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How to Strip Painted Furniture

Usually, I’m allllll about painted furniture, but more and more I am drawn to the simplicity and warmth of raw wood.  So what to do if you already own the piece of furniture, but wish it were back to it’s basic, natural look again? Let me show you how I strip painted furniture!

This particular piece is one of my prized possessions.  Back before we had kids, we were visiting my husband’s aunt who has ultra modern taste.  As we were getting ready to leave, we were standing in her garage.

My husband and her were talking about cars and I was kind of glazing over when I spotted the arm of this beautiful church pew.  It was covered with old coats and looking really out of place with her standard decor.

Antique Furniture Restoration by sheholdsdearly.com

I, of course, started freaking out about how beautiful this bench was!  She announced that is was about to be taken to the dump (gasp!) and one thing led to another.  Next thing I knew I was the proud owner of this stunning church pew.

Over the years, it has received several coats of paint and has been staged as the focoal point wherever we live.  But, I was ready to go back to a simplier, earthy finish and really show off the wood grain.

Here are the before from last summer, it was this wanna-be-wood tan color.

Restoring Antique Wood Furniture by sheholdsdearly.com
Stripping Furniture Before by sheholdsdearly.com

And here she is all cleaned up with a fresh coat of clear furniture wax!

Removing Paint from Furniture by sheholdsdearly.com

**This post contains affiliate links to products I know &/or love.

Refinishing Wood Furniture by sheholdsdearly.com
Restoring Antique Furniture by sheholdsdearly.com

How to Strip Painted Furniture



  • First, sand down as many areas as you can with either the grinder, sander or sand paper.
    • You can watch a couple of clips here and here, showing how fast it went on our bench.
    • If you don’t want to sand, this post by Beckwith’s Treasures may be helpful.
  • Next, use Strypeeze and the scraper tool or steel wool dipped in water to strip paint from any areas that the sander couldn’t get to.
    • This is were you will feel your patience developing.;) But, hang in there!
Stripping Detailed Furniture by sheholdsdearly.com
Furniture Stripper by sheholdsdearly.com
Refinishing Antique Furniture by sheholdsdearly.com
  • Scrub everything down with water and steel wool. Wipe up mess with a rag.
  • Then, use a rag and paint thinner to get the last of the remains cleaned up.
  • Let the furniture dry, I leave mine next to the fire overnight.
  • Sand all the surfaces with 220 grit sand paper to polish it up and wipe all the dust off with a rag.
  • Finally, finish it all by sealing with a clear (or another color) furniture wax.  It should have the most velvety finish as this point!
Wood Refinishing by sheholdsdearly.com
Refinishing Furniture by sheholdsdearly.com
How to Strip Painted Furniture by sheholdsdearly.com
Removing Paint from Furniture by sheholdsdearly.com

So, while stripping paint from furniture is definitely more difficult than just merely painting a piece, it is worth all the extra effort if you really love the look of raw wood!  With some sanding, paint stripper and a lot of patience, you can get the look you want.

Furniture Refinishing by sheholdsdearly.com
Furniture Restoration by sheholdsdearly.com
Furniture Stripping by sheholdsdearly.com

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How to Strip Painted Furniture by sheholdsdearly.com

Related posts:

Reupholstering an Antique Chair

French Chair Makeover

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