paint stripping


In this period of forced quarantine it could be interesting and fun to go to simple DIY activities connected with the decor of your home. Paint stripping a wooden piece of furniture, in order to recover it and give it a second life, could be one of these activities!

In addition, the paint stripping of a wooden piece of furniture allows you to remove the old layers of paint and return the wood to its natural state. This predisposes him to anti-woodworm treatment, which otherwise would not be able to penetrate deeply.

In this article we will see how to do this pleasant activity in total safety!


Paint stripping is, almost always, the first obstacle we come across when we have to restore a piece of furniture.

Stripping a wooden piece of furniture is an operation that requires patience and a little skill to avoid producing more damage on the piece of furniture than is being attempted to resolve.

The most effective paint stripping method (with the lowest risk of damaging the surfaces) involves the use of chemical paint strippers. It is in fact capable of causing the detachment of the paint, which can then be easily removed with a spatula.

It is certainly an activity within the reach of the hobbyist who wants to be sure that the work is carried out in a workmanlike manner and who is willing to spend more time and passion for his furniture than a professional restorer would spend.

Before proceeding with the restoration of a piece of furniture, it is necessary to make a careful analysis of the more or less evident damage to understand the working margin and the necessary actions to try it out.

Once you have identified the areas that appear most fragile and sensitive, you will already know how to treat them in the paint stripping phase and in subsequent repair work.

If you are a lover of do-it-yourself, you will certainly know how to treat the materials with due care and perform a work of art by following these simple steps.


If you need to paint strip a piece of furniture, first make sure you work safely. So bring latex gloves, workwear and a mask to protect your eyes.

If you do not have an outdoor place available, make sure you can work in a well-ventilated room with adequate space to move around and avoid excessive inhalation of chemical solvents, characterized by a strong smell.

The best time to undertake such activities are the mid seasons. When the days are warmer, there is the possibility of working outside, thus avoiding breathing the unhealthy odors of paint stripper and thinner.

Once you have covered the floor with a plastic sheet to protect the surfaces of your home, you are ready to start the paint stripping operation. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Gel paint remover;
  • Medium flat brush with nylon bristles;
  • Skeins of steel wool;
  • Plastic or steel spatula;
  • Turpentine;
  • Sponge.

For cleaning, instead bring at least two liters of turpentine or nitro thinner and a sponge.

For safety, always wear gloves, goggles and possibly a long-sleeved shirt when using the paint stripper.

In our opinion, in works that require precision, delicacy and the need to have maximum sensitivity in the hands, latex gloves are the best solution but if you feel comfortable with other types of gloves it doesn’t matter, the important thing is to use them.


The most effective and fastest method for stripping a piece of furniture involves the use of chemical paint strippers, capable of reaching up to the wood, removing all the layers of paint present on the surface of the piece of furniture.

To simplify the work, we recommend using a gel paint remover, particularly suitable for working vertically as it offers the advantage of not dripping. Before starting, remove any metal parts and dismantle the furniture as far as possible (drawers, shelves, handles, etc.).


Using a medium-sized flat brush, preferably with nylon bristles, generously apply the paint stripper starting from the bottom of the furniture. If you are not yet practical, we advise you to start from the most hidden parts to take the hand better, without the risk of creating damage.

Within fifteen minutes the paint will begin to shrivel and you can remove it using a spatula. Be careful to scrape it always following the direction of the wood fibers and remember to be delicate to avoid scratching the surface.

We advise you to paint small portions of the surface at a time because when the paint stripper begins to dry it becomes difficult to remove.

After this first phase of work, it is time to deal with the most difficult areas to treat, those with curves, carvings or any moldings.

paint stripping

Working with the spatula is more difficult and therefore you will have to remove the paint stripper with a soft brass brush or with steel wool balls.

If you notice spots where the paint is more difficult to remove, you will have to go back later, applying a second and, if necessary, a third coat of paint remover.

Once the furniture has been completely stripped, you must clean it with a sponge soaked in denatured alcohol or turpentine to bring it back to its natural beauty.

This procedure eliminates all traces of paint stripper and degreases the wood allowing the new finish to adhere better. When the furniture is dry, use the sanding spatula and dust the furniture with a cloth. The furniture is ready to be repainted.

If the furniture has small holes that indicate the presence of woodworms, there are specific products spray or with a straw to inject the product into the holes and eradicate the parasites of the wood.

In addition, if you notice small cracks or other imperfections, take care to pass the appropriate wood putty, before proceeding with the final painting.

The paint removal operation is complete. According to your taste, you can opt to leave the wood grain visible by passing only impregnating products on the furniture. You can also use covering products such as paints or enamels.

To obtain a uniform finish, apply the color using a soft bristle brush and always follow the direction of the wood grain.


Paint stripping an antique, or even simply old, piece of furniture is an operation to be done with great care. We only have to remove the old paint and dirt and not the patina of the wood.

Obviously our advice is always to consult an expert on the subject before venturing into too complicated restorations or which risk ruining a high value piece of furniture forever.

Either way, it’s not too complicated a DIY activity. In fact, with a little patience, passion and practicality everyone can easily be able to do it.

Furthermore, on the web there are several ways to give new life to a wooden piece of furniture, but this has been the simplest and least expensive in terms of time and cost for paint stripping.

paint stripping

If you have doubts about the realization of your paint stripping project and you need more information or advice, do not hesitate to leave a comment at the end of the article! We will help you soon!

If, on the other hand, you need more specific advice regarding the activity to be carried out or the convenience of acting or not on a particular piece of furniture, send us an email to valeriadesign@casaomnia.it and we will give you all the help you need!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *