The Best Paint Stripper for Wood

Use the best paint stripper to refurbish old wooden furniture or change your room wall color. Check out our list of the top 7 best paint strippers for wood in the market today. These products are known for their amazing quality, great results, and efficient use.

Product Reviews

Smart Strip Advanced Paint Remover

Star Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars

Best Advanced Paint Remover from Dumond

Features:

  • This paint stripper is safe to use, safe for the user and the environment.
  • It is very effective and will remove multiple layers of paint.
  • It does not contain any methylene chloride and will never cause cancer.

Product Specs

  • Dimensions: 5 x 5 x 4.75 inches, 2 pounds
  • Amount: 1 quart (946ml)
  • Material: with a biodegradable formula, no methylene chloride
  • Special Features: can remove many layers of paint, safe for the environment, odor-free, water-based
  • Accessories: none

Dumond is a popular brand of paint strippers and advanced paint removers. The Smart Strip Advanced comes with a biodegradable formula that is safe to use. It is not as irritating as high VOC products so it’s user and environmentally friendly.

This Dumond paint stripper can remove many layers of paint. It is free from odors or dangerous fumes because of its water-based formula. It does not contain methylene chloride and therefore it is non-carcinogenic.

This paint stripper works great on wood but can also be used on other surfaces like brick, metal, concrete, stone, tile, fiberglass, moldings, porcelain, decks, glass, plaster, blocks, and masonry. It is also available in convenient 1-quart containers which are easy to take anywhere or on the job site.

Pros:

  • This comes with a safe formula.
  • It is effective for many surfaces not just wood.
  • No odor formula, a water-based formula so it’s biodegradable.
  • Does not contain methylene chloride and is non-carcinogenic.
  • It is available in convenient 1-quart containers so you can easily take it anywhere you need to work.

Cons:

  • Complaints that it takes time to work.
  • It takes time to work especially when removing multiple paint layers.

Sunnyside Corporation Paint Remover

Star Rating: 4 out of 5

Best High-Speed Paint and Varnish Remover from Sunnyside Corporation

Features:

  • This paint remover can remove up to three layers of water or oil-based paint.
  • Has a no-drip formula and so, removing paint is easier and more convenient
  • Can hold on to vertical surfaces.

Product Specs

  • Dimensions: 7.75 x 5.25 x 12 inches, 4.31 pounds
  • Size: ½ gallon
  • Material: low-odor, environmentally safe
  • Special Features: with a citrus smell, works fast in just 30 minutes, won’t drip, can work fast, removes many layers
  • Accessories: none

Sunnyside is an easy-to-use paint and varnish remover with a convenient spray applicator product. It is capable of removing many layers, up to 3 coats of paint. This is effective for all kinds of paint including oil and water-based paints.

This paint stripper is ready to remove in just 30 minutes. It also holds on to vertical surfaces so you don’t have to worry about spills and drips. But in case of spills, you can easily wipe this away with water and a clean rag. Sunnyside Paint and varnish remover stay wet longer and so, you can leave it on any surface longer.

Pros:

  • This paint stripper can remove many layers of oil and water-based paints.
  • It Will not drip so there’s a minimal mess to clean up.
  • This stays wet for a longer period so you can leave it on to remove more paint layers.
  • It is available in a spray bottle so it’s very convenient to use.

Cons:

  • Complaints that it takes time to work especially on many layers of old paint.

Sunnyside Corporation Paint & Varnish Remover

Star Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars

Best Paint and Varnish Remover Gel from Sunnyside Corporation

Features:

  • This paint and varnish remover is methylene chloride-free.
  • Can remove multiple paint layers or varnish with just one application.
  • Will work after 2 to 10 minutes of application.

Product Specs

  • Dimensions: 2.39 x 4.59 x 7.44 inches, 2.25 pounds
  • Size: 1 quart
  • Material: made from quick-acting gel, methylene chloride-free formula
  • Special Features: can remove many layers, will strip up to 100 square feet, can cling to vertical areas, gel formula
  • Accessories: none

The Sunnyside Paint & Varnish Remover is fast. It can remove layers of paint in just a few minutes and it saves you from using different products as you only need to use it in one application.

