Doing away with paint can be quite an effort, utilizing a lot of strength and taking up plenty of time – which is why so many who do their own home improvement projects have anxiety concerning the job or try to stay away from it altogether. It is unfortunate that the hard work put into something often yields beneficial results.
How to Remove Paint from Wood in 7 Easy Steps
Before putting on a coat of new paint, you need to remove the existing paint. It could be necessary to remove old paint for several reasons. Octave Villar, manager of quality/applications for Behr Paint Company, states that there are certain explanations for switching from a solid coating to a transparent or semi-transparent stain, such as significantly uneven wear.
These seven steps are not hard to carry out and can help the job go more efficiently. Gather those tools and get started!
Step 1: Ensure the Wood is Worth Stripping
Some timber—especially trim—is so worn down or decayed that when you try to strip it, there will barely be anything left to paint. Prior to beginning the process of taking away aged paint from what may be a useless piece of wood, do a few experiments to see if your effort would pay off.
Wood can be used to construct a strong frame for buildings, however it is not indestructible, and particularly if it has not been taken care of adequately. If the wood is decayed, you may need to apply a remedy before applying paint. Rot is the most common problem to detect. Dry rot spreads more rapidly and can ruin wood. Examine the wood for any signs of dry rot, such as powdery spores, a humid odor, or the growth of fungus.
Wet rot occurs where moisture lurks. Check the wood for sponginess by prodding a tiny piece. Signs of shrinkage or warping also indicate problems. Also check for large cracks or wood coming loose. Taking away the source of dampness prior to peeling off and setting up a new one should be done for small issues. Plug up any gaps or crevices, wait for the filler to harden, and then rub it down.
Understand when it is time to give up when attempting to remove paint from wood. Villar states that taking off paint can be time-consuming and tricky to clean up and thus it can just be easier to switch out the timber.
Step 2: Be Sure the Paint Does Not Contain Lead
Homes that were constructed prior to 1978 are more likely to contain lead paint on the walls. The EPA states that almost 7 out of 10 houses built between 1940 and 1959 have lead paint, and almost 9 out of 10 homes built before 1940 contain lead. The particles from the lead can be dangerous, particularly if it is disturbed, and particularly in young people. Poisoning from lead can bring about a range of signs and symptoms, including convulsions and developmental delays in young ones.
Check if there is lead paint present before starting to remove it. DIY kits provide directions on how to cut into the paint to get a tiny piece. Pick either a rhodizonate or sulfide kit based on the paint shade. If the paint is determined to contain lead, it is advisable to proceed with the EPA’s protocol for evaluating and eradicating lead.
Step 3: Remove any Protruding Nails, Screws, etc.
Take out all nails, screws, brackets, and handles from the wood. Put tape on any sections made with non-wood materials that can’t be removed.
Pause for a moment to investigate the state of the timber and the outcome you wish to accomplish. Villar proposes examining the project to discover the amount of old coating that needs to be eliminated. Some jobs don’t require the use of chemical strippers. Villar enjoys sanding more than any other method of paint removal. Small tasks, such as bypassing some chipped paint or making the surface more consistent, may not require the use of a stripper and can be done just by sanding.
Step 4: Apply Paint Stripper
Put tape and covering on the floor, walls, windows and doors beneath and around the wood to safeguard them before using paint stripper. Give the container inside the can a good shake before you open it and empty some of its contents into a pan or dish with low sides. Focus on one area at a time and brush on a generous amount of paint remover.
Allow the item to remain on the wood for approximately 20 minutes or until the paint starts to form blisters and lift off. It is necessary to remember that if you are taking off multiple coats of paint, the solvent might require to stay on for as long as a few hours. Check the paint regularly as time passes to see if it has become more pliable. Ensure that you take off all the stripper you applied in one day. Once it is dried out, it can be very hard to take off.
Step 5: Use a Paint Scraper to Remove the Paint
Try to remove as much of the paint as you can from the spot where you put the stripper using a scraper. Be gentle as you scrape; don’t gouge the wood.
Step 6: Get into Those Hard-to-Reach Places
Once you have removed all the paint from the sections of wood which are flat, it is time to concentrate on any aspects which are raised or recessed, such as moldings. Apply the stripper to the wood again and let it sit for at least 20 minutes, then scrub it with a wire brush or steel wool to get rid of the crevices and indentations that might be difficult to reach.
You can put a metal brush onto your cordless drill in order to speed up the job if you are dealing with a project that is big and mostly level. Take care not to scrape too hard, which can leave scratches on the wood.
