficient time for the paint stripper. You should be able to scrape off the remaining paint with minimal effort. If you don’t wait long enough, you’ll need to do a few more scrapes. If you wait too long, however, the paint may harden.

Remember to wear rubber gloves, goggles and a respirator, and work in a well-ventilated area.

Sanding

If you’re short on time or prefer not to use chemicals, you can remove paint from your wood furniture using an electric straight or orbital sander. A sander is a particularly good choice for large, flat surfaces. Pro Tip: If possible, hook up the sander to a vacuum so it can collect dust while you work.

Only use a sander if you know how to do it correctly. Failure to do so can cause serious damage to furniture and possibly even to yourself.

Metal paint scraper scraping blue paint from wood

By following these steps, your furniture will be stripped of its old chipped paint in no time and ready for fresh paint and new life. You’ll be amazed at the amazing DIY projects you can upcycle with a little know-how.

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