This varnish and paint remover is safe for indoor and outdoor application but we recommend using protective clothing such as a mask, gloves, and apron to protect you from fumes and drips. You can also use this on vertical and horizontal areas. Use this only surface like metal, masonry, and wood. It won’t damage even delicate hardwoods.

Sunnyside is fast-acting and will work in just 2 minutes of application on most layers of paint. You can use this 1-gallon container on a 100-square-feet surface.

Pros:

  • This is a safe and effective paint stripper that works on all surfaces.
  • It can remove many layers of old paint and varnish in just one coat.
  • It can be used on horizontal and vertical areas.
  • It will work as quickly as 2 minutes.

Cons:

  • Complaints that it’s not a gel.
  • Complaints that it should have a thicker formula.
  • Complaints that the residue was hard to clean up.

Confined Space Paint Strip Gel

Star Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars

Best Paint Remover for Small Spaces from Dumond

Features:

  • This paint strip gel can remove more than 20 coats of paint in a small space.
  • Can work on many types of material, not just wood.
  • With a no-drip formula, citrus flavor.

Product Specs

  • Dimensions: 9.37 x 5.24 x 3.54 inches, 4.93 pounds
  • Size: ½ gallon
  • Material: non-drip formula, with no methylene chloride or NMP
  • Special Features: with no harmful fumes, citrus lime scent, can remove more than 20 layers of paint, works fast in just 30 minutes, made for indoor use
  • Accessories: none

Dumond is at it again with the Confined Space Paint Strip Gel. This was made to work even in indoor spaces as it does not contain any hazardous fumes. It can remove more than 20 layers of paint and will work not just on wood but also on stone, concrete, brick, metal, fiberglass, porcelain, masonry, and tile.

It has a non-drip formula with a fresh citrus-lime scent. It does not contain toxic chemicals so you can use it in small, tight areas like closets, sheds, attics, toilets, and other small areas.

Pros:

  • You can use this product to remove more than 20 layers of paint.
  • With a fresh citrus-lime formula.
  • It does not contain toxic chemicals and is fume-free.
  • With a satisfaction guarantee.

Cons:

  • Don’t let it dry as it won’t work if it’s left out too long

Dumond Chemicals Heavy-Duty Paint Remover

Star Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars

Best Peel Away, Heavy Duty Paint Remover from Dumond

Features:

  • Can remove up to 32 coats of paint.
  • Can be used to remove lead paint.
  • Water-based paint remover with no fumes.

Product Specs

  • Dimensions: 15 x 15 x 17 inches, 55 pounds
  • Size: 5 gallons
  • Material: water-based material with zero VOC
  • Special Features: can remove up to 32 layers of paint, safe for lead paint, removes lead dust, no dangerous odors or fumes
  • Accessories: none

The Dumond Peel Away paint remover is easy to use as you simply apply and peel it. One large gallon container of Peel Away can cover from 15 to 20 square feet surface so you’ll save a lot of money with this product.

You can remove 32++ layers of old paint using one application of Peel Away. This product is known as one of the safest to get rid of dangerous lead paint as you won’t have to deal with lead dust. Peel Away is water-based with no VOCs. It won’t emit toxic odors and fumes so you can use this indoors or outdoors. You need Peel Away paper to use this product.

Pros:

  • Works well even on lead paint.
  • This paint can cover a huge surface.
  • It can remove more than 32 layers of paint in one coating.
  • It can be used indoors or outdoors.

Cons:

  • You need to use Peel Away paper with this product.
  • Complaints that the product is too thick and very heavy to apply.

MiracleWipes for Paint Cleanup

Star Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars

Best All-Purpose Cleaner Paint Cleanup from MiracleWipes

Features:

  • Comes with a dual texture for easy cleanup of any kind of paint project.
  • With moisturizer to rehydrate cracking and dry skin.
  • Can be used on many surfaces.

Product Specs

  • Dimensions: 5 x 5 x 8 inches
  • Material: professional-grade, high-quality materials
  • Special Features: large wipes for intense clean, with moisturizer, dual-textured surface, can be used on hands, adhesives, trays, and liners, and paint brushes
  • Accessories: none

MiracleWipes is one of the best products for cleaning up paint messes. It can also be used to clean hands, brushes, and many other surfaces. Use this to remove caulking, grease, dirt, adhesive, and grime.

