Easy DIY for Stripping Paint from Wood Furniture

Easy DIY for Stripping Paint from Wood Furniture

With these simple to follow steps, you can strip and makeover that tired piece of furniture in a weekend!

You can redo an old piece of furniture into something beautiful. And it doesn’t have to be intimidating. Trust me! Today, I’m breaking down the steps to stripping paint from wood furniture. Redoing your furniture may take time and a little design inspiration. But, with these steps, it can be pretty easy.  🙂

I bought this cute little table 4 years ago for about $20. Nice deal, right? But it was blah and had that ‘kinda yellowish’ stain everywhere. It’s not quite big enough to be a coffee table and not quite small enough to be an end table. So, I pictured this being a play table for my kids. So I gave it a cute, kid-friendly paint job. I loved that plane!

Easy DIY Steps for Stripping Paint from Wood Furniture. Simple to follow guide for how to strip paint on wood furniture, cabinets, steps, and floors.
This table was too cutesy for a grown up Living Room.
Easy DIY Steps for Stripping Paint from Wood Furniture. Simple to follow guide for how to strip paint on wood furniture, cabinets, steps, and floors.
The little plane before stripping. Can you see all of those little marks? My kids are constantly banging their toys on everything. My poor furniture. 😉

But, I ended up putting the table next to a chair in our Living Room. Even though our kids do play at it, it really didn’t work with the grown up vibe I wanted in the Living Room. It’s time to give this little beauty the style it deserves!

I wanted to give JoAnna Gaines’ beautiful line of Kilz Paint Colors a try. So, this table was the perfect opportunity. But, it took a while to pick the right color. Last week, I asked my IG friends to help me pick from 3 colors. This teal was the clear winner. Which is really perfect since I decorate with teal a lot, already. 🙂

Some of the teal decor and accents I use around my house.
Just a few examples of the teal in my home. My DIY Bird Wall Hook, a few items in my Kitchen Remodel Reveal, peeks of Teal in my Laundry Mudroom DIY, and the DIY Resin Marbling Tray.

And, don’t forget to see what my crafty friends have been up to too. I’ve joined up with an awesome group of bloggers to share our spin on a fun topic every month. This month was Furniture Makeovers. It’s always fun to see how different everyone’s ideas can be.  🙂


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Easy DIY Steps for Stripping Paint from Wood Furniture. Simple to follow guide for how to strip paint on wood furniture, cabinets, steps, and floors.
How I taped plastic sheeting to the table.

Materials for Stripping Paint from Wood Furniture

Note: Pick your own colors and/or stains to get the perfect look for your home. I used Magnolia Homes by Kilz Interior Paint, Spontaneous color in Eggshell Finish. Then left the top natural, except for my favorite Matte Polycrylic.

Easy DIY Steps for Stripping Paint from Wood Furniture. Simple to follow guide for how to strip paint on wood furniture, cabinets, steps, and floors.
I just poured big glops of Citristrip on the top, then spread around with the brush.
Easy DIY Steps for Stripping Paint from Wood Furniture. Simple to follow guide for how to strip paint on wood furniture, cabinets, steps, and floors.
Scraping the first layer off. I actually let this Citristrip sit too long. It turns a bit white and flaky when it dries. You don’t want to let it get this dry. It still works, just not as well as it could have.

DIY Steps for Stripping Paint from Wood Furniture

Note: I prefer Citristrip for most jobs. It’s really thick, so stays where you put it, it’s non-caustic, can be used indoors, smells nice, and really works. I’ve only had to move to stronger, more dangerous chemicals once. That was for stripping 80 years of thick varnish and paints off of stairs in a house I flipped once. And that was only due to the endless number of paint layers I was stripping. And i’m not even sure that the stronger stuff even worked any better.

