how to remove paint from wood without chemicals

How to Remove Paint from Wood Without Chemicals

If you have an old painted wood furniture piece that you want to give a makeover, learning how to remove paint from wood without chemicals may just be the best place to start. There are different ways to do so, and they will be discussed in this guide. With the different available options, you will find one that will work for your needs. In no time, you will see your furniture looking just like new. 

What You Need

  • Sandpaper (heavy grit)
  • Dust mask
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Mask and goggles
  • Wire brush
  • Scraper
  • Heat Gun
  • Pressure Washer
  • Infrared devices

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1 – Sand Wood

Image source

To start removing paint from wood, use sandpaper (heavy grit) to sand off the paint. Since sanding produces a heavy volume of dust, you may want to wear a dust mask to ensure safety. Also, it is recommended to perform this procedure in an outdoor space since you will be expecting to create a huge mess. 

Sand along the wood grain, keep the sander moving. Otherwise, you will make a gouge or dip on the wood. If you are working on walls, make sure that the area is well-ventilated, masking off the air vents, or any location that you want to protect from dust. 

Step 2 – Use Baking Soda

Image source

Note that baking soda alone will not remove paint right away from wood. However, you can do so by boiling water and adding baking soda. This homemade paint remover solution may be used on wood, and other substances, including metal. Using this solution is also relatively faster than using a blow dryer or heat gun. 

Step 3 – Use Vinegar

Image source

Vinegar is known to be very effective for this concern. It cleans more than just deodorizing and cleaning. Still, vinegar does not remove the paint completely, but it works great in softening the paint, allowing you to remove it completely using other means, such as scraping. For this to work, boil vinegar in the microwave or stove, applying it on the surface using a brush. Allow it to sit for a while before testing the paint. You may need to repeat the procedure if necessary. 

Step 4 – Use Pressure Washer

Image source

If the previous solutions do not work, you may want to try out using a pressure washer. This is applicable, especially if you need to strip a huge project. Prepare the area well, making sure that water does not go inside areas where it should not be. The pressure washer should have at least a 2500 PSI rating to do the task. Clean along the wood grain while spraying the surface. Afterward, remove the remaining paint using other methods mentioned above. 

Step 5 – Use Heat Gun

Image source

A heat gun can also be used in removing paint from wood. This is an easier solution than sanding. Still, it could turn out to be dangerous if you are not familiar with what you are doing. A heat gun, together with other safety equipment, is needed for this process. Wear goggles and a mask, while ensuring that there is water close to you. 

Turn the heat gun on, placing it about 6 -8 inches away from the surface of the wood. Move it slowly across the surface, but not focusing on a certain area for long. This will help soften the paint. The moment you see wrinkles, it means that they can already be scraped up easily. 

Step 6 – Use Wire Brushes

Image source

Generally, wire brushes are ideal for completing smaller projects. This also means that they are not ideal for bigger projects. Wire brushes can remove paint from wood furniture since they are designed to reach even the most difficult areas to reach. 

Step 7 – Use a Scraper

Image source

A scraper can do a lot of things for any woodworking project. Aside from serving its primary purpose, it can also be used in removing paint from wood. They come in different models, which is why it is ideal to choose the best one that will do the task for you. A scraper will offer an easy and smooth surface that will be best for pre-painting preparation. Even though scrapers are a common tool for paint removal, they are also effective in painting and staining, giving off a smooth surface. 

Step 8 – Infrared Devices

Image source

These infrared devices offer a modern way of removing paint from wood. It does not produce dust while removing paint. It works by heating the upper paint layer only, making sure that the wooden layer will not be affected. 


The methods on how to remove paint from wood without chemicals are among the most effective solutions currently available. With any of the methods discussed above, you will be able to effectively remove, confidently knowing that your furniture piece will look new and fresh. Have you tried any of the methods mentioned above? Did they work for you? Why not leave your thoughts in the comments section below. Feel free to share this article if you like!



Leave a Reply

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