Home Remedies for Removing Paint from a Wood Door

Chemical paint strippers are the most effective means of removing paint from a wood door. However, many people do not like the idea of using harsh chemicals on their wood or around their bodies. As an alternative to this, there are several home remedies for removing paint from wood doors that are just as effective as paint stripping.


Scraping paint off of a wood door is one of the easiest removal methods to employ. For this process, all you need is a paint scraper of some kind. This process works best on paint that is already peeling or on paint that was not intended to be on the door. If you do choose to scrape the paint, make sure it does not contain lead.

White Spirit

A small dab of white spirit is effective in removing oil-based paints from any wood door. This process works best on paint that is located in only one small area on the wood. If the whole door is covered in paint and you want to remove all of it, then another option is best.

Soapy Water

Soapy water can be used to remove paint that has not fully dried. This solution works best on latex paint; oil paints resist the water in the solution. If the soapy water is allowed to soak into the paint for several minutes, it can easily be scraped or wiped away in most cases. This process is best used on small amounts of paint rather than an entire painted door.

Linseed Oil

Boiled linseed oil is effective at loosening almost any kind of paint from a wood door. First heat the oil to its boiling point. Then wipe the oil over the paint liberally. The oil should be allowed to sit over the paint for about one hour. After that time, the paint should be softened enough to wipe off or scrape off with a putty knife.


Using sandpaper to scrape off paint from a wood door is usually effective. If you follow this process, you should wear eye goggles and a dust mask. Make sure the paint does not contain lead. Start with high-grit paper and work down to a finer grit. This process usually is time consuming, so it may take a long time to remove all the paint.


Heat can also be used to remove paint from a wood door. Apply a hair dryer or other heat gun over the paint until it starts to bubble. When this occurs, the paint can easily be scraped away from the surface of the wood door.

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About the Author

Brenda Priddy has more than 10 years of crafting and design experience, as well as more than six years of professional writing experience. Her work appears in online publications such as Donna Rae at Home, Five Minutes for Going Green and Daily Mayo. Priddy also writes for Archstone Business Solutions and holds an Associate of Arts in English from McLennan Community College.