How to remove paint

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How to remove paint

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Project 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.

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How to prevent your sandpaper from sliding

Just by folding your sandpaper into thirds, it will hold together much better than folding it in half. The paper will be steady in your hands, which helps make the job much quicker. Plus, you get more use out of the whole surface of the paper.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Stripping paint with a heat gun
2 Using paint stripper
3 Using sand paper
  • Step 1. Stripping paint with a heat gun

    When using a heat gun, move it 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 sand paper to clean up the job and it’s ready to re-paint.
  • Step 2. Using paint stripper

    It’s really important to be in a well-ventilated space when using a paint stripper. Spread it on evenly with a brush and 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. Make sure after using paint stripper you clean all of your gear with turps. 

  • Step 3. Using sand paper

    When using sand paper 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 sand paper you need for the job. Heavy sand papers take the paint off, whereas a lighter grade sand paper creates a smooth surface that’s ideal for re-painting.

Tools and Materials


  • Heat gun
  • Paint brush
  • Scrapers


  • Paint stripper
  • Sand paper

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. 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. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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