How Do You Remove Paint From Interior Wood Trim?

To remove paint from interior wood trim, use a denatured alcohol or mineral spirits and light-grade sandpaper. The removal process depends on whether the paint is latex or oil based.

Before starting the removal process, gather together all of the necessary supplies. Have on hand some clean rags, light-grade sandpaper, denatured alcohol and mineral spirits.

Step 1: Start with denatured alcohol

Latex paint is easy to remove with soap and water, but denatured alcohol works better and faster. Start by rubbing the paint with a clean rag and the alcohol. If the paint is old or thick, it may take some effort. If there is no noticeable improvement, most likely the paint is oil based which means denatured alcohol will not work.

Step 2: Use sandpaper and mineral spirits

If denatured alcohol did not remove the paint, sand the area lightly with light-grade sandpaper. Do not sand too deeply as this will mar the wood. Sand until most of the paint color is gone. Use mineral spirits on a clean rag to remove any remaining paint. Be sure not to saturate the wood with the mineral spirits, as this can damage the trim. Wipe with a damp cloth and then dry the area with a clean, dry cloth.