DIY Wood Paint Stripping
This project has become my third child! I have poured a lot of time, sweat, and tears into restoring this beautiful room divider to its former glory. I bought the beautiful, hand carved, individual fitted, room divider for a steal at a local thrift shop! There are deals and steals at small, local thrift shops. Many do not know the value of a piece or discount merchandise that is painted over, chipped, etc. To the trained DIY eye, this was a diamond in the rough!
Crown’s Low Odor Mineral Spirits
Citristrip Stripping Gel
Paint Roller Brush
Plastic Paint Container
Dropcloth or Tarp
Before you start any paint stripping project, regardless of how many you have done in the past, ALWAYS test a small area using the paint stripper. You never know how paint and wood will react. Here is the top piece of the room divider. I chose Citristrip Stripping Gel because it was non-toxic, easy to use, and this gel brand will not damage the wood.
After treating the wood panel with the stripping gel, I waited 12 hours. You can wait as little as 30 minutes before you start removing the paint, but I wanted to make sure it was dry. The test was a success! The paint came off with ease and did not damage the wood beneath.
If the paint comes up without damaging the wood, go ahead and apply Citristrip to the entire piece, using a roller brush. Apply an entire coat all at once and then discard the roller foam head. The gel will eat away at the foam roller rather quickly. As the gel dries, the paint will turn orange and start to peel.
Again, I waited about 12 hours for the gel to dry and start to peel. If you do not have that time, you should be able to start wiping the paint off after an hour. Take a sponge and lightly wipe back and forth over the orange dried gel to remove the paint.
Depending on how thick a coat of stripping gel you applied, you may need to apply another coat of gel to remove remaining paint. Do not apply a thick coat when wood is exposed. It will create a gunky layer over the exposed wood that will need to be sanded off. You risk scratching the wood! I learned this lesson the hard way. If you find you added too much gel and left it for too long, apply a very thin amount of gel again and wait 30 minutes, then remove. You may need a tool to help remove the thick gunk in the crevices.
Once you have removed all the loose layers of paint, lightly sand the remaining stubborn areas with either sandpaper or the bristle pad side of a sponge.
If you chose a simple piece to strip, you can skip the following step. The room divider had an insane amount of crevices, so I spent a great deal of time using a toothbrush to brush the stripping gel in all the cracks and crevices.
After the gel dried, I used another toothbrush to remove the last of the paint.
Once all the paint is removed, lightly brush Crown’s Low Odor Mineral Spirits all over. Use a cloth to wipe the oil off. Step back and take in your masterpiece! Congrats!