You can makeover that tired piece of furniture in a weekend, with this easy DIY for Stripping Paint from Wood Furniture!
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 easy DIY 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!
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. 🙂
Watch this to See How I Stripped Stain Off a 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.
- 120 and 220-grit sandpaper
- A power sander, like mine, is optional on this DIY, since we only use it after stripping
- plastic sheeting or garbage bags and painter’s tape
- Protective gloves
- CitriStrip Paint Stripper, old or cheap paint brush, & Plastic Knife (also called Putty Knife)
- Clean Rags & Odorless Mineral Spirits
- Heavy Duty Stripping Pad
- Paints and/or Stains: Whichever will work with your design
- Polyurethane, like Minwax Polycrylic in Clear Matte
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. That was only due to the endless number of paint layers I was stripping. And, I’m not even sure that the stronger stuff worked any better than Citristrip.
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.
Put on your gloves, then brush a thick coating of Citristrip all over any area that will be stripped. I leave this for 1 to 3 hours. But be sure to scrap it before it dries.
Some people say that covering this in Saran Wrap overnight helps the Citristrip penetrate deeper. I think it definitely helps. You can see how I used Saran Wrap with Citristrip in the video above. It’s worth doing that extra step when you’re stripping paint from wood furniture.
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 for stripping paint from wood furniture.
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 1 to 2 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.
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.
Once all of the gummy residue is gone, let the wood dry completely. 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.
Giving the Little 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. Check out this Furniture Painting Playlist on YouTube to see some of my favorite paint looks.
- 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.
- After that dried, I used a foam brush to apply 2 layers of Magnolia Homes by Kilz in Spontaneous.
- 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.
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 cures quickly.
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Check out the Easy DIY Steps for How to Restain a Door without stripping or removing it.
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