  1. Start by taping off any areas that won’t be stripped. This will protect it from the stripping chemicals. You don’t want weird stripped spots messing up the texture of areas that will be painted. I used plastic sheets and painter’s tape.
  2. Put on your gloves, then brush a thick coating of Citristrip all over any area that will be stripped. I leave this for 3 or more hours. But be sure to scrap it before it dries. So, a max of 15 hours is usually a safe bet. Some people say that covering this in Saran Wrap overnight helps the Citristrip penetrate deeper. I haven’t tried it, but it’s worth a try, if you already have the Saran Wrap.
  3. Scrape the stripper off with your plastic knife. I am using a metal knife in the photo. But the metal can gouge your wood, if you’re not careful. Plastic is the safest bet.
  4. Don’t try digging too hard in areas where it is hard to scrape the paint off. Just finish scraping any areas that come off easily, then apply another thick coat of Citristrip. Leave for at least a few more hours, then scrape again. Two applications of Citristrip worked for me. I probably had 3 layers of latex and 2 layers of polycrylic on this table.

    Easy DIY Steps for Stripping Paint from Wood Furniture. Simple to follow guide for how to strip paint on wood furniture, cabinets, steps, and floors.
    First layer off, applying a second round of Citristrip. This brush is labeled and only used for stripping jobs.

  5. After the paint was scraped off, I had a light gummy residue left on the table. With my gloves back on, I poured Mineral Spirits onto the clean scrap rag and lightly scrubbed the residue off. You can see in the picture that the gummy bits started rolling up and rubbing away. Keep using clean spots of the rag and the Mineral Spirits to rub it off. Any tough spots or textured areas (like my routed edge) can be wiped with the Mineral Spirits then scrubbed with the Stripping Pad. Those things are great for getting into crevices.
    Easy DIY Steps for Stripping Paint from Wood Furniture. Simple to follow guide for how to strip paint on wood furniture, cabinets, steps, and floors.
    The Stripping Pad, scrap cloth, and Mineral Spirits I used.

    Easy DIY Steps for Stripping Paint from Wood Furniture. Simple to follow guide for how to strip paint on wood furniture, cabinets, steps, and floors.
    Mid-rubbing paint off with a cloth and Mineral Spirits. You can see how it kind of pills up before wiping off.

  6. Once all of the gummy residue is gone, let the wood dry completely.
  7. Now you can give it a good sanding. I used my trusty $30 power sander to make this quick and easy. I focused mainly on the top, since I have a routed edge. Plus, I was going for a stripped, natural look anyway. I used 120-grit first, then switched to 220-grit for a super smooth feel.
Easy DIY Steps for Stripping Paint from Wood Furniture. Simple to follow guide for how to strip paint on wood furniture, cabinets, steps, and floors.
About to scrub the paint residue with the stripping pad and Mineral Spirits. After photo, on the bottom.

Giving the table it’s new look

After following my steps for Stripping Paint from Wood Furniture, you’re ready to give the piece it’s new look.

  1. I wiped the painted area of the table with mild soapy water and dried it. Then I applied 1 coat of a water-based primer.
  2. After that dried, I used a foam brush to apply 2 layers of Magnolia Homes by Kilz in Spontaneous.
  3. Then 2 coats of the Matte Polycrylic went on the unfinished top. You can apply the poly over the painted area too. If you wanted extra protection.
Easy DIY Steps for Stripping Paint from Wood Furniture. Simple to follow guide for how to strip paint on wood furniture, cabinets, steps, and floors.
Table top ready to be sanded.
Easy DIY Steps for Stripping Paint from Wood Furniture. Simple to follow guide for how to strip paint on wood furniture, cabinets, steps, and floors.
After letting the primer dry, I’m adding the first coat of paint.

I have to say, for most Latex Paints, I mix the latex into a chalk paint with my go to recipe. Chalk Paint dries faster and harder than latex, so that works best on furniture. But, I wanted to see how this new paint looked without messing with it.

BTW, I am not, in any way, affiliated with or sponsored by this paint line, this is just my honest opinion. I love the look of this paint. It dried pretty quick for a latex and seems to be less ‘plastic-y’. Latex paints have a long cure time, because they are designed for walls, that usually doesn’t matter. But if you use a latex with a long cure time on furniture, it can be a big problem.

