How to Remove Paint From Wood Without Chemicals – 11 Best Ways

  • By: Sara William
  • Date: March 22, 2022
  • Time to read: 7 min.
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Want to know How to Remove Paint From Wood Without Chemicals, lets go straight away. I was removing a piece of furniture and I wondered how to remove the paint without using chemicals.

These tips and tricks will help you reduce the number of chemicals in your home.

How to Remove Paint from Wood Furniture

Are you looking for a way to get paint off a door? Or how to get paint off a wood trim?

There are many ways to accomplish your job safely and without using chemicals. Let’s review the highlights, safety precautions, as well as some recommended practices.

Paint Removal Tips
First, test for lead paint
Wear a mask/respirator
It takes time to remove paint
Make sure you have the right safety equipment
Make sure your area is well ventilated

How to remove paint from wood without chemical chemicals:11 ways

  1. Sanding
  2. Baking Soda
  3. Vinegar
  4. Pressure Washer
  5. Heat Gun
  6. Wire Brush
  7. Infrared Devices
  8. Steam Strippers
  9. Scrapers
  10. Soy Gel Paint Removers
  11. Citrus Based Paint Removers


Sanding the wood to remove paint is the best way to get rid of it. Use heavy grit sandpaper and elbow grease to sand the paint off.

Sanding can create a lot of dust so you will need a dust mask for this purpose. If you are refinishing furniture, it is best to do this outside or in your garage/workshop.

Keep in mind the grain of the wood when sanding and continue to move with the sander. Otherwise, you could create a dip or gouge in the wood.

If you’re sanding walls, definitely keep the area well ventilated and mask off air vents or anything you don’t want to be covered in dust.

Sanding works best for small projects. However, sanding a wall can take a lot of time. To ensure that the paint is not lead-based, always test it. It’s time to call the professionals, as lead dust can be dangerous to your health.

Homemade Paint Remover for Wood – How to Make Homemade Paint Remover

Let’s look at two of our favorite DIY methods to remove paint from wood or hardware.

Homemade Paint Remover with Baking Soda

You’ll be able to see the standard practice of painting over hardware in older houses. These knobs and hinges look retro and should be exposed.

Can baking soda remove paint? Baking soda will not remove paint from wood. 

Paint and metal expand at different rates when heated, so it is easy to separate the paint from the hardware.

It’s much faster than using a heat gun or blow dryer. This trick was invaluable in renovating my old kitchen several years ago.

Homemade Paint Remover with Vinegar

Vinegar has many uses beyond its primary purpose of cleaning and deodorizing. Can vinegar remove wood paint? You can soften the paint with vinegar.

It won’t remove the paint but it will soften it, which makes scraping much faster and easier.

Simply heat some vinegar in a saucepan or microwave, and then use a brush to apply the vinegar to your surface. Allow it to cool for a few minutes before you test the paint.

Continue to do this until the paint is completely dry.

How to Make Paint Remover for Metal

It is very easy to remove paint from metal without the use of chemicals. You can remove paint from metal using vinegar, baking soda, hot water, or soaking it in hot soapy water. 

You can soak smaller items in hot soapy water (Source: How Stuff Works).

How to remove paint from wood without chemicals or sanding

The methods below can be used to remove paint from wood without the need for sanding. Some of these methods require more work than sanding.

  • Pressure washer
  • Heat Guns
  • Wire Brushes
  • Infrared
  • Steam Strippers
  • Scrapers
  • Eco-Friendly Citruses and Soy-Based Removers

Removing Paint from Wood with a Pressure Washer 

A pressure washer is a good option if you have a large project such as stripping the exterior of your home or deck. Make sure water doesn’t get in through your windows and doors.

To do the job, your pressure washer must have a PSI rating at least 2500. This site recommends at least 3000 PSI and never use it on hardboard siding as it’s more susceptible to moisture and damage.

Spray your surface following the grain of the wood. After you are done, use one of these methods to remove any paint left.

Heat Guns and Paint Removal

This best-selling heat gun comes with a ton of extras including 4 different nozzles. Don’t forget, when removing paint, test if it is lead-based first.

Call the professionals to have the lead removed if the test comes back positive.

