Paint Stripping: 3 Tips To Get Started

Refinishing and repurposing are popular trends now. Every day, people find unique pieces at yard sales, on the side of the road, and other random places, give the piece some attention and then create masterpieces. 

If you've found a piece of hidden treasure, you're probably anxious to get to work. The only problem is that you need to remove the old layer of paint before you can get started. Don't worry, the task is not as hard as you might think, but there are some things you need to do first to make the process easier; here are some of them.

Pick Your Battles

The piece of furniture you saw on the side of the road might look awesome, but you need to ensure its worth your effort. The paint stripping process can be intense at times. If the wood is not in good condition, it might not be able to withstand the procedure. 

Additionally, you might put in a lot of effort to refinish the piece only for it to fall apart soon after. Examine the condition of the wood to ensure it's worth the effort. 

Purchase a Heater

Look over the condition of the piece to determine if you need to use a heater to strip the paint. Typically, if the piece of furniture has varnish on it or there are several layers of paint, you may want to use heat to remove the thick coating. A heating tool will basically warm, thin, and melt the layers. 

Once it's softened, you can take a scraper to remove the layers of paint gently. However, even if the piece has thick coats of paint, if it's delicate or not in the best condition, scrapping the wood might not be the best option.

Rely on a Chemical Solution

A common option for stripping paint is a chemical solution. These solutions typically come in the form of gels and liquids. They work much like paint in terms of their application. However, once they are applied to the paint or varnish, they start to break down the structure of the paint and cause it to dissolve. 

Once this process is complete, you can simply wipe the paint away from the surface. For faster paint removal, chemical solutions are the better option. However, it's imperative you perform this step in a well-ventilated space to avoid any health hazards. 

Once you remove the paint, the fun can begin, and you can get to work on your one-of-a-kind masterpiece.