This is a 60-count cleanup wipes with dual-textured sides. You can use the soft side to remove dirt and paint on your hands and use the abrasive side on tough areas. You’ll find these the largest wipes with 12″ x 6″ size for more intense cleaning.

Every sheet comes with a moisturizing agent that will prevent dryness and rehydrate skin. You can use this on the exterior or interior areas, brushes, trays, buckets, and even on clothes.

Pros:

  • Easy to use to remove paint, adhesive, and grime on any surface.
  • You can use this on your hands, clothes, indoors or outdoors.
  • These are dual-textured wipes with moisturizer.

Cons:

  • This product cannot strip away paint or varnish from wood.

Goof Off Hardwoods Dried Paint Remover

Star Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars

Best Paint Splatter Remover for All Hardwoods from Goof Off

Features:

  • Will not damage wooden floors.
  • Can work with oil-based and latex paints.
  • This is very easy to clean up.

Product Specs

  • Dimensions: 1.5 x 3.3 x 7 inches, 1.9 ounces
  • Size: 12 ounces
  • Material: made from top quality materials
  • Special Features: will work for all types of hardwoods, can remove dried spots and paint drips, will never damage floors, can be used on oil or latex paints
  • Accessories: none

One of the most popular paint strippers is Goof Off. This product can remove many layers of paint and platters even on delicate hardwood. It is safe to use and will never destroy floors or wooden furniture. Goof Off will work almost immediately even on oil or latex-based paints.

You can easily apply this paint stripper directly to paint. Use a piece of cloth to wipe away any residue and drips. It will work even on the first application.

Pros:

  • Can be used on all hardwood floors and furniture.
  • This can remove multiple layers of paint and splatters.
  • You can use this on oil and latex-based paints.

Cons:

  • The container is too hard to open.
  • Complaints that it’s too smelly, with harmful fumes

Buyer’s Guide

You may have never thought much about buying a paint stripper but do you know that the success of your project relies largely on the paint remover product you used? If you’re prepping wood with many layers of old paint, it’s important to use a good quality paint stripper. Here are ways to find the best one for your woodworking project.

Learn about the different types of paint strippers

There are many types of paint strippers available in the market but the four main kinds are solvent, caustic, biochemical, and zero VOC.

Solvent paint strippers

Solvents are made from chemicals that can reduce the bond between the surface and paint. It is effective for removing layers of oil and water-based paints including polyurethane and epoxy layers from masonry, metal, and wood. Solvent strippers will remove paint without causing discoloration.

Some solvent paint stripper products contain methyl chloride with high VOC (volatile organic compound) content while some have high alcohol, methanol, and toluene content. Products with high VOC have a harsh smell and are classified as health hazards. If you accidentally inhale fumes from paint strippers with methylene chloride, you may suffer from reproductive system damage and brain damage.

Meanwhile, solvent paint strippers will work even when applied lightly. This will also take less time to work and when the surface is ready, you can easily scrape old paint away with a regular scraper.

Caustic paint strippers

Caustic paint strippers contain sodium hydroxide that will change dried paint to soap so it’s easier to remove from the surface. These strippers are not effective when removing polyurethane and epoxy material but are good for oil-based or masonry including brick fireplaces and concrete.

Caustic paint strippers can also be used to remove oil-based and water-based paints on wood and metals. However, it can discolor and erode aluminum and hardwood. To apply caustic paint strippers, use only a thin layer but allow this to remain on the surface for 30 minutes before scraping.

This type of stripper is alkaline or has a high pH and thus, the surface should be neutralized to return to a pH 7 using a solution made from water and vinegar. Caustic paint strippers can cause skin, eye, and lung irritation but are safer as these have lower VOCs compared to solvents.

Biochemical paint strippers

Biochemical paint strippers are safer as these are made from plant-based ingredients including terpenes found in citrus and pine trees plus organic compounds NMP. Biochemical strippers have low VOC and have minimal fumes but may still irritate the skin, reproductive and respiratory systems.

