If you’re looking for a way to strip paint or stain from wood, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got tons of tips and tricks up our sleeves—and we’re not afraid to share them! Learn the proper technique for how to use a paint stripper on wood as we demonstrate how to take away old paint or stain.


Removing Paint or Stain from Wood

When you’re looking to strip paint from wood, you have a lot of options. But what is the best thing to strip paint from wood? How much paint needs to be peeled and what kind of wood you have will determine the best method. Chances are, you’ll need to use a combination of all of the options we list below so you can get that finished glow on dull damaged wood, and create that beautifully refinished wood look! Read on to discover how an easy way to strip paint and the best way to apply stain!

Strip Paint or Stain from Wood

Materials That You Will Need For Stripping, Painting, and Staining Wood Surfaces:

  • Sand Paper
  • Brush
  • Non-latex Paint (for wood)
  • Wood Stain
  •  Dust Mask
  • Safety Goggles
  • Wooden Block or Sand Sponge
  • Stripping Spray
  • Electric Sander (for a larger wood surface)
  • Scraper or Stiff Cleaning Brush
  • Wood Thinner
  • Rags
  • Wood Putty
  • Flexible Putty Knife
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Cardboard or Tarp
  • Wood Finish

Method 1: Refinish the Wood First

You’ll need to wear some safety goggles and probably a dust mask when you begin to strip the wood, it will make for a much more comfortable experience.

A stripping spray is a good first step to take before you start to sand the wood, this will cause the old paint on the wood to bubble and lift.

Start sanding down the wood you want to strip by going against the grain. Use a circular motion combined with a back and fourth motion – to cover the whole surface. You can use an electric sander if you are stripping a larger area of wood such as the exterior siding of your house

Scrape away any leftover paint with a scraper or a stiff cleaning brush and dust off any dirt or debris. Wipe over the surface with a wood thinner using a rag and allow the area to sit until completely dry.

Method 2: Painting Wood

After you have stripped the wood accordingly, seal in any imperfections with wood putty using a flexible putty knife.

  • Then sand over the applied putty so the wooden surface of your house is smooth. Lay out the wood item onto a tarp before you begin painting.
  • Using a good quality paint brush designed for painting wood, you can use your non-latex paint and apply it with long strokes from the top to the bottom a few coats in a row.
  • Allow it to stand until dry.

Method 3: Apply Stain

If you choose to stain the wood after stripping it, then you should use rubber gloves when applying your wood stain and take precaution that wood stain is very permanent! Lay the item you are staining on cardboard or a tarp so you don’t splatter any of it onto a surface that you don’t want to be ruined.

Mix the stain carefully and apply with a rag for the easiest application, or a brush if you choose. Apply the wood stain generously and don’t fixate on the process being neat, if you have your cardboard or tarp laid out underneath you won’t need to worry about slopping the stain. Wipe away any access stain and allow to dry for 24 hours.



Carefully read the label on the stripping spray, every bottle seems to have a slightly different method.

It is always better to use more than enough wood putty to seal imperfections than too little.

Using a non-latex paint will allow the paint to dry slower and paintbrush marks are a lot less visible on the wood.

When you are staining wood, you can wipe off the stain quickly for a lighter colour or you can leave it on a little longer for a darker-coloured wood.

 You can mix different shades of stain to create a customized shade of the wood stain on your project.

 If you need to use a ladder for this job, please refer to our Ladder Safety Blog to protect yourself from injury.


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With these simple methods listed above, you will know how to strip paint or stain from wood and have your project looking professionally refinished!

But, if you can’t seem to get hold of any free days to do this project, then why not let us do it for you! Call Home Painters Toronto and we’ll do it for you! Call us NOW at 416-494-9095 or email us at brian@HomePaintersToronto.com for a free wood staining services quote. And don’t forget to follow us on all our social channels below as well!