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Paint thinner being applied to the painted bevelled roof of a frame

Overview

If you don't remove paint properly, you may end up with a bad finish when you go to repaint the surface. Learn a few different methods to remove paint that are easy enough for anyone to do at home. Before you try any of these methods, make sure you put a drop sheet down to protect your floor, the room is well-ventilated and you have appropriate safety gear on.

Steps

1Stripping paint with a heat gun

When using a heat gun, make sure you are in a well-ventilated space, and wear a mask if necessary to avoid fumes. Move the heat gun slowly in an up-and-down motion. Don't go too close to your surface, or you may burn the timber. As the paint starts to bubble, scrape it off with the scraper. Use some sandpaper to clean up the job and it's ready to re-paint.
A heat gun being used to peel away paint from a bevelled roof of a wooden frame

2Using paint stripper

As with a heat gun, it's really important to be in a well-ventilated space when using a paint stripper. Be sure to wear gloves and eye protection. Spread the paint stripper on evenly with a brush, wait for the recommended time, then use a scraper to scrape it off as it bubbles. Wait for the surface to dry, sand it back a little more, and it's ready to paint again.

Paint thinner being applied to the painted bevelled roof of a frame

3Using sandpaper

When using sandpaper to remove paint, move up and down with the grain of the wood. If you go across the grain, you could ruin your timber surface. Carefully choose what kind of sandpaper you need for the job. Heavy sandpapers take the paint off, whereas a lighter grade sandpaper creates a smooth surface that's ideal for re-painting. Be sure to wear a dust mask while sanding. 
Sandpaper being used to remove paint from a painted bevelled roof of a display frame

Suggested products

More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.