Learn just how easy it can be to remove paint from a wood door in this simple tutorial! We took our old wooden front door from drab to fab in just a weekend.

Step-by-step tutorial how to remove paint from wood
Want to save this?
Enter your email below and I’ll send it to you!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

It was so many years ago, but somehow it feels like yesterday. We had just had Adalyn and were spending quite a bit of time at our first little 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 it work.

It lacked warmth, and after making custom wood shutters, we were compelled to restore the door to its 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

How to Remove Paint from Wood

I miss our unassuming little ranch in Prairie Village, Kansas. It wasn’t much {about 1,000 square feet}, but filled our needs and 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 its 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


How to Remove Paint from a Door

  1. To restore the front door, we started by removing it from its hinges. It’s so much easier to work on it while it’s not hanging.
  2. We used Klean-Strip KS-3 Premium stripper to start. It removes varnish, oiled based paints and 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 and paint the product on with a standard paint brush. Allow the product to sit for 15 minutes. 
  3. Using a scraper (preferably plastic so as not to dent your wood), remove the paint by gently scraping along the grain of the wood.
  4. Next, we cleaned the door and allowed it to dry.
  5. Using a hand sander, lightly sand the door to reveal a fresh layer of wood.
  6. 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


  • Don’t forget your gloves! 
  • Take your time. 
  • Allow plenty of dry time.

The paint in the crevices added to its 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?

A shingled white cottage with a wood door, in a tutorial for how to remove paint from a wood door.

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. 5 stars
    Boy, life has changed since 2014! Now with Citristrip you can sit in the TV room, in your pajamas, without gloves and strip anything. Even neutralizing with water! I’m doing antique doors, which is why your post caught my eye on Pinterest. Your raw wood look is so timeless and exactly what speaks to me, too.

  2. We bought a house built in 1948. I would like to restore it to that era. I have just about finished painting the living room a light green(IN THE GARDEN). The kitchen is almost done in a bright /mellow yellow. I need some help doing the rest to suit me, my husband and our 9 cats. The floors are a wonderful thin plank wood. Do you have any ideas that could be used for our life(really calm and country with no frills). Our living room is 21 feet by 17 feet. It needs some warmth and cozy living spaces. We are in our 60’s and disabled and can’t do any major refurbishing. HELP ME IF YOU CAN> JUST SMALL THINGS WOULD HELP. THANKS!!!