This type of paint stripper can get rid of oil and water-based paints from materials like wood, masonry, and metal. You can’t use biochemical paint strippers on stripped wood as it will only leave loose fibers.

You need to apply about 1/8 to ¼ inch layers and wait from three to four hours before scrapping paint off. Compared to caustic paint removers, biochemical products don’t need to be neutralized.

Zero VOC

Probably the safest paint strippers are those with no VOC ingredients. These are strippers with no methylene chloride, NNP, and lye. These are odorless and thus, won’t irritate the skin and respiratory system but still, avoid direct exposure.

Zero VOC products are made from solvents that are found naturally in nature like benzyl alcohol which can break down water and oil-based paints. You can use this on wood but it can also work on masonry or metal.

Zero VOC should be applied at least 1/8 to ¼ inches on the surface and allowed to remain on the surface for at least 24 hours. You should rinse the surface with water or use mineral spirits but you don’t need to neutralize the area.

Lead paint stripper

Homes built before 1978 may have lead paint. Use a lead paint testing kit available in most hardware stores. If you get a positive result, a specialized paint stripper that works with lead paint should be used. Lead paint strippers may be in the form of solvents, caustic, biochemical, or zero-VOC and may come in gel or paste form.

Outdoor or indoor use

Some paint strippers are designed only for outdoor use. Products with high VOC should be used outdoors as the fumes can cause severe side effects. If this is not possible, wear protective clothing. Also, improve the ventilation in the area by opening doors, windows and using a fan.

Meanwhile, there are paint strippers created for tight spaces like the Confined Spaces paint stripper from Dumond. Make sure to follow the instructions very closely and wear protective clothing as this product may still emit harmful VOC.

Paint stripper waiting time

Paint strippers have different waiting times. Those with high VOCs have shorter waiting times compared to those with lower VOCs and those made from biochemical ingredients. You must follow these closely to ensure success. Waiting times are usually indicated on the packaging. 

With or without neutralizing agents

Some strippers need a neutralizing step. Check the recommended solution on the product package which is usually one part vinegar and one part water. Use pH paper to check the surface to make sure that it has a pH 7 reading.

But if the paint stripper does not need a neutralizing agent, use the recommended washing solution of plain water and mineral spirits. Use fans to dry the treated surface.

FAQS

Here are the most frequently asked questions about buying and using paint strippers for wood.

How to remove paint using chemical strippers?

Use a thick layer of paint stripper on the area. Apply this evenly using a paintbrush. Leave this for at least 20 minutes or the recommended time on the packaging. Paint will soon begin to bubble which is a sign that you can now scrape it off.

How do you remove residue right after using paint strippers?

Use tools like steel wool dipped in paint thinner or water. Wipe the area completely using a leftover stripping product. But be careful not to oversaturate the area with water or paint thinner.

What are peel-away paint removers?

Peel-away paint removers are similar to regular paint strippers as you apply it with a brush and peel it off after the recommended time. There are many brands of peel-away paint removers; follow the instructions indicated on the packaging.

What happens if you leave paint strippers too long?

You can leave paint strippers on wood especially when you’re removing multiple layers of paint. Most paint strippers remain wet for 24 hours and this is how you know that it’s working.

Why do you need to use mineral spirits after removing old paint with a paint stripper?

You need mineral spirits to loosen any residue from the treated surface. Use an odorless mineral stripper and a bristled brush. A large brush can help apply the mineral spirits and loosen all the residue on a larger area.

Conclusion

We recommend Dumond Smart Strip Advanced and the Sunnyside Paint & Varnish Remover because of their amazing benefits and features. The Smart Strip Advanced from Dummond is biodegradable and thus won’t be as irritating as high VOC paint strippers.  It can remove many layers of paint and does not contain methylene chloride. Meanwhile, the Sunnyside formula is effective even for multiple layers of paint and can be used for all types of paints. It is easy to remove and will work even on vertical areas.

Both are the best paint stripper products as they can be used on many types of material, not just wood.  Cleanup is easy as you can easily wipe it away with a rag dipped in water. These paint strippers work twice as hard as other brands. We recommend these products if even you’re looking for the best paint stripper for any task or project