Remove paint from wood without sanding


Here’s everything you need to know about Removing paint from wood without sanding, anyways.

It’s not just you, a lot of us (DIYers) hate the sanding process. It’s such a time-consuming and boring act, though sanding is worth the effort. 

English Conversation About Art
English Conversation About Art

But if you don’t want to spend time sanding a block of wood to remove paint from a wooden piece. 

You need not worry at all. There are alternative ways to remove stubborn paint from wood. 

Outlined below are some of the methods, each has its benefits and disadvantages. You better explore the ways by doing some in-depth research, just to ensure you get results best of best.

5 Ways for removing paint from wood without sanding.

These are some of the methods that will minimize the sanding process up to a great extent. But you will still need to sand off the surface just to clear the remaining sticky paint.

The below methods can soften the paint color. After applying them on the surface. A piece of cloth, steel wool, or a light grit (220 coarse) will do the rest of the scratching job. 

  1. Using a Heat Gun: A heat gun can help melt the paint layers. Contains the risk of wood burning, and other toxic issues so this method requires wearing fundamental self-protective gears.
  1. Using a pressure washer: Some water-based paints or chalk paint can be removed by using a pressure washer. Set the power to a maximum of 2500 to 3000 psi. Wetting the surface with Detergents can maximize the potential to strip paint off.
  1. Using citrus-based removers: A non-toxic solution is to use citrus-based paint removers. Allow the mixture to remain on top of the suffice for around 30 minutes to 1 hour/ until the paint gets melted off. After that, with a rag, you will be able to wipe away all the paint easily.
  1. Using vinegar: Vinegar has the ability to wipe off whichever paint color is there. Water-based or oil-based, they both likely get melted in the essence of a vinegar solvent. The time taken for kinds of vinegar to soften the paint layer is dependent on thickness or the number of coats.
  1. Using Chemical strippers– There are products available on the market or at local stores. Named Paint removers or paint strippers. Made of natural or unnatural chemicals which contain elements to remove the paint colors. In three types you can avail them: thinners, medium viscous, high viscous. High viscous are likely to work better on the horizontal surfaces as they don’t fall, ensuring the surface gets an even coat throughout.

Heat Guns

Heat guns emit hot air as the name suggests. Shaped like a gun, and the front side, so-called the form where the fan is emitting in the air, is used to melt the paint from a surface.

Since heating causes the solid paint to liquidate. With a scrapper, you can use your other hand to strip the paint easily.

Here’s how this works:

Step.1 

Set the heat gun power to its maximum potential.

Step.2

Wear groovers- make sure they are thick because you will not want to get your hand in front of the hot air.

Step.3

Use a scraper, made of plastic, can work, and is inexpensive. Still, go with ones made of brass/steel.

Step.4

Keep the heat gun two inches away. 

Step.5

Slowly, move it back and forth in a sweeping motion; don’t stay too long on a single spot.

Step.6

The scraper should be in your other hand, chasing the heat gun. As you move forward, melt the paint. Scrape the paint and it should be stripped off.

Vinegar

No wonders. Vinegar is one of the natural substances used to remove paint from paint brushes, metals, etc. But you can do more with vinegar when it comes to stripping the paint.

It has acidic properties which makes it capable of softening a hard paint layer. No kind of toxicity, no hard fumes, make it an ideal choice if the environment where you’re working is an enclosed- non-ventilated apartment.

Here is how this works:

Step.1

In a small saucepan, heat a small amount of white distilled vinegar. If using a microwave oven, place the vinegar in a microwaveable bowl.

Step.2

Pour the hot vinegar over a clean paintbrush or sponge on a piece of cloth. Use this mixture to wipe away dried paint.

Step.3

Now using the wet rag or paintbrush to apply the hot mixture to the surface. Allow for 15 to 20 minutes to let the vinegar do the magic.

Step.4

After the waiting process that the vinegar will take. Now use a scraper to strip away the melted paint.

Scrapers

In instances when the paint is already peeling. Cracked all the way through something like that happens when chalk paint is exposed to humidity.

Here is how this works:

Step.1

Assemble yourself some steel-made scrappers with sharp edges. Sharp edges can wipe away paint from some stubborn points. You may need that.

Step.2

Move the scrapper in the back and forth position. Push horizontally as well vertically but make sure you put too much force that wood gets stripped. Be curious about this matter.

Step.3

Scrape the paint off in the same direction as the wood grain. Keep pressure light when scraping paint chips against the wood grain.

If the paint is not stipping away, it seems it’s thick and dried. Put some hot vinegar at the edges, also apply vinegar on the paint so it gets even softened. 

Step.4

The method will make the place dirty as the paint will be falling off. Use a vacuum cleaner to clean off the work area, and wearing a mask is a must for you.

Pressure Washers

Pressure washers are cleaning machines. Used for cleaning vehicles, and such other subjects. They have bundled with two main things. One is a large pipe from where the water comes off at incredible pressure. The second part is of the water tank, from which these pressure washers get water supply.

Here’s how this works in removing paint.

Step.1

You will need to have a pressure washer with the incredible power of spraying water. It should be somewhere above 2000 psi to 3000. Less than this would not be able to strip the stubborn paint away.

Step.2

Make sure this method is not going to work for small projects. Spraying water from this immersive amount of pressure might break away a weak sheet such as a chipboard sheet of particle wood, both might not handle the pressure.

With this being said, go with this method only if you’re going to strip away paint from a larger wooden board. Such as home walls made of wood- it can be used to remove paint from brick walls as well.

Step.3

Now using the wet rag or paintbrush to apply the hot mixture to the surface. Allow for 15 to 20 minutes to let the vinegar do the magic.

Step.4

Don’t hold the water in one place for too long. Instead, keep the water=pipe moving up and down frequently. Holding at one place for a long time can increase the risk that the entire wall/board will break into pieces. 

Cations– Since it’s evident if someone is going with this method. Might be there is an outdoor project he/she is going to strip the paint away. The thing to care about is, the homes built before 1979 have used lead in the paints. Which is toxic. This makes wearing a mask important as inhaling this toxic chemical will affect your respiratory system so badly.

Citrus-Based paints Removers

Similar to vinegar, the citrus-based removers contain little to no toxicity at all. Making it a choice for stripping away paint from small wooden things like a table, kitchen cabinets, etc.

Despite being non-toxic and biodegradable, citrus strippers do contain some chemicals. On the other hand, more natural strippers smell like oranges or lemons rather than hazardous gases.

Easier to be used as they only need to apply on the surface using a wet rag. No heating before application as we need to do when working with bottles of vinegar. 

Many local stores sell these products titled as paint removers such as on Amazon you can avail. And they are standard, unlike vinegar which is more like a DIY approach.

Here is how this works:

Step.1 

Shake the container, pour the stripper into a container, and apply the solution with a paintbrush.

Step.2

 Allow 30 minutes, sometimes waiting can go up to 24 hours. Better leave the stripper on overnight if you cover the surface with plastic. 

Step.3

With a ball of wool rag, scrapper, you can easily fetch out the paint. Don’t need any sanding or whatever.

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