To get paint off of wood, apply a chemical stripper, and scrape off the paint after it has softened. For areas with layers of paint, you may need to apply the remover and scrape it off several times. Be sure to follow all safety precautions.
- Select a chemical stripping agent
A paint stripper with methylene-chloride is the most common choice. These products contain wax, which allows the stripping chemicals to remain on the surface of the wood. If the wood has a shellac or lacquer finish, you can use furniture refinisher, which does not contain wax and evaporates quickly. "Safe strippers" that contain fewer caustic chemicals are also available, but they are typically more expensive and require more time to loosen the paint.
- Brush on the stripper
Shake the can of paint stripper to mix the contents. With an inexpensive paint brush, apply the stripper to the painted surface. Working in sections, allow the product to loosen and soften the paint. When the paint bubbles, use a metal scraper to remove the paint. If paint remains on the wood, apply a second coat, leave it for 20 minutes, and scrape off the paint.
- Clean the surface
After an additional 20 minutes, scrub the surface with steel wool dipped in mineral spirits. Wipe the wood clean with a cotton rag and mineral spirits.