I used latex on the first dresser I ever painted. For months after painting the dresser, it would get dented by anything I set on top of it. I mean anything, even lightweight lamps left marks. Not good, that’s when I learned about cure times and the awesomeness of chalk paint. Chalk Paint usually has little to no cure time. This Kilz paint seems like it would cure quickly. I’ll have to find time to test it out on a table or dresser top one day.

Easy DIY Steps for Stripping Paint from Wood Furniture. Simple to follow guide for how to strip paint on wood furniture, cabinets, steps, and floors.
This table is ready for play, but with the grown up look I wanted. I found those pretty houses in the JoAnna Gaines Hearth & Hand line at Target. You can see more of my Living Room Decor here.
Easy DIY Steps for Stripping Paint from Wood Furniture. Simple to follow guide for how to strip paint on wood furniture, cabinets, steps, and floors.
Don’t forget to Pin Me!

Anyway, so glad you stopped by. I hope you get a chance to check out more of the fun furniture makeovers from this month’s Farmhouse Hens Blog Hop!!


Farmhouse Hens Blog Hop

The next time the Farmhouse Hens gather is in March. See you then!

Farmhouse Hens Decorate, DIY Christmas Tree Ornaments, DIY Ornaments, homemade ornaments easy to make Christmas decorations, farmhouse Christmas decorating ideas


Farmhouse Hens Logo

Country Girl Desk Furniture Makeover

Tarah at Grandma’s House DIY! Blog | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter


Farmhouse Hen's Logo

French Script Stencilled Shelf

Sam at Raggedy Bits! Blog | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter


Farmhouse Hens

Refinished Curbside Find

Michelle at Our Crafty Mom! Blog | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter


Farmhouse Hens

Spindle Leg Table with Grain Sack Stenciled Top

Denise at My Thrifty House! Blog | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter


Farmhouse Hens Logos

Bathroom Display Organizer

Leanna at Faeries and Fauna! Blog | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter


Looking for more cute and crafty decor? Try this easy DIY for a Wood Slice Wall Hook.

Add the wood slice trend to your decor with this simple wood slice idea. This is how to Make a Simple DIY Wood Slice Wall Hook. An easy wood slice decor idea. #woodslice #DIYWallHook #DIYWoodSlice #WoodSliceDecor
Wood Slice Wall Hooks

Or, check out this beautiful office chair makeover. Even the wheels were broken, guys!

Beautiful office chair makeover and fixing roller wheels on this chair I found on the curb. Trash to treasure story with full details on the steps to restore an office chair and fix the roller wheels.
Completely dirty and covered in webs, it looked like trash.

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16 thoughts on “Easy DIY for Stripping Paint from Wood Furniture

  1. Your table turned out so beautiful!! I love the contrast of the wood top with that gorgeous aqua!!! Great tips on stripping furniture!

  2. I think the stripping part is my least favorite thing to do when it comes to making over a piece of furniture. It may be because we can only find that terribly smelly paint stripper in stores here in South Africa. How I wish I could import some Citristrip. I’ve heard so many good things about it and I’d be really keen to find out how the Kilz paint holds up over time. Thanks for a very informative post Stephanie, hope you have a happy week

  3. The colour you chose it perfect, your friends gave you great advice. I have never used the Citristrip and now I need to see if its available in Canada. The stripper I use works well, but you need gloves, goggles and it really burns.

    Today I am painting the legs of a thrift store find aqua blue, I hope it turns out as nicely as this table did.

  4. I am in LOVE with that color you used for the base! Turned out awesome!

  5. Trish@BlowingAwayOutWest

    I love hearing everyone’s favorite products for these redo projects. I’m going to give some of them a try. Thanks for sharing!

  6. This is one of my favorite looks: stained top with a painted bottom. Beautiful!

  7. Oh I love the bottom color! Stripping is one of the things I like to do on old furniture 🙂 I like to discover what is hidden under the paint! Excellent work! Thank you for sharing at Sweet Inspiration Link Party 🙂

    http://www.artdecorationcrafting.gr

  8. Oh the stripping part is so tedious but it was worth it. The color is great. The table looks very grown up now. But the plane was awfully cute.

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