Paint strippers can be a wonderful tool. They could remove layers and layers of paint and finish using a fraction of the effort it might take to do this manually. For folks who routinely restore wood furniture and fixtures, paint strippers are indispensable. However, it’s important to keep in mind you have to treat stripped timber with particular care if you want your finished product to be worth all the work you put into it.

Paint Strippers

Many different types of paint strippers are on the market nowadays, and all of these have their place. The main thing is to ascertain which type of stripper will work best for the task at hand. Methylene chloride strippers have been around for years, work quickly and are effective at cutting oil-based paint, however they emit toxic fumes and should be used carefully. Newer, safer strippers use nonvolatile chemicals which may strip away 30 layers of latex paint in one application, but they take a few hours to work. Many don’t work well on oil-based paint. Pick a stripper that will efficiently strip your project down to bare wood, and also your next steps will be much simpler.


The first step in preparing stripped timber is sanding it. There will inevitably be some residue and roughness in your stripped piece that will have to be sanded smooth. If you are working on a multi layer, having a variety of tools handy to try it, like a random orbital sander, a multi-tool using a sanding mind, a small tool to get into crevices and a number of grits of sandpaper, will make the job a lot simpler. Just begin with a coarse grit and work your way down till you have a smooth, blemish-free surface to paint.

Repairing Damage

After you sand every crevice of your project, inspect it carefully. You can repair any cracks or divots you find with wood putty. Let the putty dry thoroughly, then sand the repaired spots again so they blend into the surrounding area. When done with all of your sanding, carefully wipe down and vacuum up all traces of dust and debris before you present primer and paint to the picture.


When you’re taking a look at a smooth, pristine hardwood surface, then it may be tempting to just start slapping paint onto it, but applying primer is a vital step in finishing any porous surface, like hardwood. Primer is especially designed to adhere to surfaces and to bond to paint, so it’s actually the glue that holds your hardwood and your paint jointly. Additionally, primer fills the pores in the wood and makes your painted surface appear much more even. If your project is for indoors, an oil-based primer will penetrate the timber best, but if it’s intended for the outside, you might want to decide on more durable latex primer. When you correctly prime your surface, then you’re ready for a top-notch paint job.

See related