How to Remove Paint From the Grain in Wood

Written by kimberly johnson
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How to Remove Paint From the Grain in Wood
Removing paint from wood grain can be challenging. (the background from old defective yellow oil-paint image by Valentin Mosichev from Fotolia.com)

Removing paint from a wooden surface can be a challenging task, especially if the paint has been applied in multiple layers or is very old. Paint removal is most easily accomplished using a chemical paint stripper that softens the paint. While these chemical strippers do a good job of removing the majority of the paint, there are often small traces of paint residue stuck inside the grain of the wood.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Plastic tarp
  • Paint stripper
  • Paintbrush
  • Putty knife
  • Steel wool
  • Paper towels
  • Sandpaper, 200 and 80 grit
  • Gloves
  • Mask
  • Eye protection

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Place a plastic tarp over the floor and any other nearby surfaces to protect them from damage during paint removal. Open all doors and windows in the location of the painted object. If possible, move the object to an outdoor location.

  2. 2

    Apply a thin layer of paint stripper to the painted surface, using a paintbrush. Allow the solution to sit for the amount of time recommended by the product packaging.

  3. 3

    Place the blade of a putty knife against the wood at a 30- to 45-degree angle and push the blade along the surface to remove the paint. The softened paint should roll up easily.

  4. 4

    Apply a second layer of paint stripper to the wood and allow it to sit for the same amount of time as before. Take up the softened paint with a putty knife.

  5. 5

    Scrub the surface of the wood with a piece of steel wool to remove as much of the paint from the grain as possible. When you have scrubbed the entire surface, wipe off all remaining paint stripper with a paper towel, and discard the towel.

  6. 6

    Allow the wood to dry completely. Sand down the surface of the wood to remove any remaining paint from the wood grain. If there are only superficial paint lines, use a 200-grit sandpaper to sand the wood. If the paint is deeper inside the grain, use a courser sandpaper, such as 80-grit.

Tips and warnings

  • Always wear gloves, a mask and eye protection when working with paint stripper, as it is highly caustic.

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