Asked on Jun 15, 2013

What is the best way to remove latex paint from wooden furniture?

Ellen Knox
by Ellen Knox
I purchased a table and chairs at a flea market and they were badly painted with a flat latex paint. The wood is stained under the latex paint. I would like to refinish then with a stain. I am not sure what would the best way to remove the latex paint.
  16 answers
  • Kim Gearin Kim Gearin on Jun 15, 2013
    most all the strippers I get from walmart remove paint just fine.
  • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on Jun 15, 2013
    @Ellen Knox I find the heritage stripper from home depot works quickly and effectively. They have two strengths, but you only need the regular one, it is cheaper and goes further. I did use the extra strength, but it didn't cover very much and decided to use the regular strength for the second purchase. I was actually more effective that the multi-layer blend and it worked faster and went further. Do keep us updated and thanks for posting.
  • Ellen Knox Ellen Knox on Jun 15, 2013
    Thank you for your help. When I finish (which may take forever) I will post a new photo.
  • Porta Verde Studio Porta Verde Studio on Jun 16, 2013
    Circa 1850 is a good stripper that won't affect the natural patina of the wood or the glue that joins it together. A word of caution though, some painted pieces are painted for a reason. The wood is mismatched, or there are stains and fillers underneath. I currently have a large sideboard that is very badly painted with semigloss latex and also has oil paint underneath. I sanded out the latex with 100 grit sandpaper then gave it 3 coats of oil. Then I sanded it out again by hand with 220 grit sandpaper to get it perfectly smooth. The coats of oil paint "filled" in much of the texture on the latex and made it easier to sand out. It now has a beautiful "chalky" finish. I don't need to wax it because it's oil paint and is very durable. But I may consider a satin polyurethane over it to give it a bit of a sheen. Hope that helps! Jacqui
    • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Jan 07, 2015
      @Porta Verde Studio Great point you made...Having furniture stripped by dipping it in a vat that some of the furniture restoring companies provide is very quick and effective, but it can also take out the glue which holds things together!
  • You may want to have these chairs dipped and stripped professionally. While it may cost a few bucks, those chairs have lots of nooks and crannies that could be very time consuming to strip down. Of course if you have lots of time then go for it.
    • See 1 previous
    • @Guy Lowell Not necessarily. There are different types of stripping methods and if the company is worth its weight, they can re-glue any if they do come apart. If left to long in the chemical I would agree, but if the joints are already tight, there should be no real issue.
  • Ppros Ppros on Jun 16, 2013
    Professionally dipped is the best way to go. If you want to do it on your own. Experiment. Different paint/finishes react differently to different strippers. Jasco usually works well, but it is super toxic. It will burn your skin if you get any on it. Water will neutralize it. Try any of the products listed above on a small area to see what it does. Home depot has a stripper in a spray can that work well also. Good Luck...
  • Royal Design Studio Royal Design Studio on Jun 16, 2013
    Pretty chairs!! If you decide to strip yourself, I would use something less toxic like Bean-a-doo soy stripper. It work really well and is made from soy beans....really! If you decide to just repaint (MUCH easier option, you can simply clean the chairs and paint over easily with Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan.
  • Accentuations! Accentuations! on Jun 16, 2013
    First of all, you may want to sand the chairs (with a 100 grit sandpaper) to see how much actual paint there is. If it isn't much I would most definately sand the furniture to the best of my ability. The I would follow with a stripper for the hard to reach places . It will be a lot of work but worthwhile in the end! If you can not remove the paint then I would recommend having them dipped professionally. This will get into all the hard to reach spots. Afterwards you should be able to stain the entire set. Keep us posted! Sallie
  • Reposhture Studio - Kim Reposhture Studio - Kim on Jun 16, 2013
    I use Citristrip and it is fantastic. It is all natural and has very little odor. You can also try the new spray strippers in a can. This would at least help with the time consuming part of applying the stripper. You would still have to remove it but it might at least help.
  • Dotty Albright Dotty Albright on Jun 16, 2013
    I can't help with a stripper, but these chairs are beautiful. What a find! Good luck and looking forward to the finished pictures.
  • Sherrie Sherrie on Jun 16, 2013
    I use A cheap stripper, good gloves, paint scraper, steel wood. And do one thing at a time. Always start high and work your way down. Cheap strippers dry out quickly. So work in sections. You still will have to sand just not as much. Sometimes I use them p, sometimes I don't. As beautiful as this is I would take my time and do it right.
  • Beth Beth on Jul 06, 2014
    Any time you sand before stripping, you run the chance of the paint/ varnish to burning into the wood(via friction). If that happens, the wood cannot absorb stain in those places. It's always best to strip the paint off first . It's time consuming, but incredibly satisfying in the end!
  • Debellen Debellen on Jul 06, 2014
    Nooo! Don't sand it. Use the "Safest Stripper" by 3M. It is gentle on hands, like cream, and no fumes, but it works quickly, and removes the paint with gentle scraping with a putty knife and then a green scrubber and water. It leaves the patina (the original finish) intact needing only light sanding with dry steel wool. The stripper is thick and stays on the wood. Leave it on about 20 min until it wrinkles up, then it comes off easily with a putty knife. Follow the directions on the can.
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Jul 06, 2014
  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Apr 05, 2022

    Paint Stripper, Wash , Sand, Vac Stain.