How to Remove Paint from Wood to Reveal it’s Natural Beauty

LAST UPDATED: Apr 25, 2019 | PUBLISHED: Aug 20, 2014 | By: Julie Blanner

Step-by-step tutorial how to remove paint from wood

It was 3 years ago, but somehow it feels like yesterday. We had just had Adalyn & were spending quite a bit of time at home. We couldn’t help but wonder what was beneath the layers and layers of paint on our solid wood front door. When we moved in, it was painted deep red, then we added to it by painting it a creamy green trying to make something work. It lacked warmth and after making custom wood shutters, we were compelled to restore the door to it’s natural beauty. With lots of nooks and crannies, it wasn’t an easy task, but completely doable – and worth the effort! Keep reading to learn how to remove paint from wood…

Step-by-step tutorial to reveal the natural beauty of your wood door

I miss our unassuming little ranch in Prairie Village, Kansas. It wasn’t much {about 1,000 square feet}, but filled our needs & was just a few homes down from a neighborhood walk and a block from boutique shopping, dining and a little market. I learned a lot from this home and lived a lot in it. It was here that I discovered my passion for finding the beauty in restoring a home to it’s original glory, adding our personality. I look forward to doing the same to our new home.

Step-by-step tutorial how to remove paint from wood

How to remove paint from wood:


Klean-Strip KS-3 Premium stripper

natural bristle paint brush

rubber gloves

plastic scraper

sand paper

optional: hand sander


  • To restore the front door, we started by removing it from it’s hinges. It’s so much easier to work on it while it’s not hanging.
  • We used Klean-Strip KS-3 Premium stripper to start. It removes varnish, oiled based paints & latex paints. I think we had a layer or two of each on the door when we started, so we were incredibly thankful for this product! Use rubber gloves to protect your hands & paint on with a standard paint brush. Allow the product to sit for 15 minutes. 
  • Using a scraper {preferably plastic}, remove the paint.
  • Next, we cleaned the door & allowed it to dry.
  • Using a hand sander, lightly sand the door to reveal a fresh layer of wood.
  • Use tung oil or a clear, matte varnish to give the door some protection. You will still experience some weathering with tung oil if the door is exposed.

Step-by-step tutorial to reveal the natural beauty of your wood door

The paint in the crevices added to it’s character. This door had my heart. If I could have taken it with me, I would have!  This would also be a great project if you plan to turn a door into a dining room table! 

Since this project, I’ve contemplated removing paint from a few pieces of furniture. Have you?