Once you have tested negative for lead, there are a few things that you will need to get started. A pair of heat-resistant gloves and a paint scraper are all you will need.

When removing paint, we recommend using a larger nozzle. The larger the area covered, the quicker your paint will be able to be removed.

Be careful with your heat gun. Some heat guns can reach temperatures of 1200 F, and they will burn anything they come into contact with. It is important to be careful about where it is pointed and not leave it unattended in the “on” position.

We love this video below that shows you how to remove paint from a chair using a popular heat gun. Do what she does and wear your respirator mask and heat-resistant gloves!

Wire Brushes to Remove Paint from Wood

wire brush is awesome for getting into hard-to-reach places, or into cracks on furniture when removing paint. Even if the drill-type attachment is cordless, it’s still labor-intensive. Because of how precise the wire brush can be, it’s one of the best methods to remove paint from wooden furniture.

This method is not recommended for large projects.

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Infrared Devices

Infrared devices heat the wood to remove paint without creating dust. They heat the paint layers but not so hot that the wood is set ablaze underneath.

It is difficult to use infrared devices in tight spaces. Protect windows, glass, and metal from infrared radiation. These Speedheater-IR-Systems can be purchased HERE.

Although they are not cheap, many professionals love them.

Steam Strippers

People realized that hot steaming wood had been used in the past. However, it caused damage to furniture and warped the surface. This method is not recommended.


If you plan to do any DIY painting, you will need a Painter’s Tool Scraper. This multi-tool allows you to reach difficult-to-reach areas from any angle. You can also grab a basic metal or plastic paint scraper.

It is a good idea to treat your wood using a natural paint stripper or vinegar. Then, scrape the wood. This will help you save time and energy that you can put to use on your next project.

Environmentally-Friendly Paint Removers

You can remove paint while being eco-friendly. Either a citrus-based or soy-based paint remover can be used. Use the wipe-it-on, forget-it type of paint remover that we love.

Soy Gel Paint Removers

This product is not toxic and takes longer to lift paint than a stripper. The product doesn’t evaporate after you have covered the surface. This means you can leave it on long enough to penetrate the paint.

This product can also be purchased in biodegradable form.

It is said to work better than regular paint strippers. It is something we are eager to try for our next project.

Citrus Based Paint Removers

Citrus Paint Removers, which are derived from a fruit or plant that contains citric acids, can be used to remove paint. Apply the product to your paint and let it penetrate.

Read your package though, some of these come with a chemical in them while others are all-natural and biodegradable.

The paint can then be scraped off with a paint scraper.


You can combine the above methods to get your DIY done and that paint removed faster than ever.


Does vinegar remove paint from wood?

Vinegar will not remove wood paint, but it can soften the paint and make it more difficult to remove. Vinegar is a safe, non-toxic, and natural alternative to chemical paint strippers. However, it may take more effort to remove all of the paint.

What is the easiest way to remove old paint from wood?

Paint strippers are solvents that remove the old finish. You can get them as a gel, liquid, or paste. They are great for removing paint from wood, especially on large projects and with intricate details. Paint strippers are often more efficient than sanding for rounded surfaces or tight areas.

How do you make homemade paint remover?

Mix 2 cups of room temperature water in a bowl. Add 1 cup borax and 1 cup ammonia to the dish. Washing soda can be found in most supermarkets. Blend until you get a creamy consistency. Then, brush the mixture over the painted surface.

Can you remove paint without stripper?

It may seem that skipping any paint stripper is the best way to get rid of the paint.

Scrape off paint: A metal or plastic paint scraper can be used to remove peeling paint. However, it must be used with care to avoid damaging the surface underneath the paint.

How do you get paint off of stained wood?

Use a heat gun to remove paint stains from wooden floors This is the best option if you have a heat gun. The heat gun should be pointed at the stain to soften it. You can also gently scrape the paint layers with putty knives. Use a damp cloth to wipe the area.

How do you remove water based paint from wood?

Warm water and paint thinner can be used to remove the paint from the floor. This will prevent damage to the wood. You can remove water-based paint from floors using warm water and a clean cloth.

What is the easiest way to remove paint?

To remove any paint scraps, simply run the flat edge of your tool along the wall.

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