How to Remove Paint From Furniture

Restoring an old piece of furniture can be fun, and easier than you might think.

Remove Paint From FurnitureRemove Paint From Furniture
With a little bit of time and patience, layers of old paint can be removed, leaving behind nothing but beautiful, natural wood.

Consider your piece carefully before beginning. An old chest of drawers found at a yard sale may be an excellent amateur restoring project, but any valuable antiques should be handled by professionals.

Create a working space that is well-ventilated and free from anything that could ignite, and protect floors and other objects from splatters. Put on safety goggles and rubber gloves.

Disassemble the furniture, removing hinges, drawer pulls, etc. Lay the pieces that require paint removal on a dropcloth or newspaper.

Brush a thick layer of paint stripper over the furniture, being sure to cover desired areas completely. Allow the paint stripper to dry per the manufacturer's instructions.

Using a paint scraper or old spatula, gently scrape the loosened paint from the furniture. Use an old toothbrush to get into corners and crevices. Work gently so that you do not gouge or mar the wood. Repeat this process as necessary to remove all layers of old paint. Let the paint stripper do the work, and avoid sanding.

Use clean rags to wipe down the piece of furniture and to liberally apply mineral spirits to the stripped areas. Allow to dry thoroughly.

Things You Will Need

  • Paste or semi-paste paint stripper Mineral spirits Paint brush Paint scraper or old spatula Old toothbrush Clean rags Dropcloth or newspaper Rubber gloves Safety goggles


  • Plan to complete paint removing process in a single day. Stretching the process out can make the paint harden. Be sure to wait the required time for the paint stripper to do its job to avoid unnecessary harsh scraping. Apply the paint stripper liberally--these kind of products usually evaporate quickly, and if you do not use enough, the paint stripper won't work. Disassemble the piece of furniture as far as you can, as this will make it easier to remove paint or finishes.


  • Always work in an area that is well-ventilated--preferably outside. Always wear safety goggles and rubber gloves to protect your eyes and skin from splatters or drips. Keep children and pets away from paint-removing products and project areas.