Step 7: Wash and Sand the Wood to a Clean Finish
Once you have removed the heavy coatings of paint, it could appear as though you are finished. But this last step really is critical. Villar states that the last step of sanding and washing wood ensures that no dirt or other material is left on the wood. Sanding also provides the wooden surface with an even platform for coating it with paint or stain. Although requiring a considerable amount of effort, these steps are necessary for the successful execution of your wood working project, according to Villar.
Clean the wood again to clear away any bits of dust or fragments that remained after sanding. Before applying any fresh paint, make sure you clean the wood with a slightly wet cloth if you’re not quite prepared to paint. This eliminates any of the grains of sand or other particles that might have gone back onto the wooden surface. Villar recommends that those who do it themselves take into consideration the texture of the wood when wiping it down at the end. According to Villar, the texture should not be too abrasive (like splinters that would grasp the fabric) nor should it be too smooth. If you move your hand over the wood that has been sanded, there should not be any residue and the wood should be cleaned and dry before painting.
How To Remove Paint on Interior and Exterior Surfaces
To Remove Interior Water-Based Paint on Walls
Spills and drips of paint may occur onto the floor, carpets, or baseboards during any interior painting job. This is how you can take off water-based paint from inside surfaces.
Start by determining what kind of paint finish was applied to the area; certain paint finishes are not as tough as others, and so you should be careful prior to using harsh cleansers or vigorous scrubbing.
Begin by using the most gentle remedy which would be soap and warm water. Wipe with a soft cloth or sponge in a circular pattern to get rid of any extra paint. Avoid utilizing harsh cleaners or magic erasers because they will harm the paint.
Scrub with clear H2O and do it over if desired.
If the paint is found on the window glass or the ground, try attempting to eliminate the extra paint splatters with a putty knife, scraper, knife, or razor blade delicately.
Using a circular motion, carefully stroke the region with a soft and dry cloth or sponge to remove the water.
To Remove Water-Based Paint off Floors and Carpet
If you have any paint splashes or messes on surfaces such as the floors, rugs, or other inside areas, here is how to clean it up.
Begin by taking a sponge or cloth that is slightly wet and has been soaked in some sudsy warm water.
Go over the area until all of the paint has been removed.
For dry paint that is difficult to remove with soap and water, try using a cloth dipped in turpentine and scrubbing the area until all of the paint is gone.
To Remove Oil-Based Paint off Floors and Carpet
If you’ve applied oil-based paint to wood features inside of your home, such as baseboards, trim, doors, or cove molding and there are drops or stains, then use these directions to take it out of carpets and floors.
Start off by taking a soft, white rag or cloth and soaking it in turpentine or paint thinner. It is recommended that a plain white rag or cloth be employed when cleaning, to prevent the material from staining the item being cleaned.
Using a blotting motion, carefully press on the region with oil-based paint until it starts to loosen up.
Redo step 2 until all oil-based paint has been taken off.
Fourth, wash with sudsy warm water and then rinse with clean warm water.
Step 5 – Pat dry or let air dry
To Remove Exterior Water-Based Paint
These are some suggestions for how to get rid of exterior water-based paint on surfaces.
If you had your exterior painting completed by professional and knowledgeable painters, there is the potential that not a lot of paint or stain has been applied to areas other than where it should be. A power wash combined with soap and water can make taking off paint an effortless task.
If there is a greater amount of damage and paint is on places it shouldn’t be, like the windows or doorway frame, these steps can help to remove the paint that won’t come off.
To Remove Exterior Oil-Based Paint
If you are painting an outdoor area and there are any drops or splotches which shouldn’t be there, take action instantly to get rid of it.
Once the oil-based paint has dried and fully set, it is more difficult to take it off of any external area. You would have to employ strong substances such as turpentine or paint removers, along with scraping and sanding.
Here are a couple of pointers on taking away the paint if it has just been put on.
Start by taking a fresh piece of cloth or rag that has been soaked in turpentine or paint thinner. A white rag or cloth should be employed in order to stop the original shade of the fabric from running or blending with the coating, thus creating a distinct color combination you hadn’t intended.
Pat the surface area gently until the paint begins to loosen up.
Repeat the second step until all paint that is oil-based has been taken off.
Rinse the item with a warm, soapy solution to dispose of any turpentine leftovers, then rinse with clean water.
Step 5 – Let air dry.
To Remove Old and Dry Exterior Paint
If you find yourself with traces of paint from a previous paint job done on the outside of your house, here are a few tips on how to take it off when it has already dried.
Using a paint scraper tool, the first step would be to remove the old paint. Use a moderate to strong force when moving the scraper’s edge over the area.
Using a sandpaper block on a wood surface can help create a smoother look.
Use turpentine and a rag or cloth to attempt to scrub away any fresh paint messes on glass or metal surfaces.
Once you are sure you have taken off all of the existing paint on the outside, rinse it with a garden hose or gentle pressure wash setting.